Fire Door Test Warning

© 1999 Door & Access Systems
Publish Date: Winter 1999
Author: Tom Wadsworth
Page 11

Technical Tip
Fire Door Test Warning

When drop-testing a rolling fire door, the door must begin the test in the fully open position.

This position is critical for measuring the success of the test. But it also avoids causing permanent damage to the door, and it helps avoid injury to people in the vicinity of the door.

Here’s why. Torsion spring tension varies greatly according to the position of the door. When the door is in the fully open position, there is minimal tension on the torsion springs.

When the door is released, the wheel used to wind the springs is released from its normal position. The wheel then spins until it hits a secondary stop. The impact on this secondary stop is not a problem because the spring began with minimal tension.

However, if the door is released when in the closed or partially closed position, the impact on the secondary stop is much greater. Any of the following can happen:
• The wheel can be broken, dented, or deformed.
• The wheel stop can be broken or displaced.
• Unseen parts inside the barrel can be sheared.
• Broken or detached parts can fly dangerously.

The lesson: Always test with the door starting in the fully open position.
For more information on safe testing of rolling fire doors, ask for DASMA Technical Data Sheet 252. This Technical Data Sheet was prepared by the members of DASMA’s Rolling Door Technical Committee. To obtain a free copy, contact DASMA at 216-241-7333, fax 216-241-0105 or at