Excessive door gap solutions help hospitals and other facilities reduce the gap between fire doors and their frames preventing code violations in fire inspections. Recent updates to code compliance from the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) for NFPA 80 mean that fire door compliance violations can lead to CMS funding being denied, which can have a serious financial impact for many hospitals. Also, fire doors in health care facilities typically cost thousands of dollars to replace if doors do not meet the correct tolerances, which is why excessive door gap sets offer a much more cost-effective solution.
Whether you’re a facility manager looking to fix an excessive fire door gap or you’re not sure of the clearances set in NFPA 80, we’ll guide you through fire door gap compliance with exact allowances for bottom, top, and perimeter gaps.
What are Excessive Gap Solutions?
An excessive door gap solution is a door extension that reduces the gap between the door and the door frame or between the door bottom and floor.
There are three types of door gap extensions including bottom, top, and perimeter gap extensions. The third solution attaches to the frame and extends the frame height at the door edge.
A door gap is the space between a fire-rated door and the frame or the floor. This can be hazardous if fire and smoke travel around the door, which is why fire inspectors started to check more thoroughly for gaps in the last few years.
Also known as fire door gap stops, door gap seals, fire-rated door extensions, or door bottoms, these extensions are typically made from stainless steel, although Pemko also sells an aluminum door shoe for excessive gaps for easier modification in the field.
What are Fire Door Gap Sets Used For?
Many buildings, including hospitals and other healthcare facilities include fire-rated doors where the building codes require such a rating. These doors must pass an annual fire inspection, which includes ensuring that any door gaps that could cause the spread of fire and smoke are within the limits set.
Many hospital facility managers, fire code consultants, and engineers have found that the gaps on their doors are much larger than what is specified by the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA). You can find this code at NFPA 80, Standard for Fire Doors and Other Opening Protectives.
As facilities receive fire inspections, an inspector may assess a gap between the frame and the door as too large. This triggers a warning with notice to fix the issue within a set period of time. Sometimes the door is lopsided or has sagged with age, or new floors were installed creating this gap. Unfortunately, there isn’t always an easy way to close the gap. That’s why excessive door gap sets have become invaluable to resolve these issues.
If your facility has hundreds of fire-rated doors with gaps that are too large, it could be very costly to fix by replacing the doors, especially since one door can be thousands of dollars to replace.
A Pemko excessive door gap set covers the gaps and meets fire code (through third-party testing) while only costing a fraction of what it would cost to replace the entire door. These solutions also ensure that by resolving any fire-door gap issues quickly, your facility likely will not have any CMS funding denied.
How Much Clearance Space is Allowed for Fire Doors?
Even if your facility has had the same door for the past 20 years with gaps, CMS mandated that all healthcare facilities follow the 2012 edition of the NFPA1010, Life Safety Code. The maximum clearance allowance changed from the earlier acceptable 2000 edition.
Here are the current maximum allowances for door gaps:
Bottom of the Door Gap:
Between the Door and Frame Gap (Sides or Top):
Clearance for the Meeting Edges of Double Doors:
Types of Pemko Fire Door Gap Solutions
The recent focus on periodic fire door inspections required in NFPA 80 created a greater need for ensuring fire doors are compliant in health care facilities, but any facility that is required to have fire-rated doors will likely need excessive door gap solutions at some point during the life of the building.
Pemko’s excessive door gap sets include both aluminum and stainless steel types with all accessories included. Aluminum is a new option on the market that has also been certified to help a fire-rated door pass its fire inspection. Aluminum has some significant advantages as it’s easier to cut, trim and modify in the field, making it a great choice for installers.
Features of Pemko Excessive Door Gap Sets:
Seal gaps to the clearances set by the NFPA 80
UL Certified for 90-minute fire doors
Bring fire doors up to code without replacing the entire door
Quick and easy resolution for fire inspection problems
Fast installation for nearly every door type
Best for steel composite, hollow metal, wood, or plastic-covered composite core doors
Our products cover the following door gaps:
Door Bottom Gap
Door Top Gap
A Look Inside Pemko Excessive Door Gap Solutions
Our door bottom and header gap sets offer a variety of options, including different materials and finishes to suite with the finish of your door or frame.
Pemko Aluminum Door Gap Sets
These door bottom sets are made from aluminum metal and PemkoPrene gaskets. These cover gaps up to 1 ½” and can be trimmed in the field. Pemko provides an endplate kit and several finish options, including mill finish, black suede powder, satin bronze powder coat, and white suede powder coat.
Pemko Stainless Steel Door Gap Sets
These are door bottom sweep products made from brushed stainless steel. This hardware covers gaps up to 1-½” under the door. These also come in several finishes similar to the aluminum door gap set.
Pemko Door Header Gap Set
If you have a gap on top of the door, these stainless steel metal sets are installed onto the door to fill the gap. These seal gaps up to ½” so that you can bring your rated door back into compliance for subsequent fire inspections.. Header solutions come in finishes like #4 brushed stainless steel, black suede powder coat, white suede powder coat, and satin bronze powder coat.
Pemko Perimeter Sets for Headers and/or Door Jambs
Pemko perimeter sets seal a gap along the head of the door or along the jamb up to ⅜” and include high-performing intumescent with additional adhesive gasketing and a stop extender.
The 3 Key Issues of Excessive Door Gaps
For hospitals and health care facilities, excessive fire door gaps create safety, financial and potential funding issues. However, excessive gap sets can also be installed on any building that requires fire-rated doors. This includes hotels, large offices, stairwell doors, and schools.
Excessive door gaps are particularly dangerous for a number of reasons, but here are some reasons why it’s best to start installing excessive gap solutions before your next fire inspection:
1. Fire and Smoke Spread Via Door Gaps
When gaps are larger than permitted, the doors can allow heat, fire and smoke through, penetrating underneath and around the door. This could cause the latches to fail, especially if you have a pair of swinging doors, as they may warp and twist due to the heat of the fire, causing more damage. Additionally, occupant safety could be in jeopardy if noxious fumes penetrate a fire partition or barrier at rates greater than allowed.
2. Poor Fire Ratings and Failed Fire Inspections
Excessive door gaps are one of the top reasons that facilities fail fire inspections. Facility managers should check that all door gaps match the standard’s allowances. While most facilities are granted 60 days to fix these issues, fines and penalties may also be assessed, depending on the code violation.
3. Loss of Funding
Depending on the severity of the fire code violation, hospitals may face a loss of funding from CMS, including the denial of payment for all Medicare or Medicaid individuals. Other penalties could include state monitoring, transfer of residents, and termination of agreements.
Prepare for Fire Inspections with Excessive Door Gap Solutions
It’s important to protect your facility and prevent fire hazards. This not only protects your facility from failing a fire inspection, but it’s imperative to save lives if a fire were to ever break out. With Pemko excessive door gap solutions, you can ensure compliance and save thousands of dollars since you won’t have to replace uneven doors or fix flooring problems.
Need help with excessive gap products to retain a door’s fire rating in accordance with NFPA 80? Contact Pemko Support
For more information on Fire Door Compliance and Pemko Products check out our product page here: https://www.assaabloydooraccessories.us/en/accessories-solutions/fire-door-compliance/