Q: I have a concern regarding the use of fire pins in fire rated door leaves: Since the latching feature of these devices is not testable (that I’m aware of, anyway), and as these doors are prone to abuse and sometimes require adjustment for clearance issues and so forth, how do we ensure the alignment of the fire pin assembly when adjustments are made or even during normal expansion/contraction due to temperature/humidity changes?
(The reply for this question comes from Lori Greene, Manager of Codes & Resources at Allegion. Visit Lori’s website on doors and hardware at www.idighardware.com)
A: You’re right – there’s no way to test the pin. But the pin and the hole that it will project into (typically filled with a plastic cap) should be visible on the door edge so you can ensure that they’re aligned. On most pins there is a fair amount of tolerance so the alignment doesn’t have to be perfect. Since the pins operate only when there’s a fire, and only when the temperature reaches >1000 degrees in the vicinity of the door (approx. 450 degrees at the pin), only a very small percentage of the pins will ever be activated. The pin doesn’t have much of an impact on life safety – by the time the pin projects, it’s mostly about compartmentalizing the building and protecting property.