Annual fire door inspections required in Cali?

Can someone in California confirm the following adoption of NFPA 80 into the California Building Code, making annual inspections of fire doors a requirement?

California Building Code (CBC)
** Effective as of January 1, 2009**

** Pg 601: Adoption of NFPA 80- 07 Pg 701: Item 8 chapter 35**
This supplement becomes enforceable on August 1, 2009 All buildings must be in compliance with the following:

5.2 Inspections

5.2.1 Fire door assemblies shall be inspected and tested not less than  annually, and a written record of the inspection shall be signed and  kept for inspection by the authority having jurisdiction. (NFPA 80 2007) Functional testing of fire door and window assemblies shall be performed by individuals with knowledge and understanding of the operating components of the type of door being subject to testing. (NFPA 80 2007) Before testing, a visual inspection shall be performed to identify any damaged or missing parts that can create a hazard during testing or affect operation or resetting. (NFPA 80 2007)

5.2.2 Performance-Based Option As an alternate means of compliance with 5.2.1, subject to the AHJ, fire door assemblies shall be permitted to be inspected, tested, and maintained under a written performance based program.

Most (if not all) states have adopted the IBC and IFC building and construction codes. Since both IBC and IFC 2009 editions reference NFPA 80, 2007 edition, each of those states (unless specifically altered by the AHJ) are ready to go with implementation of the annual fire door inspection requirement. Agree?

Check the following link. States that have adopted the codes that reference NFPA 80 and 101.
International Code Adoptions

I found it…

Find out what codes your state has adopted.

Click on your state. Read the codes your state has adopted. You can scroll down to your county and read which codes your county has adopted.

What if the code your state or county has adopted references another code or standard?

Let’s take California for example.
Using the link above, we find all of the codes the state of CA have adopted, which includes the IBC 2009.

Let’s see what the IBC says about referenced code.

Go to the International Building Code (IBC) 2009

It states:
Reference Codes. The other codes listed… and referenced elsewhere in this code shall be considered part of the requirements of this code to the prescribed extent of each such reference.

The IBC 2009 lists the standards that are referenced in various sections of the IBC. These standards are an extension of the IBC code and become law to the extent to which they are referenced. A standard is a published technical document that represents an industry consensus on how a material or assembly is to be designed, manufactured, tested, or installed in order for a specific level of performance to be obtained. Although the code establishes the minimum quality and performance criteria for a material, installation or method of design, the code relies on the reference standards to provide the criteria to determine whether a material or method is in compliance with the code provisions.

Among the referenced standards are NFPA 80 Fire Doors and Fire Windows and NFPA 101 Life Safety Code.

Most important point:

Referenced standards in the IBC are considered part of the code, which allows them to be as enforceable as the code itself.

What is important about NFPA 80?

NFPA 80 now establishes a mandatory 1-year inspection of all fire rated doors.

The previous NFPA 80 code has always stated that the building owner had to maintain fire rated openings in a manner for which they were intended. Fire officials have always tried to enforce this, but now the NFPA (National Fire Prevention Association) has given the officials some power to enforce this, by creating a Mandatory Annual Inspection Program of all fire rated openings in a building by a certified party… say… an InterNACHI Certified Fire Door Inspector perhaps.

Ben… Calif. has many laws on the books. like all Condominium complexes are required to have every building along with any and all other assessed areas like the streets pools and grounds. done every 3 years.

But the law is not requiring they hire a professional. only that they be inspected. a kid could do the inspection or any one of the board members.

They way I saw this law is the owner can do his own inspection.

Next thing you know they will be inspecting out Bedroom clocks to make sure no one is late to work. Need every penny for the taxes.



That’s a big liability for the owner to assume.:roll:

If the law say he can do the inspection. Then his insurance should cover it.

When I Was a kid I work in a paper bag plant an the fork lift drivers were always slamming into on of the doors. So we in the Maintenance Dept would go fix the door…

That was back in the 70s Some of these doors were pretty tricky in the set up…



OK. So here are my questions. First, does this apply to single family homes? Based upon the fact that this is even being discussed, I am going to assume that the answer is yes. If so, who is going to police this? As a homeowner, nobody from the government coming into my house for anything. Now, not trying to be contrary here, but I don’t see how this can possibly be enforced. When the house is sold, yes. But otherwise???

Am I reading too much into this?

Fire doors are related to commercial buildings. Not residential.

Thank you Ben. That would be my “newbie” status coming to the fore.

That’s quite alright. Newbies are absolutely welcome to throw out questions. Any kind of questions or comments. Us “old” guys need to learn new things everyday too.

We’re learning a lot about fire doors by speaking to fire marshals across the country - how they are implementing inspections, requiring inspections, deployment, 3-party contractors, code adoption, etc.

We’re the in the development stage of a new InterNACHI course “Inspecting Swinging Fire Doors.”

Learning how to inspect commercial doors can be directly related to inspecting residential egress doors.

Stay tuned… And keep asking…