BUYER BEWARE! We recently found this example of incorrect field labeling as shown in the photos. In the second photo you can see that the accredited company added their own label specifying the rating of the door right below the original label. The original label is still clearly visible and says that the door has a 3/4 hour or 45 minute rating. See the issue with the incorrect field label? The accredited company labeled the door as having a 90 minute rating even though the original label is marked as a 45 minute door. The original label is by UL. UL is one of the 19 Nationally Recognized Testing Laboratories. A testing laboratory is a company that actually performs the fire tests and they are the experts on fire rated manufacturing. Follow this link for a complete list of NRTLs. The accredited company has created its own label which is not backed by a testing laboratory.
The correct process for field labeling a door includes:
Before field labeling the door, frame or hardware the original specifications must be verified & documented.
A fire door can’t be rated higher than the wall rating.
The door, hardware and frame are installed per NFPA 80.
AEGIS is proud announce that we are eVA registered and SWaM micro certified. What does this mean for you?
TAX INCENTIVES! Companies committed to conducting business operations with SWAM certified companies acquire the benefits of federal and state tax incentives. One of the core procurement values throughout the Commonwealth of Virginia is to purchase from SWaM businesses. Virginia prefers to infuse money into its own economy statewide, which is why we are so proud to be SWaM Micro Certified.
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We have sprinklers and alarms, are fire doors really all that important?
“Here’s the reality”, they begin, “There just isn’t enough money or time, and let’s face it, enforcement, to make door inspections part of the priority.” Or so the story goes. Talk to building managers, business owners or school superintendents and you will hear the same arguments over and over.
They continue, “The code is vague and open to interpretation. Doors that pass inspection today are non-compliant again tomorrow. The failure rate is too high. Inspections create legal paper work that makes me liable. No one is enforcing the code.” Or my personal favorite, “fire door inspection is a scam”.
Here’s the actual reality. Active and passive systems are meant to work together during a fire, not one in place of the other. Together they control fires and save lives. The code isn’t all that vague when interpreted by competent life safety professionals with the intention of proactively saving lives. The failure rate is high in most facilities. And this should be a very loud call to action. Inspections do create a paper trail that could lead to liability if you do nothing to maintain your doors, but death due to negligence is a larger problem.
The building code is a living document. It grows and matures based on real life experience. Real life experience like the one of Edward Pikinski, age eleven and pictured here. He is one of the 90 pupils who died in the Our Lady of Angels School Fire in 1958.
The primary cause of loss of life was the inadequacy of the exits, coupled with the use of substandard doors that were propped open at the time of the fire. The building code still enforces the invaluable lessons learned from Edward’s unnecessary death and the deaths of far too many other people. The lesson is clear: APATHY KILLS!
– Stephanie Smith | AEGIS Office Manager
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This dramatic fire safety video below from Underwriters Laboratories explains how closed doors in the home can save lives in a fire. More info on the Close Your Door safety initiative can be found at closeyourdoor.org.
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We are always active in the fire protection industry, providing training and support to local companies and organizations. Shown at the top is Justin Biller, our technical director, speaking to the Carolinas Chapter of the Society of Fire Protection Engineers on fire doors and field labeling issues.
Justin Biller will also be speaking at the Fire Code Expo on Tuesday, February 28th in Columbus, OH on the subject of ‘Fire Doors and Opening Protectives’ and associated field labeling.
Also pictured here is Mark Waller, our executive director, taking time to tour a local fire station with some future firefighters!
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Fire Doors are designed to compartmentalize a building, prevent the spread of smoke and fire, and protect egress for a specified amount of time. These doors are rated from 20 minutes up to 3 hours. The door, frame and all components used on that door must be subjected to rigorous fire testing to verify it will perform its function under fire conditions.
Fire-rated doors are required to bear a label that states the protection rating. It is important to remember that a label on a fire door does not mean that the assembly is compliant. If non fire-rated hardware is used it can create a potentially deadly scenario in the event of fire. The rating of the assembly is limited to the component with the lowest fire protection rating. In order for fire doors to work effectively, they must be correctly specified, installed and maintained.
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