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  • Swinging Fire Doors: Field Labeling—What It Is and When (and Why) It Should Be Used

Swinging Fire Doors: Field Labeling—What It Is and When (and Why) It Should Be Used

  • 09/24/2019
  • 10:00 AM
  • 12/31/2024
  • 11:59 PM
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Recorded September 24, 2019.

Codes require labels fire-rated door frames, doors, and (most, not all) hardware components to be maintained in legible condition throughout the service lives of swinging doors. Painted and missing labels on swinging fire doors are cited as deficiencies on door safety inspection reports frequently. The process for replacing painted labels and missing labels is called field labeling.

Field labeling—sometimes referred to as re-labeling—entails hiring a service provider to come on-site to verify the condition of the affected door assembly component(s) and confirm their installation meets the appropriate industry standards. If so, field labeling providers are able to apply new labels—not original labels—to door assembly components.

Before the 2016 edition of NFPA 80, Standard for Fire Doors and Other Opening Protectives, NFPA 80 was silent on the longstanding industry practice of field labeling. Traditionally, field labeling services were provided by the nationally recognized testing laboratories (NRTLs). Today, field labeling services are being provided by non-testing labs, which raises the need for vetting prospective companies before hiring them to do this work. Performing your due diligence before you hire a labeling service provider is essential.  You need to verify that the Authority Having Jurisdiction (AHJ)—the appropriate AHJ, that is—will approve and accept the field inspection labels from your service provider.

Knowing when, and why, field labeling existing fire-rated doors might be needed, and how it should be applied is critical. Can field labeling be used to upgrade or downgrade (e.g., increase or decrease) hourly fire ratings of doors? Can non-fire rated existing doors—doors that were never labeled—be converted into labeled fire doors by field labeling? How are older existing door assemblies be evaluated? This presentation will answer these (and other) questions.

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