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February 24, 2017 Previous day Next day

The full video is available for free here when logged into Xchange.


Fire barrier walls and fire door assemblies carry a fire rating. Fire barrier walls receive a fire resistance rating based on fire testing in accordance with ASTM E119 or UL 263. Fire door assemblies receive a fire protection rating based on fire testing in accordance with NFPA 252, UL 10B or UL 10C.


The terms ‘fire resistance rating’ and ‘fire protection rating’ are different and not interchangeable as fire barrier walls are held to a different performance level than fire door assemblies. For example, in the fire test for walls, there is a failure point where too much heat is transmitted through the wall, to the unexposed side, establishing the potential for the ignition of combustible contents. In the fire test for doors, there is no criterion for limiting heat transmission through the door as combustibles should not be stacked against the door.

Some fire door assemblies are tested like walls. Where the door assembly meets all the fire test criteria applicable to walls, the fire door assembly receives a fire resistance rating and can be used to satisfy code requirements for a wall. Regardless of whether the fire door assembly carries a fire protection rating or a fire resistance rating, it must be inspected, tested, and maintained in accordance with the applicable standards.


Relative to health care occupancies, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) require compliance with the 2012 edition of NFPA 101®, Life Safety Code® as a condition of participation in the Medicare and Medicaid Programs. NFPA 101-2012, in turn, requires fire door assemblies to be installed, tested and maintained in accordance with NFPA 80-2010, Fire Doors and Other Opening Protectives. NFPA 80 requires fire door assemblies to be inspected and tested yearly.


Not all doors in a health care occupancy are required to be fire rated. So, do you know how to determine if a door is required to be fire rated? Whether an existing door assembly is fire rated? Whether the fire-rated door is code-compliant? If a wall is required to be fire rated, the doors in that wall are typically required to be fire rated. But there are exceptions to every rule. For example, a health care occupancy smoke barrier is required to be fire rated, but the cross-corridor smoke barrier doors are not required to be rated as it is important, for day-to-day function, that the door not have a latch. All fire protection-rated door assemblies are required to be latching.

To ensure an efficient review of fire-rated doors, it’s important to prepare an inventory of all the fire-rated doors in your facility; conduct the yearly inspection and testing of those doors; perform any required maintenance; and prepare and retain records. It is these records that CMS or accreditation agency surveyors will require you to produce at time of survey.


For more detailed information on fire door ratings, watch the full video clip for free when you login or register for NFPA Xchange. It was taped during a one-day NFPA 101/NFPA 80 training hosted by NFPA and the Door Security & Safety Foundation (DSSF). Additional trainings, to be held in the coming months, will address the following issues:


•    door types encountered in a health care facility
•    door locking means permitted
•    thirteen verification points required for the yearly inspection of swinging fire door assemblies
•    the skills required to serve as the qualified person permitted to perform inspection and testing in accordance with NFPA 80


Here are the dates: 
March 6, 2017 - NFPA Headquarters, Quincy, MA
May 15, 2017 - NFPA Headquarters, Quincy, MA
July 10, 2017 - NFPA Headquarters, Quincy, MA
October 5, 2017 - NFPA Headquarters, Quincy, MA
December 4, 2017 - NFPA Headquarters, Quincy, MA

In our rapidly and constantly changing world we hear often about this thing called "resiliency".  But, what is it and how does it relate to model codes such as building, life safety and fire codes? 


NFPA has been exploring the concept of resiliency for the past few years and seeking to identify how our codes and standards should be evolving to address the development of resilient buildings, systems, and communities.  In December 2014, the Fire Protection Research Foundation issued a report, "Disaster Resiliency and NFPA Codes and Standards" which sought to review NFPA codes and standards and identify how resiliency does and should be applied to them and other NFPA activities. In addition, NFPA has held workshops and published articles on the topic of resiliency.


As stated in the report: Since its formation, the NFPA has addressed fire as the disruptive event. The objective of this project is to include other disruptive events (disasters) in addition to, or in place, of fires. This review is intended to identify those provisions in NFPA codes and standards that embody the concepts of resiliency and compile available information to serve as a technical reference for those documents. This review is also intended to identify key gaps in knowledge necessary to support the integration of resiliency concepts into NFPA codes and standards.


So, how does this relate to NFPA 1? Well, traditionally, codes such as building codes and life safety codes, and even fire codes, have regulated issues related to life safety and property protection as a result of fire.  A recommendation put forth in a 2010 conference report Designing for a Resilient America: A Stakeholder Summit on High Performance Resilient Buildings and Related Infrastructure was that new building codes and standards should extend beyond the traditional life-safety goals to include resilient design concepts on a performance-based approach that support the resiliency of buildings and infrastructure. Stronger codes will have a greater impact and provide a critical tool to communities seeking to build resilience.  NFPA 101, Life Safety Code and NFPA 5000, Building Construction and Safety Code are the two NFPA codes with goals and purposes most closely related to resiliency and have been evolving over the past years to address this concept.  But, let's not forget NFPA 1 in the mix.


In past post's I have mentioned the extensive scope of NFPA 1 as a fire code.  The requirements of NFPA 1 are developed based on 16 different components as outlined in the scope per Section 1.1.1.  In addition, the purpose of the Code is "to prescribe minimum requirements necessary to establish a reasonable level of fire and life safety and property protection from the hazards created by fire, explosion, and dangerous conditions."   Just as building and life safety codes have evolved to address design loads and safety objectives of emergencies similar to fire, NFPA 1 may find itself further evolving to address additional protection needed to provide for life safety from fire and similar emergencies to building occupants, property protection, and enhanced emergencies responder safety.  With over 100 NFPA codes and standards referenced in NFPA 1 and over 50 codes and standards with direct extracts into the Code, the document will automatically address resiliency as other documents evolved as well. 


How can YOU help?  Comment below to tell us how NFPA 1 should address resiliency in the future?  How is this concept of resiliency impacting you and your community? 


Finally, in a continued effort to support the concept of resiliency in NFPA activities, NFPA will be supporting and attending the Architectural Engineering Institute (AEI) biennial conference this April 2017 to present two papers related to the theme of the conference, "Resiliency of the Integrated Building: A Community Focus".  We look forward to developing a new relationship with the architectural engineering community in their endeavor to address resiliency through their use of codes and standards and safety information.


For more information:

AEI 2017 Conference – Resilience of the Integrated Building

April 11 – 13, 2017

Oklahoma City, OK


Learn About Emerging Technologies & Trends in Building Design, Construction and Maintenance

We have a very robust TECHNICAL PROGRAM – representing individuals from 9 countries - with over 90 presentations.  Technical topics include subjects such as: building materials; building envelopes, building structural systems; community planning for resilience, forensic studies, integrated systems and much more!  Sponsorship Opportunities and Exhibitor Opportunities are available.



Post-Disaster Safety Evaluations of Buildings 

SPECIAL SESSION: Recent Oklahoma Earthquakes and the Built Environment featuring:
Jeremy Boak, Director, Oklahoma Geological Survey
Muralee Muraleetharan, Geotechnical Engineering Professor, Kimmell-Bernard Chair in Engineering, David Ross Boyd and Presidential Professor
Scott Harvey, Assistant Professor of Structural Engineering


Dr. Louise K. Comfort, Ph.D., Director, Center for Disaster Management, University of Pittsburgh


NETWORKING LUNCHEON (Leadership Exercise)
MarsCity Resilience Challenge

Hans Butzer, Architect, AIA, AK NW, LEED AP BD+C


NIST Panel Discussion on Guidance and Tools for Community Resilience Planning

Claims Reduction through Understanding Failure


As always, thank you for reading, and happy Friday!  Stay safe!


Don't miss another #FireCodeFridays blog! Get notifications straight to your email inbox by subscribing here! And you can always follow me on Twitter for more updates and fire safety news @KristinB_NFPA

Part of my job includes answering questions from NFPA members on our codes and standards. Since many jurisdictions adopt a combination of NFPA and IBC codes, I often get questions about NFPA requirements, but in IBC terms. This quick guide I created helps me remember which IBC groups correspond to the NFPA 101 occupancy types and vise versa. Hope it's helpful to you too!

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