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Question DetailsAsked on 2/8/2016

Can you repair a fire rated door by filling small dog door hole?

A tenant put a small dog door in a fire rated door between kitchen and garage. Can the hole be repaired with a section of solid wood?

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1 Answer


Unfortunately, the door has to be UL (Underwriter's Lab) certified as a unit and any modification other than putting on or replacing firestop metal strip on it voids that rating - so legally, no. So sounds like time to have a Door vendor put in a new firedoor and deduct the cost from the tenant's security deposit - or may more than wipe it out if he cannot get a matching door (from same manufacturer and same door series) to install so he has to pull the entire unit and replace the frame and door and all.

And before you ask, no - you cannot use a wood plug plus metal cover plate - metal cover plates are allowable only in drywall and concrete not in wood, because they get very hot in a fire and cause the wood to burn below the plate whereas in concrete and drywall the material they are mounted on can not burn.

And no - you cannot put drywall over the surface of a door to make it fire rated either - not only are metal kick or pull plates prohibited on fire doors, but there was a famous court case in NYC about that where a highrise apartment building owner (hundreds of units) thought he could get away with drywalling hollowcore doors to meet the (then) new fire door code. Court ruled that the UL rating requirement was a legitimate requirement by the government, and also that covering the door with drywall not only did nothing to protect the edge of the door and frame, but also that the fasteners through the drywall constituted cause to say that door would be susceptible to burning from the heat from the fasteners - an interesting finding that the code committee never followed up on, because it implies that the fasteners in a normal drywall fire rated wall would be expected to do the same in the studs they go into (Despite tests showing that is not a major concern). However, that is neither here nor there with respect to your situation.

Answered 4 years ago by LCD

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