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Question About Corridor Doors

Question About Corridor Doors

Question About Corridor Doors

I work maintenance in a nursing home and have some questions regarding corridor doors. We are a single story facility with 4 wings. Each wing is basically its own smoke compartment with a 1 hour smoke wall and 1 hour rated doors / frames etc etc. Each wing consists of 15 resident rooms and some resident rooms have fire rated doors and others do not. According to NFPA 80 any door with a fire rated label must be inspected as such regardless of the surrounding walls and what not. In NFPA 101 version 2012 under corridor doors ( section says that "compliance with NFPA 80 is not required." How i interpret section in general is that that corridor doors that are not part of a smokewall / firewall / hazardous rooms are only required to resist smoke and not follow the much stricter guidelines of NFPA 80 even if the door has a label. All rooms have a smoke detector and the hallway / rooms are fully on automatic sprkinlers.

If anyone could clear this up it would be great.


RE: Question About Corridor Doors

Does your facility have to meet Joint Commission, CMS, COLA/CLIA or other requirements? Or are you simply operating within the NFPA world? Each of these organizations have their own modifications to the Standards which may affect the answers you get?

Based simply on the Life Safety Code, I believe you are on the right track. If the building is fully sprinklered than NFPA 80-type doors are not required at the residence rooms (non-smoke/fire compartment walls). The Code does say "resist the passage of smoke" and to my knowledge this is never really described or detailed within the National Fire Codes so it is really left up to interpretation by the Designer, User, AHJ, etc. and can be anything from substantiation construction to gasketed doors/frames.

Since, in your condition, it doesn't look like you are required to meet the stricter requirements of NFPA 80 I would say that as long as your doors are like described in the Code (1 3/4-in thick, solid-bonded core wood, with a bottom clearance less than 1-in) and closes tightly (within reason of course) and has a small (say less than 1/8 gap) around the top and sides of the door (so that it can still be opened and closed properly) than you meet the intent of the "resist the passage of smoke" requirement. If your top and side gaps are larger than that then maybe could consider adding gasketing material to the frame. There are also intumescent doors seals that you could look into, but that might be out of your price range.

Just keep in mind that all of this is based upon the fact that your facility is fully sprinklered in accordance with NFPA 101 and therefore NFPA 13. Once you have a room that isn't sprinklered or an area that isn't sprinklered properly than you no longer meet the "fully sprinklered" requirement and the exceptions/allowances we're talking about no longer apply. So, by the black-and-white of the NFPA Standards...if you have a mechanical room or an office or even a janitor's closet and those sprinklers are missing, removed, or even spaced inappropriately you no longer can use the "fully sprinklered" allowances. Now, I don't think the typical inspection walk through would catch inappropriately spaced sprinklers...but missing sprinklers are much more obvious and easy to catch. So if you're part of the maintenance or up-keep in any fashion within this facility it's simply something to keep in mind as you're walking through looking at fire code issues like the doors and frames you're inquiring about and if you see any missing, damaged, or just look "weird" I would encourage you to reach out to a local sprinkler contractor or Fire Protection Engineer to help with that analysis (realizing the costs, quality, and depth of the analysis will vary greatly depending on if you seek an Engineer versus a Sprinkler Contractor).

Hope this helps. I've also included a link to a couple website that manufacturer the intumescent door seals for your reference. The first is a company in the UK and the product doesn't appear to be UL Listed, so it's more for reference.


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