Door Protection Plates and Fire Rated Doors

Protection plates (also called kick plates, mop plates, stretcher plates, and armor plates, depending on their height and placement) are applied to a door to prevent or minimize damage.

According to NFPA 80 “Standard for Fire Doors and Other Opening Protectives”, all hardware installed on a fire rated door must be labeled or listed, unless specifically noted otherwise in the standard. However, when it comes to protection plates, both labeled and non labeled plates are allowed. This can cause some confusion. When are the plates required to be a labeled product and when are they not required to be a labeled product?

The answer is provided in Section 6.4.5, which reads:

6.4.5 Protection Plates.
6.4.5.1 Factory-installed protection plates shall be installed in accordance with the listing of the door.
6.4.5.2 Field-installed protection plates shall be labeled and installed in accordance with their listing.
6.4.5.3 Labeling shall not be required where the top of the protection plate is not more than 16 in. (406 mm) above the bottom of the door.

Interpretation:

If a protection plate is factory-installed to a fire rated door:

  • The plate must be installed in accordance with the listing of the door.

If a protection plate is field-installed to a fire rated door:

  • The plate is not required to be a labeled product as long as the top of the protection plate is not installed more than 16” above the bottom of the door.
  • The plate is required to be labeled, and is to be installed per the plate manufacturer’s listing, whenever the plate is mounted more than 16” above the bottom of the door.

Hospital Door Kick Plate LaForce IncWhen reading the actual verbiage from NFPA 80, many people have interpreted the 16” requirement to mean that any plate less than 16” high does not require a label. However, this is not true. Consider a stretcher plate that is only 6” high. Stretcher plates are intended to be mounted on the door at a height where a stretcher or gurney would impact the door. This is usually in the range of 30” – 48” above the bottom of the door. So a 6” high stretcher plate, when used on a fire rated door, is required to be a labeled product because it is mounted “more than 16 in. above the bottom of the door”.

For more code-related solutions, check out our Maintenance Corner! Special thanks to Kristi Dietz (LaForce Engineering Training Manager) for putting together this useful information.

2 thoughts on “Door Protection Plates and Fire Rated Doors

  1. “So a 6” high stretcher plate, when used on a fire rated door, is required to be a labeled product because it is mounted “more than 16 in. above the bottom of the door”.

    Am not very clear what this statement mean, can you please clarify what you mean with this?

    1. Consider the below situation where both doors use a 6″ h. plate but at different locations. The diagram on the left shows that 6″ h. plate located within the bottom 16″ of the door. This plate, because it is mounted within the lower 16″ of the door, does not need to be labeled. Now consider the picture on the right. This picture uses that same 6″ h. plate, but it is mounted much higher on the door because it is being used as a stretcher plate. This 6″ h. plate is required to be a labeled plate because the mounting location more than 16″ above the bottom of the door.

      Kick Plate / Stretcher Plate

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