Everything You Should Know About Fire Inspections and Drop Tests

Rolling fire doors are essential to fire protection and safety in commercial settings. If there’s a fire in your building, the rolling doors drop and seal automatically, containing the fire and preventing it from spreading. If they don’t work, your employees, customers, and business are in peril.

If your facility has rolling fire doors, you must undergo inspection and drop testing by a trained and certified inspector at least once a year. Here’s everything you need to know about fire inspections and drop tests.

silver fire door interior with steps

Why You Need to Drop Test Your Doors

The National Building Code of Canada states that all fire-rated doors must be tested and inspected at the time of installation and at least once a year thereafter. The testing must be done by a trained professional with the proper knowledge and understanding of the specific door. Additionally, you must provide documented evidence that the inspection and drop test took place.

What Happens During the Inspection?

When an inspector visits your business, they’ll check your rolling fire doors to ensure the following:

  • The fire door fits correctly in the frame, and all barrels and guides are aligned.

  • The fire-rated label is attached to the door.
  • All hinges are tight, and the mechanical components operate correctly.
  • The door locks have no chips or breaks.
  • The chain has no excessive grease buildup or blockages to prevent your door from rolling.
  • The fusible link is changed, as mandated by the NFPA. The link connects two pieces of sash chain or cable on a fire door, held together by a low-melting solder. If the solder melts, the door mechanism is released and will close.
  • All bolts and pieces in the guide assembly are tight, and there are no dents or cracks in the frame or door.
  • There are no flammables close to the door.

After the inspection is complete, the inspector will perform the drop test.

creative door technician in a lift truck inspecting an overhead door

How A Rolling Fire Door Drop Test Works

The drop test ensures the door will close automatically during a fire. It also measures the speed at which the door operates. A drop test must be performed twice.

  • Test one. The first test ensures the door closes entirely and rests on the floor or sill. The door mustn’t bounce off the floor or be misaligned. The closing speed must be between 15 and 60 centimetres per second (six and 24 inches per second).

  • Test two. The second test checks to ensure the automatic-closing device resets properly.

If a door fails a drop test, you must make immediate repairs and test it again. If it still fails, you may need to replace the door.

Risk Of Failure and Non-Compliance

Failing to inspect and test your rolling fire doors puts your employees, customers, and property in danger. Beyond the human risk, your business may be subject to fines and potential closure if there’s a history of non-compliance. Having your rolling fire doors inspected and tested annually ensures your business is up to code, properly licensed, and operating safely.

certified creative door technicians

How Creative Door Servicestm Can Help

At Creative Door ServicesTM, our technicians have the necessary certifications to conduct fire-rated door assembly inspections. We can also make any repairs to your doors or hardware and sign off on the inspection record to the Authority Having Jurisdiction (AHJ).

As part of ongoing fire-rated door maintenance, we recommend that you schedule an inspection well before your annual test date. A Creative Door Services™ technician will ensure your fire doors are working correctly, so you know they’ll pass the drop tests. This prevents having to make rushed emergency repairs.

Our technicians are also available to make quick repairs if your doors fail a drop test. We understand the situation’s urgency and will quickly deliver the repairs you need to get back into compliance.

red rolling fire door in warehouse facility

Commercial Door and Access Solutions For Commercial Clients In Western Canada

If you need to choose a new fire-rated door for installation or have your existing one repaired or maintained, the experts at Creative Door Services™ can help. We carry an extensive catalogue of fire-rated commercial doors, shutters, and pedestrian doors to keep your business safe. Creative Door ServicesTM only carries breakthrough products, accessories, and brands. If we carry it, you can be assured it stands up to the test.

Creative Door ServicesTM has worked alongside our commercial and industrial clients for nearly five decades, and we stand behind the work we do. You can find us in Kelowna, British Columbia; Vancouver, British Columbia; Calgary, Alberta; Edmonton, Alberta; Fort McMurray, Alberta; Regina, Saskatchewan; Saskatoon, Saskatchewan; and Winnipeg, Manitoba. Contact us today to learn more about our products and services or get a free quote.

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