Operating your business is a lot to manage; between handling customer service, taking orders, and tracking inventory, there’s a lot to think about. On top of all of that, you also need to keep your storefront, warehouse, and loading dock properly maintained and safe to protect your business, your employees, and your customers. Fire safety cannot be overlooked, and yearly fire door drop testing is a key part of ensuring your business has proper protection in case of an emergency.

What is a Fire Door?

A fire door is a specialized, fire-resistant door built to act as a heat shield and reduce the spread of fire and smoke. In case of a fire, they are designed to automatically close. Fire doors are built according to certain regulations, including the safety codes and standards from the National Fire Protection Association and the International Fire Code. Commercial buildings are required by law to install fire doors in certain areas throughout the building. While the exact locations that require fire doors vary from state to state and city to city, there are certain areas that always require a fire door, such as stairwells and public corridors and hallways.

What is a Fire Door Drop Test?

Having commercial fire doors means you are responsible for keeping them well-maintained and in proper working condition. You should have an annual inspection for each door, and drop testing is a major component of that testing. To pass a drop test, the door must be able to completely close at an average speed of at least 6 inches per second but no more than 24 inches per second. The test must be performed at least two times to verify that the door can properly reset after closing. The inspection also includes examining the door for damage and operating malfunctions.

Why are Fire Door Drop Tests Important?

General fire safety inspections are important for both safety and legal compliance. Your state and city, as well as your building, may have fire safety requirements that are part of keeping your business in good standing. Many insurance companies also require annual fire safety inspections, including fire door drop testing. These standards exist and it’s up to you as a business owner to make sure you understand and follow them properly. Failure to follow all state and local fire codes and laws may result in serious fines and could even be classified as a misdemeanor.

Exercise Due Diligence

You can never be too cautious when it comes to fire safety, so you can also conduct quarterly inspections or periodic checks between the annuals. Keep up with fire door maintenance, repairs, and inspections by having a consistent partner like American Door Works. For any residential or commercial fire door needs, we provide all the information you need to stay safe and compliant. If you have any questions about fire doors or need to schedule fire door maintenance, reach out to American Door Works’ team of qualified experts today!