All You Need to Know for Fire Rated Door Assemblies

fire ratings

Are you confused by the various terms and certifications for fire-rated door assemblies? Read on to learn about NFPA 80, UL Classification Mark, and Leakage-rated Door Assemblies (OPBW).


When installing fire-rated door assemblies, several requirements must be met. First, these fireproof doors must comply with NFPA 80 standards for fire doors. A qualified person must conduct the inspection. A degree, certification, professional standing, and skill may serve as a good demonstration of this ability. Certification is not required, but it may be helpful to the AHJ in determining the level of expertise of the inspector.

First, fire-rated door assemblies should be appropriately installed and maintained. Second, fire doors should be inspected at least once a year. CMS will require annual inspections and testing, and recordkeeping. Third, the building owners must follow local building codes and report any errors. The Door and Hardware Institute provides resources to building inspectors to ensure the correct operation and maintenance of fire-rated door assemblies. These resources also help building owners comply with NFPA 80.

Third, fire-rated door assemblies must meet applicable building and life safety codes. The National Fire Protection Association has published the NFPA 80 standard and NFPA 101 for life safety. The International Building Code (IBC) and NFPA 101 for fire-rated door assemblies require specific types of doors to meet the requirements. For example, a fire door should have a positive latch, be self-closing, and meet all building code requirements.

UL Classification Mark

There are three requirements for fire-rated door assemblies: UL Classification Mark, UL Certificate, and IBC code compliance. In addition to meeting these requirements, fire-rated door assemblies must comply with NFPA 252, the International Residential Code, and ASTM E2074. The door hardware installed on these assemblies must meet UL standards. Leaf-style commercial hinges are not required to carry the UL Classification Mark.

UL certification is the best way to ensure your door assembly is safe from fire. A UL Classification Mark for fire-rated door assemblies indicates that the door assembly is tested according to the highest industry standards. This certification means that the fire door or window assembly has passed all the criteria required by the Fire Protection Rating. UL certification also means that the fire door or window assembly meets NFPA 80 standards for installation.

Fire-rated door assemblies must include compatible frames surrounding sidelites and transoms. UL Classification Mark for fire-rated door frames will indicate that they meet all other requirements except size. They should be able to support full-lite fire doors and function as single or double-leaf systems. Contact the code authority before installing them.

Leakage-rated Door Assemblies (OPBW)

A leakage-rated door assembly combines individual products – door, frame, gasket, hardware, and other accessories – that prevent the spread of air and water. Leakage-rated door assemblies can be made of steel, aluminum, or wood. They are certified to the UL Standard. In addition to UL certification, a leakage-rated door assembly must meet fire and smoke protection requirements.

Leakage-rated door assemblies are designed for installation by NFPA 105. They may be factory-assembled or installed on-site. In either case, leakage-labeled products have detailed installation instructions, including mounting locations, clearances, and mounting hardware. Leakage ratings are determined under three air pressure differentials, including ambient and elevated temperatures. In addition, UL-labeled products also bear UL’s UL-Mark.

Fire and smoke barrier protection require door and window openings to be protected. Leakage-rated door assemblies and hardware meet specific fire and smoke-resistance requirements. Some models are certified by UL for their performance in high-wind conditions. Some also offer windstorm resilience. This type of door and window assembly will protect building interiors against the force of high winds. Some models are also windstorm-rated to prevent damage caused by high-speed winds and debris.