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FIR-2.11 - Fire Door Testing and Disabled Fire Doors

FIRE DOOR TESTING AND DISABLED FIRE DOORS
Administrative Rule Adopted by Portland Fire & Rescue Pursuant to Rule-Making Authority
ARB-FIR-2.11
 
PURPOSE:
To provide guidelines for inspectors when existing fire doors are found to have been pinned open or otherwise permanently disabled. To provide guidelines for the annual inspection and testing of fire doors.

 
SCOPE:
This policy applies to all fire prevention inspections performed where Portland Fire & Rescue has authority.

 
BACKGROUND:
It has been a past practice of the Fire Prevention Division to block open or make inoperable sliding fire doors. Most often, this occurred in older residential buildings. The concerns leading to this action were based on the possibility the doors would pinch fire hose or impede exiting.
 
The 2000 Portland Uniform Fire Code (PUFC) requires fire assemblies to be maintained and prohibits obstructing or impairing their proper operation at any time. It also requires that the doors be inspected and tested annually by the owner or the owner’s authorized representative.
 
The 1998 Oregon Structural Specialty Code continues to use fire doors to achieve required separations.

 
REFERENCES:
2000 PUFC, 1998 Oregon Structural Specialty Code.

 
 
DEFINITIONS:
"Authorized Representative": A business or individual sanctioned or empowered by the owner to perform the annual inspection and testing of fire doors.

 
PROCEDURES:
1. All required fire doors shall be maintained operational and shall be restored or replaced if found to be non-operational or disabled during a fire prevention inspection. Upon discovery of non-compliant fire doors, the Fire Inspector shall issue notice to the owner or his agent to correct the hazard. Correction shall be required within 40 days of notice. Additional time may be granted following submittal of a written request to the Fire Marshal’s Office. The amount of time extended shall be based upon the complexity of the problem, the availability of contractors to make the necessary repairs, and a show of good faith on behalf of the owner or his agent to complete repairs in a timely fashion.
 
2. Disabled or non-operational fire doors that are not required under current provisions of the building code, and which the owners do not want to reactivate or replace, need Bureau of Development Services’ documented approval. This approval may be in the form of a permit, an appeal, or a special ordinance to allow: A) removal of the door(s) or B) to render them permanently inactive in an approved manner. Application shall be made to the Bureau of Buildings within 40 days of notice.
 
 
3. All sliding or rolling fire doors shall be tested annually by the owner or the owner’s authorized representative. The building owner shall maintain a written record of this testing and shall make this record available to the Fire Bureau upon request. Should the Inspector deem that either the test, or the documentation thereof, is inappropriate or inadequate, the Inspector may require that the test be performed by an alternate, appropriate, outside professional contractor.
 
4. Substantial repairs or replacement of fire doors shall be done under benefit of permit(s) through the Bureau of Development Services.
 
 
5. Owners who believe their doors should remain open can arrange to meet jointly with Fire and Building Plans Examiners to discuss an appeal by contacting an FMO Plans Examiner. Such appointment shall be made within 40 days of notice.
 
6. Failure to comply with this policy within the times frames set forth in the Code or as specified above shall result in the levying of reinspection fees as specified in Title 31 and/or penalties assigned by the Code Hearings process.

HISTORY
 
Filed for inclusion in PPD June 13, 2003.
Revision filed for inclusion in PPD June 23, 2004.
Originally adopted by Fire Marshal as Fire Prevention Division Policy Manual Document B-11, effective March 5, 1996 and revised February 25, 1999 and May 11, 2004.