Oct. 1, 2007
Recognizing the need for a system to allow raceway drilling in fire rated doors, Intertek offers a training and certification program in conjunction with the use of a special Marray Dor-Cor drilling fixture

As building security depends more and more on electronics, drilling raceways becomes an important procedure. In simple terms, a raceway is a hole drilled edgewise through the door so electric power can be extended from an electrified hinge or door loop on the hinge side to electrified hardware on the latch side. A raceway can also be used on a pair of doors when an electric strike is required on the inactive door.

At one time the requirement for an occasional raceway was solved by some locksmiths with a drill bit extension. Holes were drilled into the door from both the hinge and lock edges with the hope that the holes would meet in the center. It could be a risky business and sometimes ended with a drill bit coming through the face of the door.

Marray Enterprises patented a better system for drilling raceways several years ago. Their Dor-Cor drill fixture clamps firmly on the door at the hinge edge. The Marray tool has a drill bit which is connected to a long shaft. This permits drilling raceways in doors as wide as 48”. The Dor-Cor fixture can be tilted and set in position so the drill bit is properly aimed at the wire exit point on the opposite side of the door. Bearings in the Dor-Cor fixture hold the shaft of the drill parallel with the surface of the door. This provides the best possible environment for successfully drilling an accurate raceway hole.

A developing problem involves fire doors. Locksmiths are often called to install access control products in existing structures. Commercial buildings normally have fire doors in strategic locations, and holes such as raceways which are drilled into these doors may negate or at least downgrade the fire rating.

Intertek is a global leader in the testing, inspection and certification field and is affiliated with Warnock-Hersey, well known for their fire testing of wood products. Recognizing the need for a system to allow raceway drilling in wood doors while maintaining compliance with fire ratings of the door, Intertek has solved the problem by developing a training program in conjunction with the use of a special Marray Dor-Cor drilling fixture. A new Intertek website has been established where each door must be registered after the installation of a raceway.

Normal Dor-Cor fixtures have a black finish. Special Dor-Cor fixtures must be used to maintain the integrity of the fire rating. The special Dor-Cor fixtures are powder coated in a red color. Red Dor-Cor fixtures can only be leased from Marray and must be returned to the Marray factory each year for repair, adjustments or replacement as necessary.

Technicians must take a four-hour class in order to be certified to drill proper raceways. During the class each technician learns both how to administer the web program and how to attach the red Marray drill fixture onto a door and actually drill a raceway. “Slow but sure” is the order of the day as the 3/8” drill bit is moved inward a short distance and then extracted to remove wood chips.

The class was well instructed, the instructors were knowledgeable, and it is a good feeling to know that I can now be a certified raceway driller without fear of some LAHJ questioning my work. Fire doors are supposed to be inspected for compliance to original specifications on a yearly basis. At this time building owners may not know that such an inspection is necessary. As enforcement of fire door inspection increases in the future, having this Intertek certification could be a profitable addition to your list of qualifications.

The Intertek class fee is $400. The Marray lease program is approxmately $59 per month with a lease period of three years. Intertek door re-certification stickers, which must be affixed to each fire door after drilling a raceway, are $40 each. Stickers are sold in packs of ten.

Intertek is now planning classes in several parts of the country during the next few months. For further information, contact Intertek at 608-824-7448 or www.intertek-etlsemko.com