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Q&A: Fire Doors for Linen and Waste Chutes

Determining code compliance for linen and waste chute access doors.

May 19, 2020

Question:

How can I determine if the access doors specified for installation in a linen or waste chute are code compliant?

Answer:

The requirements for linen and waste chutes are found in several sub-sections of the International Building Code (IBC) Section 713 for Shaft Enclosures and in Section 8.6.4 of the Life Safety Code (NFPA 101) for Vertical Openings (Shafts). NFPA 101 Section 9.5.2 requires waste and linen chutes to be installed and maintained in accordance with NFPA 82, Standard on Incinerators and Waste and Linen Handling Systems and Equipment. The IBC also references Chapter 6 of NFPA 82,

Because the chute may act as a “chimney” for smoke, hot gases or fire and typically passes through multiple floors of a building, it is considered a shaft for code compliance. Every chute intake door must have a fire-protection rating to maintain the smoke and fire integrity of the shaft. 

The IBC also requires these intake doors to be self-closing or automatic-closing through connection to an approved smoke detection system. Intake doors must have a positive latching mechanism that holds the door in the closed position in the event the latch-spring fails during a fire.

NFPA 82 Section 6 has similar requirements for the chute intake door operation and latching mechanism as well as size limitations for the intake door.

UL certifies intake doors for linen or waste chute applications under product category GSPR Chute-type Fire Doors. The fire doors in this category are certified to UL 10B, Fire Tests of Door Assemblies, as required by the IBC and NFPA 82 for the determination of the fire door fire-protection rating.

Chute intake doors may be certified for installation in concrete and masonry shaft walls or non-masonry shaft walls. The specific construction type permitted for a certified intake door will be noted in the product certification information. It is important to specify and verify that the correct intake door is installed based on the construction of the shaft wall used for the linen or waste chute. Chute-type fire doors  must always be installed in accordance with  the manufacturer’s instructions and should be included with construction documents.

You can verify the chute-type fire doors certified by UL by reviewing the GSPR guide information and individual product certifications at UL Product iQ™, our online search tool. Available at www.ul.com/PiQ, Product iQ is free to use, but does require a onetime registration.

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