Inspection Program Needed To Keep Fire Doors Reliable
Industrial Fire Safety
Much has been written about the segregation of fire areas by fire-rated masonry walls and other opening closure devices. However, the matter of keeping wall opening devices in operating condition is largely forgotten once they have been installed.
These loss-control devices can be placed in separation walls, conveyor openings, flow openings, stairways, personnel exits and the like.
Since these devices are expensive, $300 to $2000 for normal size fire doors, it is imperative to provide the proper one for each opening and to maintain them in full operating condition.
Program urged: Through weekly or monthly inspections and maintenance and training programs, do the following:
See that ail door panels or faces are intact and if they are damaged, repair them according to their specifications.
Check guides, binders and other holding fittings to assure a full door closure by either manual or automatic means.
Inspect fusible links to make certain they are in the proper positions to effect automatic operation in a fire emergency.
Replace any painted link with one of the proper degree rating. Painted links can slow door release time.
Check all door operations on sliding and similar type doors by raising the counterbalance or dropping suspended weights. It is sometimes necessary to encase weights to ensure proper door operation.
Ban use of wedges: Prohibit the wedging of fire doors open with various objects. If automatic closing doors have to be wedged open, then they need to be repaired. Doors cannot operate if they are blocked open. Be sure they will close as designed during a fire.
Inspect the vertical tracks on both sides of all openings protected by roll-up, steel doors or shutters and if any dents in the tracks are noticed, they must be repaired immediately to make the operation positive.
See that the barricade system installed to keep a clear space between doors and stock is intact. One of the greatest faults found is stock pushed up against sliding doors. This blocks their operation.
Check the covers of roll-up doors and replace or repair damaged ones as a dent could keep a door from closing.
At least annually, release spring-powered roll-up doors by automatic means to test their operation. Grease and oil the appropriate parts when the shutter is completely down.
Also at least once a year, on a recorded schedule basis, grease all tracks, wheels, bearings and other points of friction on sliding or swinging doors to assure their quick release and easy operation.
All hinges, locks, checks, etc., on swinging personnel doors need to be oiled and examined to maintain their usefulness.
Where possible, place sign stickers on doors, stating “Do Not Block,” “Keep Closed,” etc., as conditions may require.
Develop a continuous educational program for informing employees of the need to ensure the operation of fire doors. Be sure that inplant mobile equipment operators are included in the educational sessions as they can do damage to doors and walls that greatly affects the usefulness of fire doors.