Automatic door control



New York City fire investigators determined that this horrible fire, which has been declared the worst in New York City’s history and took 17 lives, spread because the front door to the apartment was not closed. The door should have self-closed and latched. Because the door was open, the fire had plenty of oxygen and nothing to stop it from spreading throughout the building.  Here’s a video of it raging:

So, what does this mean for you? Consider the need for fire-doors where you live.

There should be a fire door between your garage and the rest of the home to protect you in the event of a fire in the garage. (The walls and ceilings separating the garage from the rest of the home should be fire-rated (2 layers of fire-rated sheetrock).

There should also be a fire door where you access your boiler room to reduce the potential for a fire to spread. (By the way, the boiler room should be finished with two layers of fire-rated sheetrock on the walls and ceiling and have a fire-rated fresh air vent for the operation of the boiler.)

There should also be a fire door between living units (as in a two-family home).

A fire-rated door must self-close, self-latch, and be specifically identified as fire-rated. If you look closely at the edge of the door, you should see a fire-rated label. If there is no label, it’s not fire rated. These doors typically come as an assembly that includes a fire-rated door, frame, and hardware.

Of course, carbon monoxide and smoke detectors are a no-brainer! This is a different subject which we covered in a previous newsletter (available at the Safe Harbor Inspections website blog).

There are many nuances to this subject. If you want to confirm that you comply with the current building codes, you can contact the building inspection department in your municipality. (Even though you might be grandfathered, consider upgrading to the current code anyway).

Feel free to email or call us if you have any questions.

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