Fire Door Inspections: A Step-by-Step Guide to Fire Door Checks 

Fire Door Inspections: A Step-by-Step Guide to Fire Door Checks 

Fire door inspections are a critical facet of building safety regulations, workplace fire safety and risk management strategies. Prioritizing employee health and safety, businesses must take proactive measures to ensure their premises comply with all relevant fire safety standards.

What is a Fire Door Inspection? 

Conducting a thorough inspection of fire doors is a fundamental process that involves a comprehensive evaluation of various components, including hinges, seals, latches, locks, and other relevant parts. These inspections are routinely performed by maintenance teams to ensure the safety and functionality of fire doors in a building. By carrying out these fire door checks, organizations can ascertain the effectiveness of their fire doors and take necessary measures to address any identified issues.

The Importance Of Fire Door Checks 

Fire doors are specially designed and constructed doors with the sole purpose of preventing smoke, flames, and toxic gas from spreading within a building. This allows more time for individuals within the premises to safely evacuate and minimizes property damage in the event of a fire. As an integral part of a building’s passive fire protection system, fire doors are fire-resistant and can be made from metal, wood, or gypsum. They are tested to ensure they can withstand certain levels of fire and heat.

The NFPA 80 standard contains detailed requirements for fire door assemblies, including the inspection criteria. Over time, parts of the structure will require maintenance, repair, or replacement. If issues are not addressed, the opening protective may not function properly. This is why fire door maintenance is one of the most important parts of the inspection process. 

Your business can benefit from fire door inspections in three key ways: 

Legal Compliance: Regular inspections of fire doors are mandated by law in many jurisdictions. Neglecting these inspections could lead to severe legal penalties, including substantial fines or even business closure.

Workplace Safety: Fire doors are designed to slow down the spread of fire and smoke, provide an escape route, and protect people, so they help reduce the risk of injury or death. They can only serve their purpose only if they’re in perfect operational condition. 

Read here more about how to Build a Successful Workplace Fire Safety Plan 

Insurance Requirements: Many insurance providers require evidence of regular fire door inspections as part of their coverage criteria. Non-compliance can affect your premiums or even invalidate your policy.

How often should fire doors be inspected? 

In the UK, the Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005 recommends that fire doors be inspected every six months.  In the US and in other countries, the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) mandates annual inspections for fire doors under NFPA 80 Standard for Fire Doors and Other Opening Protectives. 

Generally fire doors don’t need to be checked as frequently as fire extinguishers. However the inspection frequency may vary depending on the specific requirements of local building codes, industry standards, or insurance providers. However, as a general rule, fire doors should be inspected at least annually. High-traffic areas or buildings with increased risk factors may necessitate more frequent inspections.

What do you need to include in your fire door inspection checklist? 

A comprehensive fire door inspection should involve a thorough examination of all components of the fire door assembly, including:


The frame of the door should be securely attached to the wall and show no signs of damage or distortion. A weakened or damaged frame may fail to hold the door in place under the intense heat of a fire.


Door hardware includes all the operating parts of the door, such as the hinges, handles, latches, and door closer. These should all be in good working order and show no signs of damage or excessive wear. Failure of any component can lead to the door not operating as intended, potentially leaving it open and ineffective during a fire.


These seals expand when exposed to heat, helping to contain fire and smoke. They should be intact and correctly installed. Damaged or poorly fitted seals may not expand as required, allowing smoke and fire to spread through gaps around the door.


If present, these should be firmly fixed and free from damage. Any loose or damaged glazing can break under the intense heat of a fire, providing an additional pathway for the fire to spread.


The gap between the door and frame should be in line with the specification, usually between 2mm and 4mm. Larger gaps can allow smoke and fire to escape, reducing the effectiveness of the fire door.


Fire doors should be equipped with a self-closing device and should fully close when released from any open position. This ensures the door is always shut, preventing the spread of fire and smoke.

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Fire doors should have a label, plug or similar marking from a recognized certification body. This indicates the door’s fire resistance rating and confirms it has been tested to relevant standards. In case you notice anything during the inspection, if the  label is not present on any part of a fire door assembly, it might be necessary to get the component labeled by a certified labeling service.

The 13-Point NFPA 80 Fire Door Inspection Checklist

Despite the fact that you can include general information in your fire door checklists, if you operate a business in an area with NFPA regulations, you must include in your fire door checks the following 13 NFPA points for fire door checklists: 

  1. Labels are clearly visible and legible – All fire doors and frames should have a label that is easy to read, indicating that they have been certified or inspected in line with NFPA 80.
  1. No holes or breaks in the door or frame – Even small gaps may weaken their fire resistance.
  1. Glazing and glass kit / glass beads are intact and securely fastened – Any glass present in the fire door assembly, along with its associated frames and beads, must be securely fitted and free of damage. 
  1. Door, Frame, Hinges, Hardware, and noncombustible threshold are secure, aligned, and in working order
  1. No missing or broken parts 
  1. Door Clearances at the Door Edge to the Frame, on the pull side of the door, do not exceed clearances listed in 4.8.4 (maximum gap of 1/8″ for steel doors, 1/8″ to 3/16″ for wood doors).
  1. The Self-Closing Device is operational, meaning the active door completely closes when operated from the full open position. 
  1. If a Coordinator is installed, the inactive leaf closes before the active leaf. 
  1. Latch Throw is in Accordance with 6.4.3: This refers to the latch bolt’s extension when the door is closed. A correct latch throw ensures that the door will remain closed under pressure during a fire.
  1. Auxiliary Fire Door Hardware does not interfere with the door’s operation
  1. No Field Modifications to the door assembly have been performed that void the label
  1. Gasketing and edge seals, where required, are present, continuous, and of the proper type for a fire door.
  1. Signage affixed to a door or frame does not interfere with the door’s operation

Here’s Why An Auditing Software Solution will facilitate  Your Fire Door Inspections 

While manual inspections can be sufficient, the complexity and scale of fire safety procedures in larger businesses necessitate the use of auditing software. This inspection software helps streamline the process, ensuring nothing is overlooked and all data is recorded systematically. And here are the main benefits: 

Efficiency: Auditing software automates the inspection and reporting process. Instantly generated reports will significantly reduce the time taken to complete each inspection and the likelihood of human error.

Compliance Tracking: The software can track and manage inspections, ensuring they are performed at required intervals and all necessary elements are inspected.

Documentation: The software stores all records in one place, helping maintain accurate records of all inspections, making it easier to demonstrate compliance to regulatory bodies and insurance providers.

Reporting: A good auditing software solution will automatically generate reports from inspection data, saving you time and making it easier to identify recurring problems and plan corrective actions.

Investing in regular, thorough fire door inspections and utilizing auditing software isn’t just a matter of compliance—it’s about prioritizing workplace safety and protecting your business from the severe consequences of fire.

Why is GoAudits the best fire door inspection software for your business? 

Choose the best fire door inspection software to help you with this process, without paperwork and heavy admin workload. Our comprehensive fire safety software helps you automate many of the manual tasks involved in the fire inspection process:

  • easier data collection in the field with smart forms
  • instant reporting to share audit information quickly, pinpointing every non-conformances or highlighting critical  non-conformances
  • smart dashboards for real-time analysis
  • corrective actions that can be assigned to specific team members, internally or externally
  • vast library of audit checklist templates which can be customized, to get started as quickly as possible.

Both your company and the external auditors will be able to access up-to-date information about the performance of your inspections and audits at any time. 

GoAudits has also been featured by Capterra as one of the highest-rated and most popular software solutions on the market in 2023. Discover more about  fire door inspection inspections with GoAudits here.

Fee Fire Door Checklists & Fire Safety Checklists

You can start your fire door inspections immediately, simply check out the FREE Fire Door Inspection Checklist  and many other FREE fire safety checklists from the GoAudits checklist library for business compliance and workplace safety:

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