Q: Staff members at our behavioral healthcare facility enjoy decorating their corridor office doors (business occupancy, 20-minute fire-rated doors, multiple floors) with wrapping paper, bows, etc. affixed with scotch tape for the holidays. Are there specific prohibitions against this? We don’t want to be a Grinch unless necessary. thanks!
A: Section 22.214.171.124.1 of the 2012 LSC says decorations cannot obstruct the function of the door or the visibility of the egress components. So, the decorations cannot obstruct the door in any way.
Section 126.96.36.199 of NFPA 80-2010 says signage on fire-rated doors cannot be more than 5% of the door surface. Now decorations may not be considered signage by most individuals, but the intent is to keep the fire-load on the door to a minimum so it can function properly in the event of a fire. I can see where a surveyor would have a serious issue with decorating fire-rated doors with wrapping paper and bows, because it adds fuel to the door that was not present during the UL testing of the doors.
Sorry, but I suggest you be the Grinch and tell them to remove wrapping paper and bows from the fire-rated doors.