California has adopted the 2009 Edition of the International Building Code and International Fire Code, which means fire & smoke damper inspections, fire door inspections and the fire-rated barrier maintenance is mandatory in your facility. These building codes require that all commercial facilities follow NFPA 80 and NFPA 105, which are the codes that mandate passive fire protection systems. Since passive fire systems can essentially be broken down into three main groups (Dampers, Doors and Barriers), here’s a quick run down of the codes and what you need to do to stay in compliance with them:
NFPA 80 – Fire Damper Inspection
19.4* Period Inspection and Testing
19.4.1 Each damper shall be tested and inspected 1 year after installation.
19.4.1 The test and inspection frequency shall then be every 4 years, except in hospitals, where the
frequency shall be every 6 years.
19.4.2 All tests shall be completed in a safe manner by personnel wearing personal protection equipment.
19.4.3 Full unobstructed access to the fire or combination fire/smoke damper shall be verified and corrected as required.
19.4.4 If the damper is equipped with a fusible link, the link shall be removed for testing to ensure full closure and lock‐inplace
if so equipped.
19.4.5 The operational test of the damper shall verify that there is no damper interference due to rusted, bent, misaligned,
or damaged frame or blades, or defective hinges or other moving parts.
19.4.6 The damper frame shall not be penetrated by any foreign objects that would affect fire damper operations.
19.4.7 The damper shall not be blocked from closure in any way.
19.4.8 The fusible link shall be reinstalled after testing in complete.
220.127.116.11 If the link is damaged or painted, it shall be replaced with a link of the same size, temperature, and load rating.
19.4.9 All inspections and testing shall be documented indicating the location of the fire damper or combination fire/
smoke damper, date of inspection, name of inspector, and deficiencies discovered.
18.104.22.168 The documentation shall have a space to indicate when and how the deficiencies were corrected.
19.4.10 All documentation shall be maintained and made available for review by the AHJ.
19.5.1 Reports of changed in airflow or noise from the duct system shall be investigated to verify that they are not related
to damper operation.
19.5.2*All exposed moving parts of the damper shall be dry lubricated as required by the manufacturer.
19.5.3. If the damper is inoperable, repairs shall begin without delay.
19.5.4 Following any repairs, the damper shall be tested for operation in accordance with Section 19.4
19.5.5. All maintenance shall be documented in accordance with 19.4.9 and 19.4.10
NFPA 105 – Smoke Damper Inspection
6.5 Periodic Inspection and Testing.
6.5.1 Smoke dampers for dedicated and non‐dedicated smoke control systems shall be inspected and tested in accordance
with NFPA 92A, Standard for Smoke‐Control Systems Utilizing Barriers and Pressure Differences.
6.5.2 Each damper shall be tested and inspected one year after installation. The test and inspection frequency shall
then be every 4 years, except in hospitals, where the frequency shall be every 6 years.
6.5.3 Care shall be exercised that all tests are completed in a safe manner wearing the appropriate personal protective
6.5.4 Full unobstructed access to the damper shall be verified and corrected as required.
6.5.5 The damper shall be actuated and cycled as part of the associated smoke detector testing in
accordance with NFPA 72, National Fire Alarm Code. Where a fusible link is installed on a combination
fire/smoke damper, the fusible link shall be removed for testing the damper for the full
closure simulating a fire condition per the requirements and frequencies of 19.5.4 of NFPA 80, Standard for Fire
Doors and Other Opening Protectives.
6.5.6 The test shall be conducted with normal HVAC airflow.
6.5.7 The operation of the damper shall verify that there is no damper interference due to rust or bent, misaligned, or
damaged frame or blades, or defective hinges or other moving parts.
6.5.8 The damper frame shall not be penetrated by any foreign objects that would affect proper fire damper operations.
6.5.9 The damper shall be verified to not be blocked from closure in any way.
6.5.10 The fusible link shall be reinstalled after testing is complete. If the link is damaged or painted, it shall be replaced
with a link of the same size, temperature rating, and load rating.
6.5.11 All inspections and testing shall be documented indicating the location of the damper, date of inspection, name
of inspector, and deficiencies discovered. The documentation shall have a space to indicate when and how the
deficiencies were corrected.
6.5.12 All documentation shall be maintained by the property owner and available for review by the authority having
6.6.1 Any reports of abrupt changed in airflow or noise from the duct system shall be investigated to verify that it is
not related to damper operation.
6.6.2* All exposed moving parts of the damper shall be dry lubricated as required by the manufacturer.
6.6.3 If the damper is not operable, repairs shall begin as soon as possible.
6.6.4 Following any repairs, the damper shall be tested for proper operation in accordance with Section 6.5.
6.6.5 Smoke damper actuation shall be initiated at a time interval recommended by the actuator manufacturer.
6.6.6 All maintenance shall be documented and records shall be retained in accordance with 6.5.10 and 6.5.11.
NFPA 80 – Fire Door Inspection
5.2.1* Fire door assemblies shall be inspected and tested not less than annually, and a written record
of the inspection shall be signed and kept for inspection by the AHJ.
5.2.2* Performance‐Based Option.
22.214.171.124 As an alternate means of compliance with 5.2.1, subject to the AHJ, fire door assemblies shall be permitted to be
inspected, tested, and maintained under a written performance‐based program.
126.96.36.199 Goals established under a performance‐based programs shall provide assurance that the fire door assembly will
perform its intended function when exposed to fire conditions.
188.8.131.52 Technical justification for inspection, testing, and maintenance intervals shall be documented.
184.108.40.206 The performance‐based option shall include historical data acceptable to the AHJ.
5.2.3 Functional Testing.
220.127.116.11 Functional testing of fire door and window assemblies shall be performed by individuals with knowledge and understanding
of the operating components of the type of door being subject to testing.
18.104.22.168 Before testing, a visual inspection shall be performed to identify any damaged or missing parts that can create a
hazard during testing or affect operation or resetting.
5.2.4 Swinging Doors with Builders Hardware or Fire Door Hardware.
22.214.171.124 Fire door assemblies shall be visually inspected from both sides to assess the overall condition of door assembly.
126.96.36.199 As a minimum, the following items shall be verified:
1. No Open Holes or breaks exist in surfaces of either the door or frame.
2. Glazing, vision light frames & glazing beads are intact and securely fastened in place, if so equipped.
3. The door, frame, hinges, hardware, and noncombustible threshold are secured, aligned, and in working
order with no visible signs of damage.
4. No parts are missing or broken.
5. Door clearances at the door edge of the door frame, on the pull side of the door, do not exceed clearances
listed in 4.8.4 (the clearance under the bottom of the door shall be a maximum of 3/4″) and 6.3.1 (top &
6. The self‐closing device is operational; that is, the active door completely closes when operated from the
full open position.
7. If a coordinator is installed, the inactive leaf closes before the active leaf.
8. Latching hardware operates and secure the door when it is in the closed position
9. Auxiliary hardware items that interfere or prohibit operation are not installed on the door or frame.
10. No field modifications to the door assembly have been performed that void the label.
Gasketing and edge seals, where required, are inspected to verify their presence and integrity.
5.2.5 Horizontally Sliding, Vertically Sliding, and Rolling Doors
188.8.131.52 Fire door assemblies shall be visually inspected from both sides to assess the overall condition
of door assembly
184.108.40.206 The following items shall be verified:
1. No open holes or breaks exist in surfaces of either the door or frame.
2. Slats, endlocks, bottom bar, guide assembly, curtain entry hood, and flame baffle are correctly in
stalled and intact.
3. Glazing, vision light frames, and glazing beads are intact and securely fastened in place, if so equipped.
4. Curtain, barrel and guides are aligned, level, plumb, and true.
5. Expansion clearance is maintained in accordance with manufacturer’s listing.
6. Drop release arms and weights are not blocked or wedged.
7. Mounting and assembly bolts are intact and secured.
8. Attachment to jambs are with bolts, expansion anchors, or as otherwise required by the listing.
9. Smoke detectors, if equipped, are installed and operational.
10. No parts are missing or broken.
11. Fusible links, if equipped, are in the location: chain/cable, s‐hooks, eyes, and so forth, are in good condition
(i.e. no kinked or pinched cable, no twisted or inflexible chain): and links are not painted or
coated with dust or grease.
12. Auxiliary hardware items that interfere or prohibit operation are not installed on the door or frame.
13. No field modifications to the door assembly have been performed that void the label.
703.1 Maintenance. The required fire‐resistance rating of fire‐resistance‐rated construction (including walls, firestop, shaft
enclosures, partitions, smoke barriers, floors, fire‐resistive coatings and sprayed fire‐resistant materials applied to structural
members and fire‐resistant joint systems) shall be maintained. Such elements shall be visually inspected by
the owner annually and properly repaired, restored or replaced when damaged, altered, breached or penetrated. Where
concealed, such elements shall not be required to be visually inspected by the owner unless the concealed space is accessible
by the removal or movement of a panel, access door, ceiling tile or similar movable entry to the space. Openings made
therein for the passage of pipes, electrical conduit, wires, ducts, air transfer opening and holes made for any reason shall
be protect with approved methods capable of resisting the passage of smoke and fire.
If you need more information about the codes mandating the maintenance of your passive fire protection system, contact us and we will be happy to send you some information. Looking for a damper inspection company to service your facility in California or Hawaii? You do know that we work nationwide, don’t you? In fact, we have built quite a resume of facilities that we have worked with across the West Coast. Looking for references? We have those, too.
Visit www.LifeSafetySevices.com or call us at 888-675-4519 for more information about our services in California and Hawaii.