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All fire doors ought to be built within regulations and specifications of the local building and fire codes of whatever jurisdiction the door is located. When a fire door fails, it is usually due to a part of the door not being up to code. For example, too large a gap at the bottom that might allow carpeting will also allow too much smoke to filtrate. The main purpose of a fire door is to hinder smoke filtration through hallways and other areas, such as stairways.
Fire doors are subject to annual inspections as required by the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA). Building owners are expected to remain in compliance with NFPA’s codes. Some of these codes include:
• No holes in the surface of the door or frame.
• No missing or broken parts.
• Hardware operates properly.
• Gaskets and seals are intact and not compromised.
• No modifications made that would void the label on the door.
When a fire door can be repaired by replacing gaskets or seals without loss of integrity, there is no need to replace the entire door. However, if there are holes, parts missing, or the door doesn’t fit properly in the frame, the door should be replaced and a new one installed that is in compliance with NFPA.