LSS Life Safety Services®

Fire Door Q&A

General Info
  • What is a Fire Door?
    • A fire door, like a fire damper, is a method of passive fire protection used to prevent the spread of fire and smoke between fire barriers.


  • What are the main purposes of a fire door?
    • Serve as a regular door;
    • Provide ready egress during a fire;
    • Keep fire from spreading throughout a building;
    • Protect life and property


  • What determines a fire doors rating?
    • The fire rating of the wall that the door is installed determines the fire rating of the door.


  • What are typical wall rating / door rating usages?


Wall RatingDoor RatingDescription and Use
4 Hour3 HourThese opening are in walls that separate building or divide a single building into designated fire areas.
2 Hour1-1/2 HourOpenings of this type are used in enclosures of vertical communication or egress through buildings. Examples of these types include stairwells and elevator shafts
1 Hour1 HourThese door assemblies divide occupancies in a building.
1 Hour1/4 HourFor use where there are openings in corridors or room partitions.
2 Hour1-1/2 HourThis openings is in a wall where there is the potential for severe fire exposure from the exterior of the building.
1 Hour1/4 HourThis opening is in an exterior wall that has the potential to be exposed to moderate to light fire from the exterior of the building.
1 Hour1/3 HourThese openings are in corridors where smoke and draft control is required. The minimum opening is 1 Hour.


  • When are fire doors needed?
    • Where a door leads to exit stairwells and horizontal exits.
    • Where a door leads to a hazardous area.
    • Where a door has an Exit sign around it.
    • Generally, where a door leads to a hallway or from one fully enclosed room to another.


Fire Door Inspection Codes

  • NFPA 80 Section States – As a minimum the following items shall be verified
    • No open holes or breaks exist in surfaces of either the door or frame;
    • Glazing, vision light frames, and glazing beads are intact and securely fastened in place, if so equipped;
    • The door, frame, hinges, hardware, and noncombustible threshold are secured, aligned, and in working order with no visible signs of damage;
    • No parts are missing or broken;
    • Door clearances at the door edge to the frame, or the pull side of the door, do not exceed clearance listed (undercut ¾”, between door and frame 1/8” +/- 1/16” for steel doors, between door and frame 1/8” for wood doors, clearance for meeting edges of pairs of doors 1/8” for steel +/- 1/16”, and 1/8” for pairs of wood doors);
    • The self-closing device is operational, that is, the active door completely closes when operated from the full open position;
    • Auxiliary hardware items that interfere or prohibit operation are not installed on the door or frame;
    • No field modifications to the door assembly have been performed that void the label;
    • Gasketing and edge seals, where equipped, where required, are inspected to verify their presence and integrity.


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