Safety

Editor’s choice: Assessing fire door maintenance

Hospital Safety Insider, December 6, 2012

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With the increased scrutiny that Joint Commission surveyors and CMS state agency inspectors are providing to fire doors, it is a sure bet that they will find a problem or two in facilities that have older door assemblies in fire-rated barriers. Self-assessments for life safety compliance often suffer from tunnel vision on the assessor's part, and fire doors in particular are frequently overlooked.

One of the more common issues with older fire doors is replacement hardware. Most (if not all) swinging fire-rated doors in healthcare institutions today are the type that NFPA 80 (Standard for Fire Doors and Fire Windows, 1999 edition) refers to as "swinging doors with builders hardware." This means that the individual components of the fire door assembly are listed by an independent testing organization, such as Underwriters Laboratories (UL) or Intertek, as opposed to the overall assembly being listed.

This brief was excerpted from the December issue of Healthcare Life Safety Compliance.
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