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A failed fire door inspection is a dreaded experience for any business owner or property manager. The good news is, it can be prevented!

While a licensed fire protection company must perform the official inspection, it's possible to train your employees to conduct regular checks on a monthly or bi-monthly basis. 

Keep reading to find out what practices you can train your employees to watch to pass your next fire door inspection!


Fire Door Inspection Failures

Emergency exits doors in facilities like hospitals, apartment complexes, and commercial buildings are constantly bumping and slamming. Over time, the fire doors can be jam.

According to the NFPA, the most common reason for failing an inspection is the door's inability to close in case of a fire. When it can't close, it cannot prevent the spread of smoke and fire into or out of a building - ultimately defeating its purpose. 

Some other reasons for failing an inspection could be due to: 

  • A missing fastener on the metal plate

  • Sagging or warped door leaf

  • Blocked doorway

  • Faulty latches or seals

  • The gap between the top of their doors and their door frames was too large 

Most of these issues could be prevented if you have a checklist on hand. But if you've had inspectors who've never cited you for that reason, it's time to take a look at all your doors. It can be a costly expense that's much better to address now rather than later. 

Hospitals, for example, had failed inspections for this reason when the gap was just over a sixteenth of an inch. When you have only 60 days to fix the problem and hundreds of doors that need fixing, it can put a rather large ding in your wallet.



The gap between the top of the door and the door frame isn't the only clearance you need to mind. 

The areas of clearance an inspector will check include:

  • Hinge edge to frame

  • Lock edge to frame

  • Bottom of the door to the floor

  • The gap between the two doors

The clearance allowed for each section varies and depends on if the door is made of wood or steel.



Doors serving as emergency exits have obvious points to look for, such as a loose and damaged frame, rust, and alignment. 

Some of the lesser-known inspection points include:

  • Incorrect or broken glass in sidelight

  • Improper modifications

  • Unused fastener hole on the frame

  • Delamination of doors

  • Missing light kit screws


Operation and Hinges

An inspector will also check the manual or electric doors' operation and hinges. The key point to a fire door or an emergency exit is that it prevents the spread of smoke and fire. If an entry cannot close or release, it poses an obvious danger.

When conducting your monthly or bi-monthly inspection, it's vital that you also look for any missing or loose hinges and screws.


Bolts, Locks, and Hardware

Like what an inspector searches for when examining hinges, all the bolts, locks, and hardware are examined for missing or loose pieces.


Passing Your next Fire Door Inspection

Following best practices can prevent failing your next inspection and save you time and money. Keep a handy checklist available or get guaranteed peace of mind when you contact our specialists to examine and maintain your door properly, so you pass your next fire door inspection.


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