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Fire/Smoke Door Drop Testing Requirements

By Blog Master on 09 Mar 2021 In

Fire roll-up doors must be inspected and tested at least once a year as required by NFPA 80. Our technicians are properly trained to handle all of your fire/smoke door needs 

At Overhead Door Co. of Central Jersey, we often find there is confusion over maintenance and testing requirements for fire/smoke rated door products. We will focus primarily on overhead roll-up fire doors and smoke roll-up doors for the purposes of this article. Let’s take a look at the basic drop testing and annual follow-up maintenance requirements associated with these specialty doors.

CTA Fire Door Drop Test & Fire Door Annual Inspection

Simply stated, the automatic closing of a fire/smoke rated rolling door must be tested at the time the door is installed, and then inspected and tested not less than annually as required by NFPA 80. This requirement applies to all fire doors & smoke doors – even those that are not used and remain in the closed position. The inspection and testing should be performed by a trained door professional and must be documented. DASMA (Door and Access Systems Manufacturer’s Association) provides guidelines for the inspection and testing of fire/smoke rated doors. Below is an overview of what an inspection and test should include.

Fire/Smoke Door Ilustration

Fire/smoke doors must be inspected and tested at least once a year

To begin, there will be an inspection of the guides, curtain slats, end locks, bottom bar, hood assembly, and operating mechanism. A part of the inspection is to verify that the operating mechanism, fuse-links and release chain/cable are not painted, coated with dust or grease, and/or covered with debris. Once this visual inspection has been completed, the door will be operated to verify that it works smoothly and properly. During operation, we often find evidence of damaged, worn or missing parts that may not have been evident in a simple visual inspection. The area around the door will be inspected for flammables. If there are any flammables in the area of the door, the client will be reminded that these items should be relocated.

With the visual and basic operation inspections done, assuming no deficiencies have been discovered, the door must now be drop tested.

A fire door drop test is simply a test of the automatic closure system on the door. For the drop test to pass, the door must close completely and rest on the floor or sill. The closing speed must average at least six inches but not more than twenty-four inches per second. This test must be performed twice. The first test verifies proper operation and full closure. The second test verifies the automatic closure feature has been properly reset. This test should be documented. For this purpose, we normally use a DASMA drop test form with a copy provided to the customer.

CTA Fire Door Drop Test & Fire Door Annual Inspection
Drop-test: The average closing speed must be between 6" and 24" per second.

There are many reasons a door professional should perform the required inspection and testing. While we touched on the basics of inspection above, there are many details that need to be considered. Some of these details include the proper location of the fusible links, proper mounting of guides and proper fire expansion clearances on guides, and proper installation of any smoke detectors and/or release devices. It is also important that nothing that is not an actual part of the fire door assembly is attached to any part of the door.

Overhead Door Co. of Central Jersey has been selling, installing, and servicing overhead doors and loading dock equipment in the Central Jersey market since 1972 – that’s 50+ years! Our technicians are properly trained to handle all of your rolling fire/smoke door needs.

We are on US 202 South at River Road in Branchburg, NJ. Reach out to us at 908-722-5785 or email us at 

CTA Fire Door Drop Test & Fire Door Annual Inspection

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