rcote

Ratings for fire walls and fire doors: What’s the difference?

Blog Post created by rcote Employee on Feb 24, 2017

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

Outcomes