Installing Locking Devices on Fire Doors

Dealing with Fire Doors is a critical activity of locksmiths especially when deploying access control. This is because converting the means of how the door locks and unlocks will be changed from a strictly mechanical operation to one which will involve...

As the training agency for the Perfect Raceway, this question is asked a lot in the classes by the installers. We do not cover installer fees for drilling a raceway in the door.

Does the Perfect Raceway installer typically contract to the end-user, the door supplier or the integrator?

The installer would be able to contract to anyone for their services. Since the installer could be an employee for a building owner, door supplier / integrator or locksmith shop, contracts likely involve any of the entities you mention.

What would be the alternative process to doing a perfect raceway, and how would the expense compare?

An alternative to the personnel certification under the Perfect Raceway Program is to contact the listing agency whose label appears on the fire door and arrange for a field visit to review the raceway field modification. I have heard costs for the listing agency to conduct a field audit can run from $1000 and up depending on how many doors, travel and living costs, travel time for the listing agency personnel, label fees etc.

I see where there is also a list of door inspectors, and for my state (VA), they are not the same entities as on the installer list. How come?

Intertek has two independent programs for the fire door inspectors and the raceway installers. Interested persons can apply to one or both programs.

What is the program to be an inspector, and will this certification and perfect raceway certification be relevant when NFPA 80 2010 is adapted?

For the Intertek fire door inspector program, the student needs to pass the DHI FDAI class and apply to Intertek to be in the personnel certification program for fire door inspectors. Both programs are relevant to NFPA 80 2010.

Are there alternate programs for these installations/certifications?

Raceway Programs--The Intertek Perfect Raceway Program is the only program of its type to my knowledge at this time.

Fire Door Inspector Program--There are a couple of programs for fire door inspection. The Intertek/DHI program alluded to above and the IFDIA (International Fire Door Inspector Association) accredited curriculum and certification program. Both of these programs are being recognized by the AHJ community.

How can I determine if my perfect raceway will be acceptable to the AHJ, and where more than one AHJ may have jurisdiction, to the AHJs?

Contact the AHJ and provide information on the program. In the three years I have been the training agency for this program, I have not heard of an instance where the Perfect Raceway program was not accepted by the AHJ. Intertek is a nationally recognized listing and testing agency and their programs are accepted by all jurisdictions that I know of. The AHJ can contact Intertek if they have specific questions.

I’ve heard that adaptation of these codes by municipalities may not be timely or universal, making inspector and Perfect Raceway certifications low priority, and the ROI difficult to project. Is that correct?

Fire Door Inspections are tied into the adoption of the 2009 IFC. The annual fire door inspections are covered in the NFPA 80 2007 edition and a jurisdiction would need to adopt the 2009 IFC to enforce this valuable inspection since this version of the code references the 2007 edition of NFPA 80. Jurisdictions that have adopted a prior year to the 2009 IFC, such as the 2003 or 2006 IFC do not have the annual fire door inspection requirement. Of course jurisdictions can add amendments to their code and require or not require annual fire door inspections.

The Perfect Raceway is an alternative to listing agency field audits to evaluate a raceway drilled into a fire door. The Perfect Raceway would have an immediate ROI for any company that modifies doors and does not wish to engage a listing agency field audit to determine the raceway does not adversely affect the fire rating. A lot of raceways are being installed without listing agency review which in my opinion creates a situation where the fire door rating may be in question and possibly the voiding of the fire door label.

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