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5 Posts authored by: kristinbigda Employee

Next week I will be attending and presenting at the Door and Hardware Institute's annual conference (official conference title, ConNextions) in Orlando, Florida. 

 

I will have the opportunity to represent NFPA and co-present along with Paul Baillargeon, of the Door Security & Safety Foundation, an educational session on the impact of NFPA 80, Standard for Fire Doors and Other Opening Protectives.  This session will focus on the particular impact NFPA 80 has on the health care industry as well as some new requirements in the 2016 edition of the standard.  With the anticipated adoption of NFPA 101, Life Safety Code, 2012 edition, by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS), the health care community will be faced with new requirements related to fire doors. 

 

Our session will be offered four separate times during the conference.  I am looking forward to meeting new faces in the fire door industry and talking about the role NFPA and NFPA 80 have in their work.  Facility managers, code officials, inspectors, manufacturers, all impacted by the provisions of NFPA 80, will be in attendance. 

 

Will you be there?  If so, swing by the NFPA booth and say hello.  I look forward to speading the word about fire door safety!

 

Every Friday I will be highlighting a topic contained in NFPA 1, Fire Code, or an issue currently being considered by the Fire Code Technical Committee during this revision cycle.

 

NFPA 1 addresses many areas of fire and life safety for nearly all occupancies and facilities. It provides minimum levels of protection needed to provide for life safety from fire to building occupants, property protection, and enhanced emergency responder safety.

 

Let's start with indoor children's play structures.  Why?  Well, I am a mom, and it's winter in New England, and indoor play areas seem to be on my horizon.  I have seen many facilities featuring these play structures pop up recently, and safety is paramount.

 

Section 10.19 of NFPA 1 addresses these indoor play structures that exceed 10 ft in height and 160 ft2 in area.  Think places such as a McDonald's PlayPlace or this.

 

With foams, and plastics and composite materials, these play structures can account for a very high fuel load in a relatively small area.  They accommodate children and other occupants that are unfamiliar with their surroundings and may need assistance to evacuate.  NFPA 1 provisions focus on the materials used for the construction of these indoor play structures.  Per NFPA 1, it is required that they be constructed out of noncombustible materials, or combustible materials complying with one of the options provided in Section 10.19.1.1.  Even balls used in ball pools/ball pits must comply with a specified heat release rate.  Additional provisions are listed in Section 10.19.1.2 for when light-transmitting plastics are used.

 

There is also a requirement for the separation of indoor play structures from one another and as well as a size limitation.  The size limitation of 300 ft2 can be increased where approved by the local AHJ.

 

For addition details, please refer to the 2015 edition of NFPA 1, Fire Code,  which can be viewed for free at www.nfpa.org/1 or NFPA 101, Life Safety Code, 2015 edition, sections 12.4.8 and 13.4.8.

 

Kristin Bigda

Principal Fire Protection Engineer, NFPA

At the conclusion of my presentation this past Tuesday at NFPA's Conference and Expo on changes to the 2016 editions of NFPA 80 and NFPA 105, I was approached by an attendee and asked about how and if NFPA 80 is addressing the seismic performance of fire doors.  My response?  NFPA 80 does not currently contain any language related specifically to the performance or protection of fire doors from seismic events.  But the question remains, should it?  Is NFPA 80 missing some important protection criteria for fire doors and other opening protectives related to seismic loading/performance? 

 

As Staff Liaison to NFPA 80 I am always interested to hear about new issues in the field and in the industry or something that we may be missing in NFPA 80.  What do you think?  Do you have any insight or suggestions for how NFPA 80 could address this issue?  I am looking forward to learning more about this issue and hearing your input!

Thank you for attending the session on changes to the 2016 edition of NFPA 80, Standard for Fire Doors and Other Opening Protectives and NFPA 105, Standard for Smoke Door Assemblies and Other Opening Protectives. 

 

During the presentation, I received a great question regarding fire damper inspection.  In summary, NFPA 80 and NFPA 105 include new, and very helpful language in the 2016 editions that address in more detail the requirements for acceptance testing and the specific steps and procedures required during a periodic test.   This guidance was much needed in the standard to assist those conducting damper inspections and provide for consistency and safety during the inspections.  I would encourage everyone to take a look (for free!) at the 2016 edition of the document once it is posted to the document information pages.

 

If you are an NFPA member of code official, please take advantage of our technical questions service. You may submit your code interpretation questions online at www.nfpa.org/80techques or www.nfpa.org/105, or by calling our customer service line at 1-800-344-3555, Option 1 during the hours of 9:00 am- 5:00 pm ET and I would be happy to assist you with your questions. 

 

Thank you for attending the presentation and I look forward to hearing from you in the future!

As Staff Liaison for NFPA 80, Standard for Fire Doors and Other Opening Protectives, one of the common questions I receive is “What is the required fire-protection rating for my fire door?”  A logical question posed about a standard related to fire doors. However, the answer to this question is not found in NFPA 80, but in NFPA 101, Life Safety Code®, specifically Table 8.3.4.2.   Here is a quick explanation for how to properly use Table 8.3.4.2 to determine the fire-protection rating for your fire doors.

 

Table 8.3.4.2 was substantially revised for the 2012 edition and again in the 2015 edition of NFPA 101. Much to some confusion of users, it does not mandate fire resistance ratings for the components listed; rather, it specifies the fire protection rating needed for openings where the listed components (exit access corridors, fire barriers, horizontal exits, vertical shafts, etc.) are required to be rated by another section of the Code. The table also specifies the maximum sizes of fire-rated door vision panels and glazing markings for various applications; the minimum fire protection or fire resistance rating for doorway sidelights or transoms and glazing markings for various applications; and the minimum fire protection ratings for fire window assemblies and associated markings for various applications.

 

Example:

What is the required fire-protection rating for a door in an exit access corridor in a new, non-sprinklered business occupancy?

Two pieces of information are needed to use Table 8.3.4.2: the component and the fire resistance rating. In this case the component is exit access corridor, and per Section 38.3.6.1, exit access corridors in a non-sprinklered business occupancy are required to have a 1 hour fire resistance rating.  Within Table 8.3.4.2, locate the row for exit access corridors, and for a 1 hour rated corridor it  shows a requirement for a 1/3 (or 20 min) fire protection rated fire door assembly. 

 

Easy as that!