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Commercial Fire Door Requirements

Laws and regulations can vary widely between states, cities, townships and municipalities. Always be sure to check with all regulating authorities to ensure the door unit you order and install complies with all applicable laws.


Considerations

When considering a fire door, first determine if the door is for a Commercial or Residential application. Different doors are required for both applications and it is important to choose the correct one for your needs. Next, you need to review and verify the appropriate building codes in your area. This will help determine the specifications of the unit. Finally, determine is a fire label is required. This point should be found while you are reviewing the local building codes.


Basic Fire Door Requirements

The following is a list of basic fire door requirements. This list may not encompass all requirements so make sure to check your local building codes.

1. The unit must be self-closing.
2. The unit must be self-latching.
3. The unit must have a Label attached.
4. The Door Frame must have an attached or embossed Label.
5. The unit must have Steel Bearing Hinges.
6. The unit must have “Listed” Hardware.
7. If a Fire Door is held open, it must have a “UL-Listed”, heat fusible link or smoke detection device (or be tied into the fire alarm system).
8. Pairs of Fire Doors with astragals that require overlapping astragals should use a coordinator or open back strike for proper closing.
9. Pairs of Fire Doors required to meet Egress shall not be equipped with an astragal that inhibits the free use of either leaf.
10. If a Fire Doors has a lite kits, the glass must be Safe-Wire, not less than 1/4″ thick, and the frame and glazing bead must be metal.
11. The maximum glass allowed in a 20 minute rated door is a 1296 sq. in. per lite.
12. The maximum glass allowed in a 45 minute rated door with a C or E label is a 1296 sq. in. per lite.
13. The maximum glass allowed in a 60 minute rated door with a B label is a 100 sq. in. per lite.
14. The maximum glass allowed in a 90 minute rated door with a B label is a 100 sq. in. per lite.
15. No glass is allowed in a 90 minute rated door with a D label.
16. No glass is allowed in a 3 hour rated door with an A label.
17. A Fire Door with a Louver requires a Fusible Link Louver.
18. No Louvers are allowed in a 20 Minute Rated Door.
19. No Louvers are allowed in fire-rated doors with lite kits.
20. No Louvers are allowed in doors with Panic Exit Hardware or Stairwells.
21. The maximum Fire-Rated louver size is 24″ x 24″.


Opening Types and Ratings

Commercial doors, frames and hardware are rated by the amount of time that they can withstand fire in test conditions. Commercial Codes typically require that door units be rated for 3/4 of the rating of the surrounding wall.

Description and Use Wall Rating Door and Frame Rating
Openings that separate buildings or divide a single building into designated fire areas 4 hours 180 minutes
Openings used in enclosures of vertical communication or egress through buildings (example: stairwells) 2 hours 90 minutes
Door and frame assemblies that divide occupancies in a building 1 hour 60 minutes
Openings in corridors or room partitions 1 hour 45 minutes
Opening where there is potential for severe fire exposure from the exterior of the building 2 hours 90 minutes
Opening that has the potential for moderate to light fire exposure from the exterior of the building 1 hour 45 minutes
Opening in corridors where smoke and draft control is required 1 hour 20 minutes

Updated on May 14, 2021

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