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If you've made your way to our Web site, inevitably you've already heard about the new or pending building code changes related to the annual fire door inspection requirements for your facility.

The requirement to inspect fire doors and maintain them in good working order isn't a new requirement at all; it has been a part of NFPA 80 recommended practices for years. The 2007 edition of NFPA 80: Standard for Fire Doors and Other Protectives, however, actually makes this mandatory and no longer merely a recommendation. This most recent change goes on to require that building owners maintain a list of all fire doors and keep subsequent inspection and test reports on file for review by the Authorities Having Jurisdiction (AHJs). Furthermore, the operational and visual inspections of your fire doors must be conducted by subject experts, or those individuals with specific knowledge and understanding of all components involved.

This change was made to the standard and your building code to ensure a more reliable building fire suppression system as designed by the architect and life safety engineers. Fire doors are a very unique part of a building and offer both passive and active fire suppression when installed and maintained in accordance with their labeling procedures. When they are not installed or maintained properly, they can adversely affect the reason they were installed in the first place.

Options are available for in-house testing, inspection, and reporting as long as you maintain a staff of professionals who understand every aspect of your fire doors and their effect on the ratings of the wall and building in which they are installed. Your personnel is still required to maintain the list of fire openings, along with the test and inspection reports, and a complete maintenance record for every fire door. Over a period of time, as determined by your AHJ and with a proven track record of compliant fire doors, you may be granted an extension to your annual report deadline. These are generally granted in six-month intervals. Conversely, buildings with repeated fire door violations may be required to have inspections more frequently than every year.

The Door and Hardware Institute (DHI), along with Intertek (Warnock Hersey), has created a credentialing program for potential fire door inspectors. The education curriculum conducted by DHI requires multiple prerequisite courses that focus primarily on codes and standards, installation practices, troubleshooting, and fire door components and testing procedures. This Fire Door Assembly Inspection (FDAI) course is a rigorous four-day class that will test participants on everything from general building design and fire suppression, fire door product knowledge, the newest NFPA 80 and 101 standards and codes, to a strict procedure for testing and inspecting fire doors and creating subsequent reports for the building owner to keep on file for the AHJ. Only after DHI prerequisites and FDAI courses have been successfully completed and tests have been passed, can an inspector submit his or her application to Intertek for its Certified Fire Door Inspector license. This license is renewable and requires ongoing education and testing to keep up with the specific, ever-changing standards and codes that are adopted in your area.

DOORDATA Solutions, Inc., (DDS), offers a suite of field-inspection software and hardware tools that aid fire door inspectors. Our mobile data collecting solutions use the most up-to-date computer and software technology to minimize the time required in the field to conduct these inspections. Our technology solutions increase the accuracy of the inspections by creating a unique database of your building's openings as inspections are taking place in real-time. That data is then retrievable in multiple formats and mediums, including the required "fire door inspection report" you must keep onsite for review by your AHJ.

DOORDATA also provides you with both tools and guidance to help you identify and record every fire door at your facility in anticipation of upcoming inspections.

We recommend that you consult with a certified fire door inspector and an inspection company in your area to find out what services they offer. Our Charter Members meet all of these requirements and more. By simply clicking on "Search for Fire Door Inspectors," you will be directed to a searchable database of inspectors who have requested to be part of our list.
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Building code changes

NFPA 80, 2007 edition

Can I inspect my own doors?

Who certifies inspectors?


Certified fire door inspectors

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