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Kristin Bigda
Senior Fire Proction Engineer, NFPA
Recent Activity
The High-Rise Building Safety Advisory Committee has recently completed and published a new document related to developing emergency action plans for high rise office buildings. The management of building occupants within high-rise buildings is a critical concern during emergencies. While procedures for fire evacuation have been developed and adopted by major fire and emergency services throughout North America, there remains considerable variation in practice in the field. This guide can be used to develop emergency action plans that are required by many occupancies in other NFPA codes such and NFPA 101, Life Safety Code®. With the increased recognition of the... Continue reading
Next week I, along with many other NFPA staff and thousands of attendees, will make our annual trip to NFPA's Conference and Expo. On Wednesday, I will be presenting a session on changes to the 2013 edition of NFPA 80. The 2013 edition is the current edition of the standard and was released last fall. The official title of the presentation is "Inspection, Protect, and Collect: Changes to NFPA 80, 2013 edition." and will be held from 11:00am-12:00pm in room S505ab. NFPA 80 is a document critical to life safety of occupants and protection of property. The 2013 edition of... Continue reading
Labels on fire doors, fire door frames, or other components of a fire door assembly, are the identifying mark that the door or component has been tested to the required first test standards and has passed the criteria required by those test standards. Labels prove to inspectors, AHJs, building owners, or anyone else observing the fire door assembly that it (as tested) will protect the opening as it did when tested. NFPA 80, 2013 edition, contains the following language regarding labeled products: 4.2.1* Listed items shall be identified by a label. 4.2.2 Labels shall be applied in locations that are... Continue reading
Records of inspections and other maitnenace work tell the story of a fire door. Just as important as conducting the inspections on any equipment is maintaining the proper records to document the details of the inspection itself. Without proper doucmentation and maintenance of that documentation, valuable safety information about the fire door could be lost. Requirements and details for retaining records of fire door inspections were added to the 2013 edition of NFPA 80, Standard for Fire Doors and Other Opening Protectives. Documenting the annual inspection of fire doors has been a requirement since 2007 when the annual inspection provision... Continue reading
This is great timing for this question! The 2016 edition of NFPA 80, Standard for Fire Doors and Other Opening Protectives, along with its partner, NFPA 105, Standard for the Installation of Smoke Door Assemblies and Other Opening Protectives, are now open for public input. Anyone wishing to propose a change to either NFPA 80 or NFPA 105 (NFPA's Technical Committee on Fire Doors and Windows is responsible for both standards) may do so online by visiting the "Next Edition" tab of the Document Information Pages of either document: www.nfpa.org/80 www.nfpa.org/105 All public input must be received by July 8,... Continue reading
Are continuous (also known as piano hinges) permitted on fire doors? Yes they are! New to the 2013 edition of NFPA 80, Section 6.4.3.1, which addresses hinges, is now inclusive of hinges, spring hinges, continuous hinges and pivots. Prior to 2013, NFPA 80 did not necessarilty prohibit the use of this hardware, rather it was silent on the issue, thus causing confusion to users as to whether or not these types of hinges were recognized by the standard. The Technical Committee accepted a proposed change to add continuous hinges to Section 6.4.3.1 so that it was clear that they are... Continue reading
As the name implies, NFPA 80 provides requirements for more than just fire doors. The installation, inspection, testing, and maintenance of other opening protectives such as fire windows, glass block assemblies, fabric fire safety curtains and fire dampers are also included within the scope of NFPA 80. Three editions ago (2007), the requirements for the installation, inspection, testing, and maintenace of fire dampers were moved from NFPA 90A to NFPA 80. One of the questions I get asked most often is with regards to the inspection and test frequency of fire dampers. Like all opening protectives, continued maintenance and inspection... Continue reading
Trick question! The answer to this week's FAQ isn't actually found in NFPA 80, but rather NFPA 1, Fire Code, NFPA 101, Life Safety Code or NFPA 5000, Building Construction and Safety Code. The scope of NFPA 80, Standard for Fire Doors and Other Opening Protectives, addresses the installation, inspection, testing, and maintenance of the opening protectives. Prior to applying the requirements of NFPA 80, one must first determine if a fire rated opening protective is required and what the required fire protection rating is of that opening. And that's where NFPA 1, 101, and 5000 come into play. All... Continue reading
Mr. Havens - thank you for your comment! You highlight a very common issue. Existing installations, in many situations, not even just those involving fire doors, can present many challenges. I will bring your concern to the NFPA 80 committee at our next meeting.
It depends. (Don't you love when answers to code interpretations results in "it depends"?) NFPA 80, 2013, is an installation standard and for the most part is applicable to new installations only. As an installation standard, it is often referenced by model building and life safety codes. The edition referenced by the adopted codes is required for compliance. It is not the intent of the document that all existing installations meet the new criteria for installation unless the existing situation involves a hazardous situation as determined by the AHJ. Section 1.3 of the standard clearly states the following: 1.3 Retroactivity.... Continue reading
Each Friday I am going to post a quick paragraph or two responding to some of the most frequently asked questions on NFPA 80, Standard for Fire Doors and Other Opening Protectives, 2013 edition. Hopefully I can help answer some of your questions! First question: Can I put signs on my fire doors? Yes, you can! However, NFPA 80, does provide some specific details regarding the sign and how you attach it to the fire door itself. Section 4.1.4 of NFPA 80 contains the provisions for signage. Additionally, signs may be installed on the surface of fire doors in accordance... Continue reading
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Last week I was fortunate enough to have the opportunity to travel with 3 other NFPA staff to the Intersec conference in Dubai, UAE. Upon my arrival, I was excited to learn about the great interest in our fire door standards! Intersec is a leading regional trade event in the security, safety and protection industries, featuring a brand profile of 4 vertical sections: Commercial and Information Security, Homeland Security and Policing, Safety and Health, and Fire and Rescue. NFPA was in attendance in conjunction with NAFFCO. NAFFCO serves as the distributor of NFPA codes and standards to the middle east... Continue reading
The moment you have all been waiting for is here. The #1 change to NFPA 80, 2013 edition is not a change to a specific section or word, but rather to an entire chapter. The #1 change encompasses some specific issues that I have included in the top 5, but is a change that will affect nearly every user of the document. #1: Rewrite of Chapter 5 - Care and Maintenance. For many users of NFPA 80, you may remember that Chapter 5 was new to the standard for the 2007 edition, when the document when through a complete rewrite.... Continue reading
#2 - Section 5.2.3.1, Who is performing fire door inspections? As Staff Liaison to the NFPA 80 Technical Committee, one of the most frequently asked questions that I respond to relates to who can perform the mandated annual inspection of fire doors. Do they need formal training? Do they need to be certified? Does it need to be done by a third party inspection service? In past editions of NFPA 80 (2007 and 2010), the document was not very specific on who could perform these inspections. The standard stated the following: "Functional testing of fire door and window assemblies shall... Continue reading
#3 - Record keeping for annual fire door inspections. One of the biggest changes to the 2013 edition of NFPA 80 is a reorganization and update to Chapter 5 for inspection, testing, and maintenance provisions. I will talk more about Chapter 5 as a whole in one of my next posts (I would say it's worthy of the #1 spot) but for now I wanted to highlight one of the new sections that was added to Chapter 5 regarding maintaining records of fire door inspections. With the requirements for the annual inspections of fire doors only 3 editions old, the... Continue reading
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#4 Installation of sleeves for chains or cables connecting fusible links on either side of a wall. NFPA 80, 2013 edition, now requires sleeves to be installed through the wall to provide an open pathway for the cable or chain connecting the fusible links where there are fusible links located on both sides of a wall. This change originated with a Tentative Interim Ammendment that was issued on NFPA 80, 2010 edition, in October 2010. Rolling steel fire door manufacturers have become aware of an increasing trend towards more frequent and recurring questions from AHJ’s regarding the correct installation of... Continue reading
Believe it or not, the 2013 edition of NFPA 80, Standard for Fire Doors and Other Opening Protectives, is now available. Did you know that you can view the entire document on the NFPA 80 document information page? The new edition of this document contains many valuable and important changes related to fire doors, care and maintenance, glazing, and hardware, that all users should be aware of. Starting with #5, here are the top 5 changes to the 2013 edition of NFPA 80. #5. Section 6.4.3.1 - Hinges and Pivots Many general updates have been made to Section 6.4.3.1 regarding... Continue reading
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Did you know that, according to NFPA 80, your fire doors must be inspected not less than annually? On August 28, NFPA will be offering a free webinar on the inspection, testing, and maintenance of swinging fire doors. The webinar is sponsored by the Door and Hardware Institute (DHI), FDAI, Door Security and Safety Foundation, and Intertek, and will be presented by Keith Pardoe, of DHI, and also an active NFPA 80 Technical Committee member as well as Kristin Bigda, a Senior Fire Proection Engineer at NFPA. This webinar in a great opportunity to learn about the inspection, testing, and... Continue reading
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Jul 18, 2012