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Building Codes and Inspections/replacing a hall door in commerical bldg


At our church in Troy, IL we would like to replace an exisitng door into a hallway from a classroom of less than 50. The door is not a fire door in a 25 year old building.  We were told we fall under the grandfather clause, but once we change something it revokes the clause. I understand the need for a new fire door being installed but my queation is..Do all 26 doors we have on two floors need to replaced if we only WANT the one redone?

We have a lot of confusion talking with builders, inspectors, and fire marshall.

Thanks you your help.

The door rating would depend on whether the corridor has a fire rating or not. The decision of what has to be done would lie with the building official of the municipality that has legal jurisdiction, or sometimes the Fire Marshal if there is no active building permit.

Sometimes the corridor is not rated if each classroom has it's own door to the exterior, as was the case with many 1950-70's era schools. In multi-story occupancies, generally the corridors and stairwells are rated.

You can probably maintain the building in it's previously approved configuration, so if it's a one hour door, the replacing it with another one hour rated door should be acceptable. I would contact your municipal Building Official for guidance, as that person would also be aware of any local amendments that would impact your work.

Your original building plans would yield answers also if they are available to you. Your Building Official may have a copy of them on record in the municipal file archives.

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Keith Fuller


I'm an ICC Certified Master Code Professional fielding general building code questions. My experience has been heavy in fire related issues.


I've been employed since 1985 as an inspector and plan reviewer, and am a municipal Assistant Building Official and Deputy fire Marshal. I've had fire service experience since 1972, having served as a three time Fire Chief and Fire Marshal in years past. The increasing workload, mandatory certifications, and continuing education requirements in recent years have caused me to concentrate my efforts on code related issues. I hold national fire service certifications as well.

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