In reference to NFPA 80, are fire pins acceptable for connecting corridor fire barrier doors?
I think they are to latch A door in place
Do you want to restate the question
I Dig Hardware » Decoded: Less Bottom Rod Fire Exit Hardware (September 2012)
A fire pin replaces the lower latches that are on a pair of doors. Some paired doors require two forms of latching for each door. The lower latches are problems in the field. The doors get hit, knocking out the alignment, and the latches need to be re-aliened. Fire pins were created as an alternative to the lower latches.
All products on a fire door assembly need to pass the NFPA-252; Standard Methods of Fire Tests of Door Assemblies. When the product passes the NFPA-252 test, then a manufacturer needs to have a Certification Body, such as UL, W/H, FM, (UL) certify the product that it is being made exactly the way it passed the test. The manufacturer then is allowed to put the UL approval label on their product. Now the product is considered a Listed product.
The product is then sold to general public. Then the product needs to be installed exactly as the the manufacturer's installation instructions require, according to the NFPA-252.
You need to read the manufacturer's instructions to see if the product you are using was tested and Listed for the purpose that you need it for. If it was, then UL says it can be used.
All fire door assembly products with approval from a nationally recognized certification body, such as UL, are approved to be installed on a fire door assembly for the specific purpose for which it was tested.
It all starts and ends with the NFPA-252. Did it pass or not? Is the product UL Listed?
The NFPA-80 do allows new products.
NFPA-80, 2010, 1.4. Equivalency.
1.4.1 This standard shall not prohibit the development of new, modified, or improved devices that meet the intent of these requirements.
I hope this helps
Chuck Noble , CFI-1, CFPE, FDAI
I am assuming this is a healthcare facility.
The question is, are these doors fire doors or smoke doors? Corridor doors are smoke doors. Compliance to the NFPA-80 is not required NFPA-101, 2012: 188.8.131.52.3
Cross corridor doors are smoke doors.
1 hour fire / smoke barriers are smoke doors. : 8.5.3 Fire Barrier Used as Smoke Barrier. A fire barrier shall be permitted to be used as a smoke barrier, provided that it meets the requirements of Section 8.5 ( Smoke Barriers).
In health care a 1-3/4 solid bonded wood door (not labeled for fire) is acceptable. along with no latching hardware(Fire Pins), and non listed protection plates. Because they are SMOKE DOORS.
Also, using the fully sprinkled option Hazardous Areas are smoke partition doors even though there is a 1 hour fire wall. Read NFPA-101, 2012: 184.108.40.206.2
The bottom fire pins are held retracted by a piece that will melt in a fire condition. Once the fire reaches the pair of doors and the heat rises sufficiently, the pin will pop out and engage the other leaf of the pair to keep the doors aligned for the duration of the fire rating. Since this only occurs once fire has reached the pair of doors, egress is not an issue. They are also only designed to keep the doors aligned during the fire, which exerts a limited amount of force on the pins. If fire/rescue personnel need through that opening, a good swift kick or battering ram will do the trick. That's no different from the primary latching mechanism (lock, exit device). It only has to keep the door(s) closed during the fire. It doesn't have to function afterward. The pins are secondary to the primary, rated latching mechanism.
(I am coming to this discussion late.)
The short answer is, yes, NFPA 80 permits the use of fire pins (aka, thermal pins, and auxiliary latches). Fire pins were introduced into the swinging fire door industry in the early 1990s. As mentioned above, fire pins are used in place of the bottom latch assembly of fire exit hardware devices and the bottom flush bolts of paired doors.
Prior to the 2016 edition of NFPA 80, fire pins were not explicitly covered. Even in the 2019 edition of NFPA 80, the field installation of fire pins is covered in Chapter 4, but the devices themselves are not covered outrightly in Chapter 6, Swinging Doors with Builders Hardware. (Fire pins are ONLY used on NFPA 80, Chapter 6-type doors.)
When dealing with older existing doors—doors installed before the 1990s—you need to research the use of fire pins since doors of this era were not tested with fire pins. Older wood fire doors have salt-treated, solid-lumber vertical stiles, which are brittle and subject to splitting. (Split vertical stiles are signs of irreparable structural damage; the doors need to be replaced.) It might not be permissible (by the door manufacturer) to install fire pins on older existing wood fire doors if the doors are in good condition and the manufacturer (and testing laboratory) have evaluated their construction for the installation of fire pins.
The number. placement and orientation of the fire pins vary by door manufacturer, it depends on the testing of the doors. Some arrangements of 20-minute rated pairs of doors DO NOT REQUIRE fire pins. Again, it depends on the testing of the doors. A few arrangements of wood doors have fire pins in the top edges of the doors (projecting into the frame head) and there are a few applications where the fire pins are 36 inches above the floor, they project into the vertical edge of the opposing doors.
There is no one-size-fits-all answer regarding fire pins. You need to research the listings of the doors first, AND you need to research the listings of the hardware devices (e.g., fire exit hardware). Remember, when researching new or existing swinging fiire door assemblies, ALWAYS start with the listings of the specific door construction—it's the platform for the assembly. The fire rating of swinging door assemblies are valid only when all of the required components are present and installed in accordance with their individual listings and installation instructions. The listing of the doors ALWAYS takes precedence over the listings of the hardware components. ALWAYS. All of the components need to work together as a system.
In a few cases, existing vertical rod fire exit hardware devices can be converted to less-bottom-rod applications, provided the conversions are completed in accordance with the hardware manufacturer's installation instructions, AND the listing of the doors to which the fire exit hardware is attached. In at least one case, the hardware manufacturer REQUIRES a heavier top strike on the door frame with an interlocking bar mounted on the door. Internal springs need to be inspected and changed out for stronger springs in some types of fire exit hardware devices.
In other words, simply removing the bottom vertical rod and latch (or bottom flush bolt) and installing a fire pin does NOT result in a valid installation of fire pins.
I can be reached directly at kpardoe@DoorSafety.com
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