Power Assist Doors
by Brad Keyes, CHSP, on Jul 24, 2020 1:00:40 AM
Q: We were cited during a recent survey for not having our power assist doors to our ICU suite connected to the fire alarm system. I thought that was only required on fire-rated doors. Is this a requirement for a corridor door?
A: Section 126.96.36.199 of the 2012 Life Safety Code discusses Powered Door Leaf Operation and it applies to power assist and power operated doors. This section is not limited to any type of door, such as fire-rated, smoke-resistant, etc. This section applies to all doors with power assist and/or power operated. The six criterions listed under 188.8.131.52.2 must all be met in order to comply with 184.108.40.206.2. Subsection (4) under 220.127.116.11.2 discusses the situation where the door leaf is required to be self-closing or positive latching and is equipped with power operation and is left in an open position, there must a smoke detector near the door that would activate and cause the door leaf to close and cease operation.
Therefore, the power assist function would have to be connected to the fire alarm system. Subsection (4) says the smoke detector must be placed in accordance with NFPA 72, so there are a couple of options:
- A smoke detector within 5 feet on one side of the door if the height of the transom above the door is less than 24 inches.
- A smoke detector within 5 feet on both side of the door if the height of the transom is 24 or more inches above the door.
- A smoke detector within 14 feet of the door if the entire area on that side of the door (i.e. corridor) is 100% smoke detected.
All of the above applies to any door, regardless of fire-rating, that is required to be either self-closing or positive latching and is equipped with power assist or power operated equipment. Yes… it applies to suite entrance doors, because the suite is a room that is separated from the corridor and according to 18.104.22.168.3, corridor doors must latch.