All commercial buildings are required to have an annual inspection of fire and smoke rated doors. This includes office buildings, day care facilities, restaurants, medical care, hospitals, garages, maintenance buildings, retail centers, government facilities, entertainment complexes, lodging, distribution centers, factories, assembly plants, or any other building which houses employees or the public. Residential door fronts (apartments/condominiums) are exempt but multi-family buildings over two stories do require an annual inspection of fire doors at emergency stairwells. In short, almost every building has at least one fire door.
Fire Door Inspections
Many facilities neglect to order annual fire door inspections until they are cited by the local Fire Marshall. Being cited by the fire department is the least of a building owner’s worries. The owner’s most significant liability lies in finding the fire door was non-compliant during a fire/smoke emergency and it resulted in injury/death to an occupant. You can’t avoid personal injury claims with bankruptcy!
Fire doors play a critical role in protecting lives. The National Fire Protection Association reports that there were 490,500 structure fires in the USA in 2020 (up almost 2% from 2019). These fires caused $12.1 billion in property damage, 3,500 civilian deaths and 15,200 civilian fire injuries. You don’t want to be the building owner or property manager if a death/injury was the result of a non-compliant fire door.
Field labeling of fire and smoke doors was added to NFPA-80 in 2016. Each fire/smoke rated door must be inspected and labeled annually or after any maintenance work is performed.
Common Deficiencies Found in Fire/Smoke Doors
- Door label is painted over.
- Improper locks.
- Inoperable or damaged closer or push bar.
- Improper glazing.
- Mismatched doors to door frames.
- Improper clearance at bottom of door.
Commonly, we find building owners/managers do not have a master list of each fire rated door in the facility with maintenance/inspection records for each door. That is a big oversight should you have to prove compliance after a fire or personal injury claim.
How Property360 Can Help
Property360 specializes in assisting property owners and managers meet the requirements for annual fire door compliance. We proudly serve the Jacksonville, FL and surrounding areas with residential and commercial building inspections. Give us a call at (904) 606-1570 or contact us online to discuss your needs.