Stay up to date on fire safety with this article detailing what a fire door is, the purpose of fire door inspections, and current fire regulation standards.

Whether your organization currently has fire doors or is looking into them, this article applies to you. Fire doors are costly assets worth maintaining. This article outlines why and how to preserve them properly.

What is a fire door?

A fire door is a specially designed door constructed to withstand fire and prevent its spread within a building.

Its primary purpose is to restrict fire and smoke from spreading to other parts of the building, providing occupants with additional time to safely evacuate the premises.

Fire doors are made from fire-resistant materials such as steel or solid wood core and are equipped with fire-rated hardware, including hinges, latches, and seals, to ensure their effectiveness in containing fires. Because of these components, fire doors are typically certified to hold back fires for 30 minutes (FD30) or 60 minutes (FD60).

These instruments play a crucial role in passive fire protection systems and are a vital component of building safety codes and regulations.

Why Fire Inspections are Necessary

As previously mentioned, fire doors can be a valuable form of passive fire protection. However, the term passive can be misleading. This language may lead one to incorrectly believe that once installed, fire doors are without any need for additional attention.

While there is little effort needed after instillation, routine inspections are a vital part of maintaining the integrity of fire doors. More than that, conducting a regular fire door inspection may be the difference between saving lives and property in the event of a fire.

Here are the main reasons why fire door inspections are necessary:

  • Compliance with regulations: Fire door inspections are typically required by local building codes, fire safety regulations, and standards such as the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) guidelines. Regular inspections ensure that fire doors meet the specified requirements and maintain compliance.
  • Life safety: Fire doors play a critical role in containing fire and smoke within specific areas of a building, allowing occupants to evacuate safely and providing time for emergency response. Regular inspections help identify any issues that could compromise the effectiveness of fire doors, such as damaged components, improper sealing, or faulty hardware.
  • Maintenance and durability: Fire doors are subject to wear and tear due to daily use, environmental factors, and potential impacts. Inspections help identify signs of damage, deterioration, or improper maintenance that may affect the door’s performance during a fire. Timely repairs and maintenance can extend the lifespan of fire doors and ensure their reliable operation.
  • Insurance and legal requirements: Insurance companies often require regular fire door inspections as part of their risk assessment process. Compliance with these requirements can help ensure adequate insurance coverage. Additionally, failure to conduct inspections and maintain fire doors in proper working condition may result in legal liabilities if a fire-related incident occurs.
  • Peace of mind: Regular fire door inspections provide building owners, facility managers, and occupants with confidence in the safety measures implemented within the premises. Knowing that fire doors are regularly inspected and maintained instills peace of mind and demonstrates a commitment to fire safety.

By conducting fire door inspections, potential issues can be identified and addressed promptly, reducing the risk of fire-related hazards and enhancing overall fire safety within a building.

NFPA Regulations for Fire Doors

The National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) has developed several standards related to fire door inspections. The two primary standards that provide guidance on fire door inspections are NFPA 80: Standard for Fire Doors and Other Opening Protectives and NFPA 101: Life Safety Code.

Here is an overview of these standards:

1. NFPA 80: Standard for Fire Doors and Other Opening Protectives:

This standard provides requirements for the installation, inspection, testing, and maintenance of fire doors, fire shutters, fire windows, and other opening protectives.

It covers various aspects of fire doors, including their construction, labeling, hardware, operation, and maintenance.

NFPA 80 includes guidelines for routine inspections and annual inspections of fire doors, along with detailed criteria for evaluating different components of fire doors.

2. NFPA 101: Life Safety Code:

NFPA 101 is a comprehensive code that addresses life safety requirements for new and existing buildings.

Chapter 7 of NFPA 101 specifically addresses means of egress, including requirements for fire doors and door hardware.

It provides criteria for the inspection, testing, and maintenance of fire doors and their components, emphasizing the importance of keeping them in proper working condition.

When conducting fire door inspections, it is important to refer to the specific edition of these standards applicable in your jurisdiction, as requirements may vary depending on the version adopted by your local authority having jurisdiction (AHJ).

The NFPA standards provide detailed guidelines for fire door inspections, covering aspects such as visual inspections, clearances, hardware operation, labeling, and testing. Following these standards helps ensure that fire doors are properly maintained and function effectively during a fire event.

Responsibilities of a Fire Door Inspector

A fire door inspector is a professional responsible for conducting inspections and assessments of fire doors in buildings to ensure compliance with safety standards and regulations. They play a crucial role in maintaining the integrity of fire doors and ensuring they function properly in the event of a fire.

Here are some key responsibilities of a fire door inspector:

  1. Conducting inspections: Fire door inspectors perform thorough examinations of fire doors, frames, hardware, and related components. They inspect for any signs of damage, wear, or non-compliance with safety standards.
  2. Testing door functionality: Inspectors test the operation of fire doors, ensuring they close and latch properly, self-close if required, and operate smoothly without any obstructions.
  3. Assessing clearances: Fire door inspectors measure and evaluate clearances between the door and frame, as well as clearances at the head, jambs, and threshold, to ensure they meet the specified standards.
  4. Verifying labeling and signage: Inspectors ensure that fire doors are properly labeled with fire ratings, occupancy labels, and other required signage. They check for appropriate labeling on frames and glazing as well.
  5. Identifying deficiencies: Inspectors identify any deficiencies or areas of concern, such as damaged components, improper hardware, inadequate seals, or improper installation. They document these findings for further action.
  6. Reporting and documentation: Fire door inspectors prepare detailed reports that outline the findings of the inspection, noting any problems and recommended corrective actions. They provide these reports to building owners, facility managers, or relevant authorities.
  7. Providing recommendations: Based on their inspection findings, fire door inspectors may offer recommendations for repairs, maintenance, or replacement of fire doors or components to ensure compliance and improve overall fire safety.

How our Software Can Help With Fire Door Inspections

Our fire safety software provides you with a system that is complex enough to be tailored to your specific organization needs, while also being simple enough for any thoughtful user to successfully use.

In the “Why Fire Door Inspections are Necessary” section, we outlined 5 different benefits that come with performing these inspections. All of these benefits and more can be yours through the use of fire safety software.

Here are just a few ways that our software can enhance the fire door inspection process.

Software feature Customer Benefit
Straightforward NFPA compliance documentation → help avoid any lawsuits, fines, or penalties regarding NFPA and OSHA violations (aka more money in your pocket!)
Automated inspection scheduling  → never miss an inspection → organized and systemized maintenance 
Simplified inspection and recording process → more time and resources to devote to other aspects of your business
Route planning feature  → new inspectors can quickly and easily navigate your property and attend to all of the required equipment 
Immediate action items for failed inspections → key information that empowers the company and provides ways to improve 


Choose an easier, faster, and more simple solution to your fire door inspections by investing in our software today. For more information on the benefits of this software and how to incorporate it into your business, see our main page. By requesting a demo, we can give you a deep dive into this product and the ways it can positively impact YOUR situation.


Fire doors are a form of fire safety equipment that is specialized in its construction to help contain the heat, smoke, and flames of a fire. They are a valuable asset, and should therefore receive proper care. In order to best maintain fire doors, have them routinely inspected by trained professionals. Fire door inspections are a vital part of fire safety, because they can reap many benefits such as life safety, durability, and compliance with regulations such as NFPA 80 and 101. To most easily access these positive results, use our fire inspection software to streamline the process!

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