Q: I have a supply room on a medical surgical floor and the door opens into the corridor. The corridor and the room are protected with automatic sprinklers. Because it is a supply rom we are using a 3/4 hr door. We would like to allow light to enter the room from the corridor and wanted to install a window in the door. Are we allowed to do this and are we limited to the size of the window?
A: Since you said the door is ¾ hour fire rated, then section 188.8.131.52.1 of the LSC requires compliance with NFPA 80, Standard for Fire Doors and Fire Windows (1999 edition). NFPA 80, section 1-3.4 requires any modifications on fire rated doors to be performed in facilities that are licensed by the door manufacturer. The manufacturer is the entity with the responsibility of ensuring the integrity and fire rating of the door and any modifications to their specifications would jeopardize that rating. Therefore, the standard does not allow any field modifications to a fire rated door, other than those required to install already approved fire rated hardware, such as door closures, latch-sets and hinges. So, the answer to your question is yes, a window would be permitted to be installed in a fire rated door, but the door would have to be removed and sent back to an approved licensed facility were the modification could be made. However, as you could imagine, this is not a simple or inexpensive proposition, and is not done very often.