LSS Life Safety Services®

What Building Owners Need to Know About Rolling Fire Door Drop Testing

Life & Fire Safety

One of the most important tasks for a building owner to adhere to is ensuring that your fire doors are up to code.  If you fail to prepare for your fire door tests, you could end up having to pay out serious fines or even get your building shut down (though this is determined by state). 

However, knowing what to look for when making sure your fire door is ready for testing isn’t always intuitive. So, what signs do you need to keep an eye out for?

It’s time to reveal everything building owners need to know about rolling fire door drop testing. First, we need to understand how drop tests occur. Keep reading to learn more.

What Is the Drop Test?

Fire door tests occur in two distinct steps. First, our inspectors will simulate conditions to trigger the fire door to close. We will also test that the door suffers no heat damage and that no gasses get through to the other side.

Once we’ve determined whether the door closes as intended, we then check the door to make sure that the closing mechanism returns to its default state properly. 

If you fail the test the first time, your Authority Having Jurisdiction (AHJ) typically provide a small grace period for repairs before another test. Abuse this privilege over and over though, and you may face more serious consequences.

Preparing for Rolling Fire Door Drop Testing

To prepare for your fire door drop test, the first thing you’ll want to do is check that the door’s installation is correct. This means that the fire door should fit correctly within the frame, rather than poke out or not meet it all the way. Make sure that all the barrels and guides within the door line up, too.

Next, our inspectors will check to make sure that the fire rated label for your fire door is attached. Without this identification, your door will not get proper recognition as a fire door and fail the test.

Our inspectors will also ensure  all the hinges are screwed in and that all the other mechanical components of the door operate and flow as intended. We’ll check the locks of the door for chips or breaks.

We’ll inspect the fusible link (chain) and remove all grease or blockages to keep your door rolling properly. Swapping the fusible link out every year, as mandated by the NFPA, will help prevent unexpected jams.

We’ll make sure no bolts have detached in the guide assembly and that all pieces are snug. Any dents or cracks in the frame or body of the door should also  be patched.

Once that’s done, our inspectors will test-run the door a few times to make sure the tension of the door springs are not too loose. Otherwise, the door won’t properly snap shut, costing you precious seconds of safety in the event of a real fire. 

It also doesn’t hurt to test out your other mandatory passive fire equipment while you’re at it. Make sure that your fire and smoke dampers are in working order. Inspections and testing is required every 4-years for most occupancies unless it is a hopital, then it’s every 6-years.

Stopping Fire Dead-On

Now that you know all about rolling fire door drop testing, you’re ready to let our inspectors do what we do best – keeping you safe and code compliant

And, for more expert advice on keeping your building safe from fires, make sure to check out the rest of the articles on our blog.

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