InterNACHI releases International S.O.P. for Inspecting Commercial Fire Doors.

Inches and mm.

A door serving a suite in a hotel and opening into a public corridor:
a) not lock automatically
b) may lock automatically
c) must be open with a force of not more than 90N
d) must be open with a force of not more than 22N

What is your answer?
Just a question …

I don’t know, but I’d say all hotel doors lock automatically (from the corridor side) and that the performance of a visual commercial inspection does not require the measuring or documenting of the exact amount of force it takes to open any door (other than it should open easily).

But what is your answer? says less than 8.5 lbs of force for entrance doors and less than 5lbs of force for restroom doors.

Thanks Nick - good answer - you are correct.

Claude writes:

Thanks. If you know of any good references for commercial kitchen codes in Canada, let me know about them please.

Hi. Nick and this is the first I see of this Commercial Fire Door Inspections.

Couple of questions.

To inspect Commercial Fire Doors also involves knowing where they should be to begin with.

Commercial Fire Doors also come with special UL Listed Hardware that is critical to its proper functions.

I did not see where fire rated panic hardware with vertical rod activation less bottom rod requirements were listed.
Will one know what to look for in this type of application or lack of?

Would it not be wise also to be able to provide some sort of insight or training on how to identifying Commercial Hardware commonly used on Fire Rated Openings?
UL Listings on approved hardware and also Labels that Identify the openings.

I see that you have added this to the SOP.
How many are going to read this part of it only.
It is not the purpose of this standard to establish inspection procedures to determine the fire rating or the degree of protection provided by a fire door or surrounding wall, determine the need for a fire door in any particular location, determine proper placement of detectors, determine the functionality of fire detection systems, heat test fusible links, determine the combustibility of floor coverings extending through doorways, inspect accordion, folding, hoistway, elevator, chute, access, or dumbwaiter doors, inspect fire windows, or inspect fabric fire safety curtains.

I see where co-ordinators are mentioned and wonder how many will know why they are used.

Some pair of doors over 1-1/2 hour rating will require the use of steel astragal on the one leaf.

Will one know when he sees or does not see a Thermal Pin in a pair of doors?

When and where are smoke seals required in conjunction of fire doors.?

These are just examples of the top of my head.

I believe that a crash course in UL requirements and approved UL Rated Hardware Functions might also be prudent in knowing how to inspect Fire Doors. There is a lot more than just verifying door ratings and closers.

You have covered the topic well, but appears that for some new Inspectors, they could possibly get in trouble.

Just my opinion.

Marcel :):smiley:

An “Inspection Checklist” might be helpful.

Marcel, good questions. We have an online video course coming out to help inspectors with it. First we had to build the Standards of Practice for the inspection.

Much of the stuff you mention is useful, but not anything we as inspectors are to determine or decide though.

For example, an inspector would not be required to determine when and where smoke seals are required.

And another example, knowing WHERE fire doors should be to begin with… we have to stay away from that one too. That is determined by the architect, ahj and the building code back when it was built. Determining where fire doors should go amounts to practicing architecture without a license, rather than inspecting what IS.

We only inspect what is by doing a visual inspection, an operational test, and a simulated drop test (to manufacturers instructions) and report what we noticed. Fire ratings, the wall around it, the need for a fire door in the first place… not our job as inspectors.

I agree with that whole heartedly Nick.

To some degree, an HI should be able to identify the most loggical locations that should have Fire Doors in order to inspect them.

How would one know what to inspect unless someone tells you, the owner will not know.
Researching the Local Jurisdiction Fire Codes would help and talking with the local Fire Departments that support and inforce the Life Safety 101 might also educate some, but to just give a hand written SOP to an individual and expect them to fully understand the requirements, I believe might be dangerous for some.

I don’t know, I am not a lawyer.

This was just food for thought and thanks for the response.

Marcel :):smiley:

Thought I would add this one for starters;

Did I forget to mention, I might have more than one. :mrgreen:

Inspectors must verify that doors and hardware are in working order with no visible signs of damage. Doors and assemblies will be checked for missing or broken parts and for field modifications or auxiliary hardware which may interfere or prohibit operation. Inspectors must also verify that self-closing devices and latching hardware are operational and confirm the presence and integrity of gasketing and edge seals where required.

What are the qualifications for inspectors?
Although the NFPA 80 does not identify a specific group to perform these annual inspections, qualified individuals will need to have broad product application knowledge and understanding of fire rated doors assemblies. Such individuals most likely will have five years of industry experience in identifications and installations of these types of products used for fire-rated applications.

Marcel :):smiley:

As a follow up to Marcel’s post - Referemce may need to be made to code requirements - specifically with respect to life safety concerns. Health standards also have implications for many occupancies, including food preparation and medical services.

Once again - I suggest for the Canadian inspectors to consider due diligence when dealing with entering into the commercial inspection field. One suggested resource is “Protocols for Building Condition Assessment” published by NRC - National Research Council of Canada - Institute for Research in Construction