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Keyes Life Safety

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Stairwell Doors

by Brad Keyes, CHSP, on Sep 18, 2020 1:00:55 AM

Q: In my hospital, they have installed electronic hardware on stairwell doors that allows the door to latch on activation of the fire alarm only. The reason was patient complaints about the loud banging sound of the door hardware engaging. Is this legal?

A: No. This arrangement that you describe where the door only latches on a fire alarm signal is only permitted on door leaves that are operated by power, or power-assist means [see section (5) of the 2012 LSC]. Where exit enclosure (i.e. stairwell) doors are fire-rated doors, the requirement in NFPA 80-2010 that all fire doors close and latch would supersede this allowance.


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