Auto Flush Bolts
by Bob Armbrister, on May 11, 2020 12:00:00 AM
Q: Do I have to use auto flush bolts and coordinators on a pair of double doors that are fire-rated (one active leaf and one inactive leaf) to a mechanical room or electric room that is usually unoccupied? This is in a hospital.
A: I believe so. All fire-rated doors must self-close and latch. If you have a pair of double doors that are fire-rated, then both leaves must self-close (have a closer) and positively latch. Auto-flush bolts would qualify as positive latching. Manual latch bolts would not.
Now... section 22.214.171.124.1 of NFPA 80-2010 says manually operated flush bolts may be used on the inactive leaf were acceptable to the AHJ. However, it is dependent upon approval of the AHJ…. Something that is rare in the healthcare industry since the typical hospital has 5 or 6 different AHJs to comply with. Every AHJ with oversight of healthcare facilities is equal; they may be different (i.e. Federal, state, accreditation, local, insurance, etc.) but they are equal. If all but one AHJ permitted manual flush bolts, and the remaining AHJ insists on auto-flush bolts, then the healthcare facility would have to comply. They must comply with all of the AHJs, not just one.
One can try and obtain the approval of all their AHJs, and they might succeed, but in my experience, it is extremely unlikely to get them all to agree. That is why I worded my response to begin with “I believe so…”.