The Importance of Fire Door Drop Testing

Posted On: March 24, 2015 in Commercial Doors

Today’s buildings incorporate a wide array of fire prevention and suppression elements in their design. However, similar to a chain being only as strong as its weakest link, the effectiveness of the fire prevention system depends upon reliable performance from all elements of it.

Fire doors are an important part of the fire prevention and suppression system. They play a key role in preventing tragedy and protecting assets in the event of a fire inside your industrial or commercial facility.

Fire doors are specially constructed, fire-rated doors containing integrated closing mechanisms. These doors can connect to a building’s fire monitoring system or operate independently. In either situation, they are design to automatically close in response to the presence of heat, smoke or fire within your facility. Fire doors work together with firewalls to create a physical barrier, slowing the spread of fire through a facility. Without fire doors, open passageways provide an easy path for fires to propagate through a facility and significantly impair the ability of firewalls to contain the fire.

Annual Testing Mandate

While various codes and standards specify fire door requirements, having a fire door is not enough. In the event of a fire, it is critical these doors perform as intended. To ensure proper functioning of roll-up fire doors, it is imperative that facility owners/operators schedule regular tests and inspections on their fire doors. The National Fire Prevention Association (NFPA) regulations (NFPA Reg 80) mandate annual fire door drop testing for all roll-up fire doors.

The NFPA regulations detail how to perform the annual fire door inspection on roll-up fire doors. Part of the process is a thorough inspection of the various door mechanisms to check for signs of wear, corrosion, or other factors that may impair door functionality. Another portion of the inspection process requires performing a drop test to observe how the door and closure mechanisms operate, which includes testing the drop speed so that doesn’t become its own safety issue. The regulations require written documentation detailing the results of the testing.   The nature of the testing requires people familiar with the construction and operation of the door systems perform the testing.

Given the significant role that fire doors play, and the potential liability issues of not complying with the NFPA regulations, annual fire door drop testing is essential. At McKinley, we offer a range of fire doors to meet your facility needs. In addition to providing fire door solutions, our staff is qualified to perform fire door drop testing to the NFPA Reg 80 standard on most makes/models of fire doors.