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Friday, December 14th, 2018

JOIN US TODAY AND LOOK FOR COUPON CODES!

See a different side of AEGIS on Instagram. Although we dislike finding doors that are out of compliance, sometimes we just have to shake our heads. Our inspectors find some of the most ingenious examples of how not to repair or modify a fire door. Follow along with us as we share some of our favorite fire door fails. You can follow #FireDoorsSaveLives on Instagram, LinkedIn, Google+ and Twitter to make sure you never miss an update from us.

Directions: Open Instagram & scan the nametag to the left with your smartphone. Then tap FOLLOW. Have fun seeing if you can #SpotTheCodeDeficiency and be the first to offer an approved solution.

A Code Update that’s a Boost to Building Owners!

Friday, September 28th, 2018

A Code Update that Provides a Boost to Building Owners.

Doors are a major concern for building owners and facility managers. Ongoing maintenance of doors and architectural hardware represents a significant cost margin to building owners and nowhere is this truer than for healthcare facility and engineering managers where building footprints are vast – often in excess of 1 million square feet or more. Maintaining all doors in large facilities is always a challenge, but of even higher concern for healthcare engineers is fire and smoke barrier management, wherein door maintenance is a critical component. This point is not lost on a highly accomplished architect, Amanda Adams AIA, who has spent much of her career in significant restoration projects – she has noted first- hand how important fire and smoke door assemblies become in sustaining code compliance, providing a safe and healthy environment for building occupants and in achieving her overall architectural vision for a space. Ms. Adams highlighted this point to us at AEGIS, wherein she states,

“The foremost requirement of architecture is shelter. This ranks above aesthetics and creative efforts. All building occupants – users, visitors, tenants, residents – expect a building to provide shelter from the elements. At times, emergency situations arise that cause a building to offer shelter or protection from internal threats (often this is a fire threat)….whether that be protect in place or provide a safe exiting scenario. Passive life safety systems hold top priority in life safety; active systems increase safety and provide additional time. Properly functioning fire doors are a critical basic component to the passive system. A door must fit properly in its frame. Closing hardware must work properly. Positive latching hardware completes the barrier.”

Amanda Adams, Architect

The added strain on fiscal responsibilities for healthcare facilities to “do more with less” heightens theneed to challenge installers to do the work right the first time – it is often noted on our annual inspections of fire and smoke door assemblies that the ongoing challenges to maintenance stem from improper installation (i.e., improperly plumbed door frame and jamb, incorrect or insufficient hardware, incorrect door or glazing type, etc.).

According to the Door Security and Safety Foundation, although doors only represent 2 percent of a typical construction budget, more than 30 percent of punch-list items are on average door-related. It is therefore the opinion of many within the industry that it is in the best interest of building owners to verify fire and smoke doors are installed properly from the outset – a determination that committee members of NFPA 80, Standard for Fire Doors and Other Opening Protectives also found imperative. In its most current published editions (2016 and 2019), NFPA 80 prescribes in section 5.2.1 that “upon completion of the installation” these assemblies are to be inspected and tested.

Here at AEGIS we believe as well that a comprehensive survey of door installation during construction benefits the building designer and can dramatically decrease ongoing maintenance costs associated with fire and smoke door assemblies. We are here to help you implement this on your next project and can work with your design team through specification and installation through final punch-out.

What is Fire System Commissioning (FCx)

NFPA 3, Recommended Practice for Commissioning of Fire Protection and Life Safety Systems delineates that the commissioning and
integrated testing process would include both active and passive components of fire protection systems. Commissioning is a procedure of verifying a quality process from design inception through development and construction and even extends through the life of the building by ongoing maintenance and operations. Passive fire protection systems, including fire and smoke rated door assemblies, serve as a primary component for most building life safety systems with varying degrees of complexity dependent as such things as occupancy and building geometry. Fire and smoke rated doors are often integrated with fire and life safety systems such as fire alarm, sprinkler, smoke control and emergency electrical systems, and it thus becomes imperative for the fire commissioning team (FCxT) to include qualified fire door commissioning agents (Cx) to be employed. Along with NFPA 3, NFPA also developed NFPA 4, Standard for the Integrated Fire Protection and Life Safety System Testing to work in concert with the recommended practices of commissioning in NFPA 3 to accomplish this task.

AEGIS with its partnerships with engineers and architects, has the practical experience and expertise to support your commissioning team with passive fire protection system components.

– Justin B. Biller, P.E., CHFM, CLSS-HC, CFPS | AEGIS Technical Director

Do Corridor Doors Require Smoke Gasketing in Healthcare Occupancies?

Wednesday, September 26th, 2018

Do corridor doors require smoke gasketing in healthcare occupancies (which are classified as Group I-2 under the International Building Code® (IBC)?

There is often confusion encircling this question with facility managers, designers as well as even fire door inspectors. To what is often perceived as ambiguity in the codes related to this subject, this item is routinely missed during design and construction, which often leads to further confusion during the life cycle of the building that a facility manager also faces. The question is multi-faceted as there is various criterion to consider.

Through a series of questions answered, we intend to discuss 3 of the more common questions that we have noted in our work with fire and smoke door code compliance. In this series we cover our final question – refer to previous articles in the series for questions 1 and 2.

For a general listing classification of protection methods, reference to UL is helpful in understanding the parameters of installation regarding Gasketing and Edge-sealing Materials for Fire Doors, Positive-pressure Tested, GVYI.

To address the question – do corridor doors require smoke gasketing in healthcare occupancies (which are classified as Group I-2 under the International Building Code (IBC), in general the following code excerpts from the model codes are included below:

the following code excerpts are considered:

Corridor Doors – NFPA 101, Life Safety Code, 2012

“18.3.6.2* Construction of Corridor Walls.
18.3.6.2.1 Corridor walls shall be permitted to terminate at the ceiling where the ceiling is constructed to limit the transfer of smoke.
18.3.6.2.2 No fire resistance rating shall be required for corridor walls. 18.3.6.2.3* Corridor walls shall form a barrier to limit the transfer of smoke.”

“18.3.6.3* Corridor Doors.
18.3.6.3.1* Doors protecting corridor openings shall be constructed to resist the passage of smoke, and the following also shall apply:

(1) Compliance with NFPA 80, Standard for Fire Doors and Other Opening Protectives, shall not be required.

(2) A clearance between the bottom of the door and the floor covering not exceeding 1 in. (25 mm) shall be permitted for corridor doors.
(3) Doors to toilet rooms, bathrooms, shower rooms, sink closets, and similar auxiliary spaces that do not contain flammable or combustible material shall not be required to be constructed to resist the passage of smoke.”

As regards the application of NFPA 101 requirements for corridor walls and doors, it is important to recognize the distinction that this code makes from IBC, wherein it does not require corridor walls to be smoke partitions – note the explanatory annex language below specific to this issue:

“A.18.3.6.2.3 While a corridor wall is required to form a barrier to limit the transfer of smoke, such a barrier is not required to be either a smoke barrier or a smoke partition — two terms for which specific Code definitions and requirements apply.”

It is also important to note specifically, that NFPA 101 indicates that gasketing is NOT REQUIRED for corridor doors – note this explanatory language below:

“A.18.3.6.3.1 Gasketing of doors should not be necessary to achieve resistance to the passage of smoke if the door is relatively tight-fitting.”

Corridor Doors – International Building Code, 2012

“407.3 Corridor wall construction. Corridor walls shall be constructed as smoke partitions in accordance with Section 710.
407.3.1 Corridor doors. Corridor doors, other than those in a wall required to be rated by Section 509.4 or for the enclosure of a vertical opening or an exit, shall not have a required fire protection rating and shall not be required to be equipped with self-closing or automatic-closing devices, but shall provide an effective barrier to limit the transfer of smoke and shall be equipped with positive latching. Rollerlatches are not permitted. Other doors shall conform to Section 716.5.”

“710.5.2.2 Smoke and draft control doors. Where required elsewhere in the code, doors in smoke partitions shall meet the requirements for a smoke and draft control door assembly tested in accordance with UL 1784. The air leakage rate of the door assembly shall not exceed 3.0 cubic feet per minute per square foot (0.015424m3/(s • m2)) of door opening at 0.10 inch (24.9 Pa) of water for both the ambient temperature test and the elevated temperature exposure test. Installation of smoke doors shall be in accordance with NFPA 105.”

Conclusion

The IBC again is stricter in its application than NFPA 101 is for this requirement – note the ICC commentary for this section which clearly identifies corridor doors are to meet UL 1784:

“Only doors in smoke partitions that are required elsewhere in the code to be smoke and draft control doors must comply with section. Section 407.3.1 requires corridor doors in Group I-2 to ‘limit the transfer of smoke’; therefore, those doors must meet this section.”

As such, IBC does require corridor doors in I-2 occupancies to meet UL 1784. This results in the effect that life safety surveys involving the use of NFPA 101, 2012 cannot technically mandate the installation of smoke gasketing either for existing or new construction involving corridor doors.

The same would not hold true for fire prevention inspections conducted under the International Fire Code for facilities constructed to meet either the IBC or the legacy Uniform Building Code (UBC) – previously adopted throughout Western Pacific regions of the US. What strategy should facility managers take about existing fire doors where edge sealing is not equipped on fire doors in their facility? Like so many things in code compliance, the answer depends on the specifics of your individual facility. If you need any assistance in understanding this parameter for your facility, AEGIS has fire protection specialists here to help you with code consulting services and inspection services that can help maintain compliance with fire door strategies. What about smoke barrier doors – do the codes say I need to install gasketing on these doors? This question will be answered in our next article of this series.

– Justin B. Biller, P.E., CHFM, CLSS-HC, CFPS | AEGIS Technical Director

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LifeDoor. The Sleep Safely Solution

Monday, September 17th, 2018

We at AEGIS are committed to the values of life safety protection. And when we find other like-minded companies, we won’t hesitate to let you know. Which is why we just couldn’t wait to share our excitement about LifeDoor!

We first found LifeDoor by stumbling upon a post shared on LinkedIn. Two guys with an unbelievably simple but revolutionary idea were looking for supporters to back them on KickStarter. Joel Sellinger, a career firefighter, had seen first hand the life-saving value of closing the bedroom door at night. Together with Ben Docksteader, an engineer and project manager with years of experience bringing new tech to market, the two have created an elegant solution to an inherently human dilemma. Most of us just don’t like to sleep with the bedroom door shut even when told it can save our life in the event of a fire.

So, what exactly does LifeDoor do?  “LifeDoor is a new life-saving invention that keeps your family safe. In the event of a fire, a closed door slows the spread of flames and protects you from smoke and noxious fumes, buying you and your family time to escape to safety. No matter the reason for sleeping with a door open, whether it’s the kids, pets or personal preference, LifeDoor has got your family covered. Our patent pending technology listens for the distinct sound of a smoke detector so you can Sleep Safely.”-www.lifedoor.io

Q: Are my bedroom doors fire doors?

A: Likely not, however a closed bedroom door is a BARRIER that could save your life!

FIRE IS GETTING FASTER. “Because of synthetic materials, furniture and construction, fire spreads faster than ever.” -NIST Technical Note 1455-1 February 2008 Revision . You have approximately 3 minutes to flee to safety.“If you can’t get out of your house, the best thing you can possibly do is get a closed door between you and where the fire is.”Steve Kerber, Director UL Firefighter Safety Research Institute

“About half of home fire deaths result from fires reported between 11 p.m and 7 a.m., when most people are asleep.” -closeyourdoor.org

LifeDoor listens for the sound of your smoke detectors. The smoke alarm triggers LifeDoor to close the door, light the room and sound a secondary alarm. Genius idea, right? With so much attention being put on the importance of sleeping with your bedroom door closed in case of a fire emergency, we are confident LifeDoor is a product that will soon become an industry standard.

 

Q: Shouldn’t my goal be to get out of the house if it’s on fire?

A: Yes! But if you or a loved one can’t, remember that “Fire is FAST, HOT, DARK & DEADLY!  

LifeDoor. Because a closed door could save your life in the event of a fire!

-Karen Aliaga & Stephanie Smith | AEGIS


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We offer fire safety services in Virginia & North Carolina.

(540) 650–3745

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