Barrier Companies Rebrands as REMEDI8™



Barrier Companies Rebrands as REMEDI8
Four Fire and Life Safety Businesses Now Unified Under Single Brand

Lenexa, Kan. – January 23, 2023 – Barrier Companies, a nationwide fire and life safety services company that specializes in helping customers navigate and maintain the complex world of safety and compliance, has announced a strategic rebranding to REMEDI8. The new name unifies four businesses – Barrier Compliance Services, Prevent Life Safety Services, Fire Door Solutions and United Fire Doors – under one brand, which reflects the strength of the combined business’ mission to provide value to customers and assist with code compliance.

Barrier Companies acquired Prevent, a fire and life safety company serving customers primarily in healthcare settings throughout California, Texas and Arizona later that year. To further build out the company’s national service capability, Barrier Companies acquired two additional fire and safety compliance businesses in July 2022.

These were Fire Door Solutions, a local peer to Barrier Companies based in Stilwell, Kansas a leading provider of fire and life safety compliance services and solutions primarily for the healthcare facilities market nationwide, and Florida-based United Fire Door Inspection, a specialized provider of inspection services in the Southeast.

“As REMEDI8, we are a truly unified company with a simple goal: to save lives and protect property by helping our customers achieve 100% life safety compliance,” said Mickey Eberts, Chief Executive Officer of REMEDI8. “Our new identity incorporates the best attributes of each entity and speaks to our goal by emphasizing our comprehensive scope of services, our experienced technicians and our national footprint.”

REMEDI8 is also introducing a new visual brand identity to complement its name change. Taking design cues from the merged companies, it includes an updated logo and color palette that is indicative of the strategic direction of the company. Visit to explore the new website and brand.

Barrier Companies’ remaining subsidiaries: Barrier Technologies, Barrier Compliance Services (construction division), Facilities Management Solutions and Pencon will continue to operate under their current brands.


Media Contact:
Sonya Witherow
Marketing Manager

REMEDI8 specializes in helping customers navigate and maintain the complex world of safety and compliance. REMEDI8 has developed customized processes and procedures to successfully Inspect, Repair, Re-Label, and formally Report on key Life Safety issues around Fire Doors, Fire Dampers and Fire Barrier. Under the guidance of former CMS and Joint Commission Surveyors, REMEDI8 has developed specialized reporting that specifically addresses maintaining and reporting on Fire Door, Fire Damper, and Firestopping for Healthcare facilities.
For more information visit:

Joint Commission Eliminates Plans for Improvement – Implications to Healthcare Facilities

On July 12, 2016, the American Society for Healthcare Engineering (ASHE) published that The Joint Commission will no longer consider Hospital Plans for Improvement (PFIs) for its Life Safety chapter requirements as of August 1, 2016.

Breaking down the changes:

  • All deficiencies must be addressed within 60 days of being identified
  • The Joint Commission will no longer review open items and will not issue PFI lists as a part of their reports
  • Requests for extensions will be handled by the Regional Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS)

In the past, many facilities have used The Joint Commission’s findings to build ongoing Plans for Improvement to address the deficiencies found. Now that a hard deadline of 60 days is being imposed, this method is no longer practical. Knowing that Joint Commission inspections are thorough, preemptive measures are necessary to ensure compliance.

Steps healthcare facilities can take to be proactive with this major change:
1. Assessments 
– utilized primarily by owners and contractors to:

  • Develop a remediation budget
  • Determine the extent of an issue
  • Ensure compliance on a project or facility

Using a certified and reputable contractor to assess the existing condition of barriers prior to The Joint Commission inspections is now more important. The findings of the assessment are then used to develop an internal Plan for Improvement. Identifying and addressing deficiencies before being under the “60-day” clock is crucial.

2. Staying up to date on the latest “hot items”
Building Codes, Fire Codes and NFPA are consistently evolving and are formally updated every 3 years. Prepare for compliance by staying up to date on the existing standards and codes including:

  • Doors within Rated Barriers: The tolerances of the vertical gap and undercut of the door must be ensured. The doors must have proper identification of being fire-rated. Other issues include the door being self-closing and having positive latching.
  • Fire/Smoke Dampers: Dampers used to maintain rated barriers need to be tested to ensure functionality. The sealing around dampers is also highly scrutinized. A common deficiency found is intumescent fire-stopping being used to seal around dampers which goes against the U.L. approved manufacturer installation requirements of most dampers.
  • Missing/Removed Fireproofing: This is a deficiency that has been often identified recently. Fireproofing that is removed to attach clamps for hangers to support mechanical equipment must be replaced. This issue can commonly be found throughout a facility.
  • Fire Barrier Management: Ensure fire-rated wall penetrations (mechanical, plumbing, electrical, etc) have been repaired and sealed to keep their rating.

3. Engaging a specialty contractor to remediate deficiencies

Employing a certified contractor like REMEDI8 to identify deficiencies prior to The Joint Commission prepares your facility to pass inspection. Remediation of deficiencies can be budgeted, and scheduled for the needs of the facility. The documentation provided by a qualified contractor like us can make The Joint Commission inspections less daunting. By using a containment contractor such as REMEDI8 that provides both assessments and utilizes in-house employees for field installation and remediation, facilities can be assured of receiving quality and can more closely monitor and control schedule, cost, and compliance.

The Joint Commission’s New Life Safety Requirements for Business Occupancy in Healthcare

In December of 2020, The Joint Commission issued new life safety code requirements for business occupancies in healthcare. The new requirements will take effect July 1, 2021, for organizations that are accredited through Hospital, Critical Access Hospital, and Behavioral Health and Human Services programs.

The new standards address building and fire protection features that are designed and maintained to minimize the effects of fire, smoke, and heat. This includes but is not limited to the following:

  • Fire-rated doors, barriers, and partitions
  • Protection of vertical openings
  • Protection of pipes, conduits, cables, and more with approved fire-rated materials
  • Clearing means of egress for fire emergencies

These new standards mark the first time that the accreditation process will include Life Safety requirements that are applicable to business occupancy areas in healthcare facilities.

According to the NFPA, a health care business occupancy is an area where there are no overnight stays and where three or less individuals are cared for and rendered incapable of self-preservation at any given time by the virtue of their treatment. Once a building is considered to be a business occupancy the new Life Safety requirements for business occupancy will apply.

The Joint Commission has recommended that facilities create a Building Maintenance Program as a best practice measure to address these areas. Building Maintenance Programs created to address these areas and issues must be structured to meet the new and existing compliance standards. For a complete list of the new standards and their requirements visit The Joint Commission’s website.

REMEDI8 can assist your healthcare facility with identifying deficiencies in these areas prior to your next survey. Using a containment contractor like REMEDI8 that provides assessments and utilizes highly trained and certified in-house employees for field installation and remediation, ensures your healthcare facility will receive quality service, as well as, insights that allow you to control your schedule, cost, and compliance.

Contact REMEDI8 today at 855-714-FIRE (3473) to proactively identify deficiencies in your healthcare facility’s business occupancy areas.

Life Safety Code – Standards May Differ Depending on the Organization Conducting the Audit

When it comes to Life Safety Standards, one size does not fit all. At present, healthcare organizations are required to comply with the 2012 edition of the National Fire Protection Association’s NFPA 101®, also known as the Life Safety Code® (“LSC”) [1]. This iteration of the LSC was adopted in 2016 by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (“CMS”).

Since 2012, however, there have been two subsequent publications of the LSC, in 2015 and 2018, that include revisions, many of which provide some clarity to healthcare organizations and some of which add additional complexity. These are important because, although CMS may not enforce the new requirements at this time, they are likely to be adopted in the future and should be minimally considered and other Agencies Having Jurisdiction (“AHJ”) may choose to apply these new standards.

We spoke with Kirk Kaiser, Partner of REMEDI8, about the jurisdictional differences among AHJs.

“There is a real focus by health care facilities administrators to assure compliance with the LSC, but the other AHJ can cite you for violations if your facility doesn’t comply with their requirements.”

A good example is a recent announcement by The Joint Commission of new requirements extending the LSC coverage of fire safety and means of egress during fire emergencies to Business Occupancies. For facilities that are accredited through the Joint Commission, the new standards become effective as of July 1, 2021.

The term “business occupancy” is defined by the NFPA as, “ used for account and record-keeping or the transaction of business other than mercantile.” (NFPA 101 § The Life Safety Book for Health Care Organizations noted, “This is a very broad definition, but as it applies to health care, the definition refers to a facility where no one stays overnight and where three or fewer individuals are rendered incapable of self-preservation at any given time by virtue of their treatment.”

The breadth of the new standards is significant. The standards require the assessment of several building characteristics, including but not limited to:

  • The assessment of fire doors and fire barriers
  • The protection of vertical openings
  • The shielding of pipes, conduits, bus ducts, and air ducts
  • Doors are required to remain free of signs and decorations other than informational signs
  • The establishment of width requirements for corridors and passageways
  • Means of egress illumination obligations and distance limits
  • Alcohol-based hand rubs storage and handling requirements
  • Conditions requiring fire alarms and fire extinguisher location rules
  • Sprinkler and sprinkler location mandates

Kaiser noted, “The extension of the Life Safety rules into health care organization’s business occupancies is one of the most significant recent developments, but certainly not the only one.”

One issue that caused some confusion in the past appears to have been clarified in the recent 2021 version of LSC. Historically, facilities have been required to perform annual fire door inspections even when those fire doors are located in barriers that do not have a fire-resistance rating. In that case, the LSC was interpreted so as to consider the doors a life safety feature “obvious to the public.” This interpretation was consistent with NFPA 101 (2012) section which requires: “… existing life safety features obvious to the public, if not required by the Code, shall be either maintained or removed.” However, LSC 2021, section, is now interpreted as exempting from NFPA 80 (NFPA’s Standards for Fire Doors) doors or door frames that are provided in a fire barrier, which are not required to have a fire-resistance rating pursuant to the life safety plans. While CMS does not recognize these subsequent editions of LSC, they can potentially be used to justify equivalent life safety levels if cited during an accreditation inspection.

There are also a few examples of revisions that responsible facility managers (RFAs) should be aware of that add some complexity. The first is a codification of a best practice in use in most healthcare facilities. For new healthcare occupancies, LSC 2018, §, requires that a smoke barrier door must not serve as the sole exit access point from any space in a smoke compartment. This requirement prohibits a smoke barrier from traversing the wall of a room with a single exit access door.

Another 2018 revision by the CMS which applies to ongoing healthcare facility maintenance, may lead to some confusion among RFAs. According to the new revisions, CMS will look to inspect firewalls only once during a one to three – year period. Meanwhile, at least one other AHJ, Fire Marshalls, who enforce International Fire Code Section §703.1, are required to conduct a formal inspection every year.

A modification of the LSC that is also of note, LSC 2018, §18/, provides that the corridor door latching provisions must be applied to nurse server cabinets and pass-through openings in corridor walls. The section also details the door clearance requirements, which differ for new and existing healthcare residences. This was language that appeared earlier in the annex and now has been moved into the code.

Kirk Kaiser offered this advice for healthcare facility managers, “With the recommencement of CMS audits last August, and the resumption of some of the COVID related construction work at healthcare facilities, there will undoubtedly be more inspections by AHJs. RFAs would be wise to engage with an experienced firm to conduct a LSC audit that encompasses all the related fire and life safety requirements before these audits reveal compliance issues.”

REMEDI8 provides complete turnkey services including inspections, documentation, reporting, repairs, complete facility remediation, and training. Whether you’re looking for assistance with your door maintenance program or want our complete line of services, we’ll customize a solution that fits your unique needs.

[1] Life Safety Code® is a registered trademark of the National Fire Protection Association, Quincy, MA

Fire Doors – The Chronic Compliance Problem Facing Healthcare Facility Administrators

Whether it is a Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) Life Safety audit, an annual HFPA (Health Care Facilities Accreditation Program) Quality Review, a Joint Commission Accreditation Survey, a Fire Marshall Inspection, or an assessment by one of many other Agencies Having Jurisdiction (AHJ) one issue that invariably arises relates to fire door deficiencies. In fact, in 2016 the NFPA identified door and door frames as the fourth most common deficiency of Life Safety audits. Door and door frame issues also cropped up regularly in the Health Care Facilities Accreditation (HCFA) Program surveys, and, despite a renewed focus on compliance, continue to be the bane of health care facility managers.

We asked Jaye Sieland, the Co-Founder of Barrier Compliance Services, why fire door and door frames continue to pose such a compliance challenge.

“There are many reasons that door and door frames invariably appear on the list of deficiencies during health care facilities audits. To begin, the standards applicable to door and door frames are numerous, complex, and sometimes confusing.”

Several standards apply to Fire Doors and Smoke Doors. The principal standards appear in the National Fire Protection Agency (NFPA) 80 entitled, Standards for Fire Doors and Other Opening Protectives. These standards are the bedrock of the Life Safety requirements, but additional requirements appear in the International Building Code (IBC), the International Fire Code (IFC), and the Life Safety Code™ (NFPA 101). Standards for smoke door assemblies are separate and appear in NFPA 105, entitled Standards for Installation of Smoke Door Assemblies and Other Opening Protectives.

“Secondly, the standards are somewhat complex. Fire door assemblies have designated resistance ratings and, require carefully engineered mechanisms to provide latching. Additionally, smoke doors have separate requirements that may include gasketing. There are additional standards for protection plates and hinges. These requirements, along with labeling mandates, and special rules for fire door repairs, challenge even the most capable engineering and maintenance staff.”

Sieland further offered, “To make matters even more difficult, the recordkeeping burden is significant. “ As part of the 2018 revisions to NFPA standards, an eleven-point checklist was established. This new recordkeeping requirement increases the time needed by hospital building and maintenance staff who must perform the inspections. The visual and operational inspections must be coupled with accurate and timely recordkeeping to avoid compliance deficiencies.

Hospital staff must assure:

  • No open holes or breaks are present on the surface
  • All glazing is intact and in place
  • The doors, door frames, and hardware are secured and functional
  • Door clearances fall within the required specifications
  • No parts are missing or broken
  • Self-closing devices and latching hardware work as designed

Sieland expanded upon the facility manager’s challenges in keeping the fire doors in compliance. “Hospital maintenance staff may attempt to repair the fire doors without a full understanding of the fire door standards. Holes in fire doors, for example, must be repaired by installing steel fasteners that adequately fill the holes or filling the screw or bolt holes with the same material as the door or frame. Labels that must be visible cannot be painted over. Fire door gaps between the door and frame must meet strict tolerances, usually less than 3mm. The maintenance challenge is exacerbated by the constant use of the fire doors as hospital personnel routinely pushcarts and equipment through fire doors, increasing wear and tear.”

Sieland’s recommendation, “Sole sourcing of the construction, repairs, and compliance auditing allows for the facilities to be assured of compliance in the first instance. If it has been built to achieve the standards, then at least the facility managers know that with properly trained maintenance personnel, compliance problems should be minimized.” One final advantage of sole sourcing Sieland offered, “ The CMS and other accreditation groups work with those of us in the Life Safety field to continually reduce the risk of fire at these critical facilities. That gives us some insight into what the next iteration of requirements will be, allowing our customers to build for the future not just for the next audit.”

REMEDI8 provides complete turnkey services including inspections, documentation, reporting, repairs, complete facility remediation, and training. Whether you’re looking for assistance with your door maintenance program or want our complete line of services, we’ll customize a solution that fits your unique needs. Schedule a call with us today to get started.

Fire Barrier Compliance Services

What is passive fire protection?

Passive Fire Protection (PFP) is the primary measure to provide fire safety and protection against flame, heat, and smoke to maintain compartmentalization, structural stability, fire separation, and a safe means of escape. PFP is integrated during construction but can be assessed, inspected, and repaired, on an existing building. A fire in your building can be devastating without properly installed passive fire protection. Building owners are often less familiar with this portion of fire-stopping.

Passive Fire Protection (PFP) is the primary measure to the components of PFP:

  1. Structural Fire Protection – Guards structural components of a building to maintain its structural integrity when exposed to fire
  2. Compartmentalization – Includes barriers to contain the spread of fire into compartments (such as fire-rated walls, floors, ceilings)
  3. Opening Protection – Maintain fire rating through openings in fire barrier (examples include fire-rated doors, windows, and dampers)
  4. Fire-Barrier Materials – Applied to through penetrations in a fire barrier (such as mechanical, electrical, or plumbing penetrations)

Products within PFP systems are tested and certified by accredited organizations such as UL, FM, or NFPA, and are rated by a half-hour or hour, while systems are rated by 1, 2, 3, and 4 hours. Incorporating fire protection materials, systems, and assemblies, within your facility ensures asset protection, life safety, risk reduction, and compliance with the 2012 International Fire Code (IFC 703.1).

If your building is rewired, plumbed, or communication systems are added, don’t hesitate to seek professional advice from REMEDI8. These categories of work will often impact the integrity of your fire protection.

REMEDI8 provides complete turnkey services including inspections, documentation, reporting, repairs, complete facility remediation, and training. Whether you’re looking for assistance with your fire-rated barriers, dampers, or want our complete line of services, we’ll customize a solution that fits your unique needs. Schedule a call with us today to get started.

Why is fire barrier a major problem for healthcare facilities

Compliant fire barrier has continued to be a persistent battle within the ceilings and walls of healthcare facilities. Construction improvements and equipment installations within healthcare buildings are essential for the overall operations of the building, but properly sealed penetrations are critical for keeping occupants safe during a fire-related emergency.

Keeping up with penetrations in need of fire barrier is a persistent battle that takes knowledge, time, and funding to correct. Healthcare facility managers are typically caught in the middle of this battle facing increasingly strict code enforcement and increasingly tighter financial resources. Not only do healthcare facility managers face strict code enforcement and tight budgets, they often face general manpower issues and a lack of experienced fire barrier technicians. Correcting penetrations in large facilities can be a full-time job and with over 5,000 UL systems for properly installing fire barrier, maintaining barriers is challenging.

While maintaining fire barrier within healthcare facilities is challenging, it’s certainly not impossible. We’ve put together a few tips for tackling your facility’s fire barrier challenges based on advice from our highly skilled HILTI and STI-certified technicians.

3 Ways To Tackle Your Firestopping Challenges:

1. If you are not familiar with fire barrier installation techniques, you should seek the help of a specialty contractor. Unlike traditional contractors, specialty fire barrier contractors are specifically trained to install fire barrier systems and maintain assembly ratings. They will have the knowledge and experience to help you choose the correct fire barrier materials and UL systems to address your facility’s penetrations, and will be more efficient throughout the installation process. Finding a Firebarrier Contractors International Association (FCIA) contractor is your best bet on addressing your fire barrier penetrations quickly and easily. Choosing an FCIA contractor like REMEDI8 will also give you added peace of mind knowing that you’ve partnered with a company that knows fire barrier and how to work within healthcare environments.

2. Ensure the installation techniques used to address barrier penetrations are approved and tested to ensure compliance. Fire-barrier penetrations that are not properly addressed and corrected are often a waste of the facility’s time and resources. The requirements for maintaining assembly ratings can be found in UL directories and by testing agencies. While some penetrations may be simple to correct, there are UL systems that become highly complex when the penetrating item, assembly rating, fire barrier materials being used, and other factors are all taken into consideration. Following these UL systems specifications closely and accurately is critical to ensuring compliance and your ability to maintain your assembly’s fire rating.

3. It is important for facilities to be proactive with their plans for addressing fire barrier penetrations. For example, putting a ceiling permit program in place will help ensure that you’re aware of activity happening within the facility that could compromise your fire barriers before the damage is done. Keeping up-to-date life safety plans on hand is another proactive step facilities should take. Knowing where penetrations are located within the facility will save time when work is being done and will allow fire barriers to be addressed as needed.

4. Depending on the size and resources available to the facility, ceiling permit programs, and risk management systems may not be an option. If this is the case, putting in place a fire barrier maintenance program for your facility could be extremely beneficial. Addressing different floors, buildings, or zones of your facility on a monthly or quarterly basis allows your fire barriers to be maintained on a regular basis without overwhelming your resources. A fire barrier maintenance program could allow your facility to ultimately perform a complete facility barrier remediation with the costs being spread out over a year, making fire barrier compliance more affordable and realistic in these situations.
If your facility is in need of assistance maintaining fire barrier penetrations, REMEDI8 is ready to assist you. We are a specialty fire and life safety contractor and an active FCIA member that is dedicated to helping healthcare facilities stay safe and compliant. Contact us today to learn more about our fire barrier services or to receive a free quote.

Door Hardware

Fire Doors and What You Need to Know: Types, Inspections, and Repairs

Whether you’re managing a healthcare facility, manufacturing facility, or multi-unit residential facility, maintaining your fire doors is critical to the success of your life safety and fire barrier management programs. Authorities Having Jurisdiction (AHJ) like The Joint Commission, DNV, local fire marshals and others have strict and specific requirements not only for how fire doors must operate while in service, but also for how often fire-rated doors are inspected and repaired to be considered compliant, and how the inspection and repairs are documented for proof of compliance.

Should an AHJ survey a facility and find fire doors that have not been corrected, the facility could be at risk of having the non-compliant areas closed until the deficiencies are corrected per NFPA and AHJ standards. This may seem like an extreme reaction, however, if the fire doors and barriers within an important building like a hospital are not properly working and a fire breaks out, it could spread throughout the hospital in minutes resulting in devasting consequences.

What is a fire-rated door? Is there more than one type?
A fire door is a door with a fire-resistance rating used to mitigate the spread of fire and smoke for a specific period of time. Fire doors are one of many integral components that make up a passive fire protection system and must be installed in a rated door frame any time a door is built into a fire-rated wall.

There are a variety of different types of fire doors, with different fire resistance ratings. A fire door that is compliant with NFPA 80 standards can mitigate the spread of fire and smoke for 20 minutes up to 180 minutes depending on the door’s rating. A fire door’s type and rating usually vary throughout a facility depending on where the door is located and what the area is used for.

If you’re not sure where your fire-rated walls and doors are located, check your facility’s life safety drawings. It is important to keep a set of up-to-date life safety plans on hand to make determining where your fire-rated walls and doors are located as easy as possible. Without knowing where your fire-rated doors are, what kind of fire-rated doors you have, and the purpose of your rated doors, it is exceptionally difficult to meet the standards set forth by AHJs.

Fire Door Inspection & Repair Requirements
The National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) has set strict guidelines for how a fire-rated door is inspected, maintained, and repaired for the door to be considered compliant. Facilities must adhere to the fire door requirements outlined in the NFPA’s codebook, NFPA 80. NFPA 80 addresses legal requirements regarding fire-rated doors and dampers, as well as, how different components of the door, such as door closers, hinges, smoke seals, etc, should be installed and maintained. Because the codes and standards outlined in NFPA 80 are expansive and the consequences for non-compliance are high, it has become common and often necessary for facilities to partner with fire code compliance experts when it comes to fire-rated doors to ensure their barriers are compliant.

According to NFPA 80, “all fire door assemblies require annual inspections”. Additionally, facilities are required to have an annual inspection program in place for fire door assemblies. Inspections can be performed by anyone with expert knowledge and understanding of fire door assemblies and the required codes, however, we recommend utilizing an inspector or specialty contractor that is FDAI or CFDAI certified. A qualified inspector will conduct their inspections per NFPA 80 while the AHJ will verify that the building’s door assemblies are being inspected and maintained per requirements.

While inspections can be performed by any qualified inspector or 3rd party vendor, the NFPA states that fire door repairs must be performed by experts who have been specifically trained to do so. Fire door repairs are complicated but critical for ensuring the door performs the way it was designed to during a fire/smoke emergency. For example, a fire door with correctly installed and compliant hardware can’t stop fire and smoke if the repair technician fails to install a smoke seal on the door frame per the manufacturer’s specifications. Similarly, a fire door with correctly installed and compliant latching hardware can’t stop a fire and smoke if the repair technician fails to install the correct closers (more on closers below). It’s these details and more that make the NFPA state that only “qualified persons” can perform repairs on fire doors, and what makes managing fire door compliance so challenging for facility and property managers.

Fire Door Closers
NFPA 80 requires that “fire doors and other opening protectives are operable at all times. The operability of these systems includes opening, closing, and latching. Fire doors must be kept closed and latched or arranged to provide automatic closing during the time of a fire. In addition, blocking or wedging of doors in the open position is prohibited, as it violates the required operation and closing feature of the door.” One of the most common door deficiencies that our experts see is fire doors failing to fully close, so we wanted to take a moment to address 3 common types of door closers.

Self-Closing Doors – NFPA 80 3.3.101 states “Doors that, when opened and released, return to the closed position.” This essentially means that when a self-closing door is pushed open, its closing arm will immediately return the door to its original closed position. These types of doors should always be closed except when someone walks through the door.

Automatic-Closing Doors – NFPA 80 3.3.6 – 3.3.7 states “a door that normally is open but that closes when the automatic-closing device is activated.” This means that automatic closing doors are typically open but will automatically close when activated by a fusible link or detector. Fusible links are activated by heat; when the link is exposed to heat it melts and releases the automatic-closing door allowing it to close. The alternative and more reliable trigger is a smoke detector; automatic-closing doors can be activated to close as soon as a smoke detector detects smoke. Per NFPA code, automatic-closing doors must meet the following criteria in order to be used in any given area of a facility.

  • The leaf becomes self-closing upon release of the hold-open mechanism
  • The release device is designed in a way that allows the leaf to instantly release manually and once released becomes self-closing or can be readily closed
  • The automated release mechanism is activated by an approved smoke detector that has been installed per NFPA 72 requirements for smoke detectors for door leaf release service
  • Should a hold-open device lose power, the device will release to allow the door leaf to become self-closing
  • Smoke detection of one door leaf in a stair enclosure will result in closing all door leaves that service the set of stairs

Power-Operated Doors are doors that are open and closed electronically or pneumatically. According to REMEDI8, “these types of doors must be equipped with a releasing device that will automatically disconnect the power operator during a fire emergency allowing a self-closing or automatic device to close the door regardless of power failure or manual operation”. This requirement means all power-operated fire doors must be integrated with the building’s approved fire alarm system so that the fire alarm can deactivate and close open doors during a power failure.
Having a preventative door maintenance program in place with a partner like REMEDI8, eases the burden of keeping up with your facility’s doors, reduces the risk of unexpected repairs, and saves your facility money year-over-year on compliance-related costs. Contact us today to begin planning your next fire-rated door service to ensure compliance and safety within your facility.

Barrier Companies has acquired Fire Door Solutions and United Fire Door Inspection

Barrier Companies has acquired two fire and life safety compliance businesses with national service capability. Fire Door Solutions is a leading provider of fire and life safety compliance services and solutions primarily for the healthcare facility market nationwide, while United Fire Door Inspection is a specialized provider of inspection services in the Southeast.

Founded in 2013, Fire Door Solutions provides fire door, damper, and firestop inspection and repair services and related consulting and facilities management services. The Company is led by CEO Mickey Eberts, an industry veteran with over 25 years of experience in healthcare facilities management who will remain with the business post-transaction. United Fire Door Inspection, founded in 2013, is a provider of fire door inspections and maintenance. These are transformative acquisitions for Barrier and bring together some of the leading players in the fire and life safety space.

“The acquisition of these well-respected and market-leading companies is a continuation of Barrier’s strategy to build a nationwide footprint and enhance its fire safety solutions to serve customers,” said David Corbin, Barrier CEO. “We are very excited about the additional value these well-performing businesses will bring to Barrier as we raise its industry profile across the country,” said Eberts.

Fire Door Solutions and United Fire Door Inspection are the second and third acquisitions for Barrier since Lincolnshire invested in the company 18 months ago. Barrier’s first acquisition was PREVENT, a fire and life safety company serving customers primarily in healthcare settings throughout California, Texas, and Arizona in November 2021.

“The goal is to create a leading nationwide platform company providing the best assortment of fire and life safety compliance services to its customers,” said John Comino, a Managing Director at Lincolnshire Management. “These services are critical for healthcare facilities to remain in compliance and maintain good standing to receive federal funding.”

“We believe Fire Door Solutions and United Fire Door Inspection bring important new capabilities and geographic reach to the Barrier family of companies,” said Tad Nedeau, a Managing Director at Lincolnshire Management. “Through these acquisitions and future acquisitions, the company has a well-developed national footprint with fire and life safety services offered to customers in all 50 states.”

Understanding Fire Dampers and Where You Should Look to Install Them

Before understanding fire damper installations, it is important to first be familiar with fire dampers in general as fire dampers are a key component in life safety compliance and passive fire protection systems.

What are fire dampers?

Fire dampers are passive fire protection products that are used in ventilation ductwork that crosses a fire-resistance-rated internal wall to prevent the spread of fire inside the ductwork of a facility. During fire-related emergencies it’s possible that a duct will undergo severe fire exposure; if the exposure is prolonged it’s also possible that the duct will collapse or become deformed resulting in openings in the fire barrier. In these emergency situations, the duct’s fire damper would serve as an additional protection method for these openings and penetrations. Fire dampers constrict the flow of air from the source of the fire by automatically closing when heat is detected, usually by a fusible link or heat detector. Fire Dampers have hourly fire ratings (typically 90 or 180 minutes) that determine how long the damper can withstand extreme temperatures.

Per NFPA code, fire dampers are required to close against the maximum calculated airflow of that portion of the system in which they are installed. Fire dampers that close under airflow should be labeled for use in dynamic HVAC systems while dampers that close after airflow has stopped by automatically shutting down airflow in the event of a fire should be labeled for use in static HVAC systems.

Where should you install fire dampers?

Before you start installing a fire damper, be sure that you are following the manufacturer’s specifications. Like many fire barrier products, fire dampers must be installed according to the manufacturer’s installation instructions and their listing to ensure proper installation. We recommend hiring skilled fire barrier technicians with proven experience installing fire and smoke dampers per code compliance.

According to the NFPA, “fire dampers are installed in ducts passing through or in air outlet openings terminating at shaft walls, fire barriers (such as an occupancy separation wall, horizontal exit walls, corridor walls, corridor ceilings, floor-ceiling assemblies) and other fire resistance–rated assemblies as required by a building or life safety code and other applicable standards”.

It is important to remember that when installing a fire damper, accessibility after installation is required for future inspections, testing, and maintenance. Depending on the location of the damper, accessibility may not be possible due to general space limitations or new construction projects that have restricted access to the damper. In these situations, the damper must be a single or multi-blade damper that complies with the NFPA’s remote inspection requirements.

What about after installation?

Once the fire damper is installed, an operational test must be performed to confirm the damper operates as intended. We highly recommend this test be completed by a skilled and experienced fire damper technician. You may be required to conduct the operational test under normal HVAC airflow and non-airflow conditions; the damper should fully close under both conditions.

The operational test will ensure the following:

  • The damper is installed correctly within the air distribution system and is fully functional
  • The damper closes completely without obstructions
  • The damper contains all of the correct components and devices as part of its assembly

REMEDI8’s highly skilled and experienced technicians can assist your facility with fire dampers, as well as, deliver the required reporting to keep your facility compliant. Contact us today to get started.