(7) Coordinator ensures that door leaves close in proper sequence (pairs only).

(7) Coordinator ensures that door leaves close in proper sequence (pairs only).

CoordinatorMost fire-rated pairs of doors are equipped with either fire exit hardware (panic devices) or a lockset on the active leaf and automatic flush bolts on the inactive leaf.  The exception to this would be doors leading to unoccupied spaces such as electrical, mechanical, or boiler rooms.

Automatic flush bolts are projected when the active door closes and engages the triggers, and when the active door opens the auto flush bolts retract.  This means that in order for the doors to close and latch, the inactive leaf with the automatic flush bolts has to close before the active leaf.  The same situation occurs when a pair of fire doors is equipped with an overlapping astragal – the proper leaf has to close first.

Auto Flush Bolt & Bar-Type CoordinatorThe function of a coordinator is to ensure that the leaves of a pair close in the proper sequence.  Two common types of coordinators are gravity coordinators which are mounted on the frame face (top right), and bar-type coordinators which are mounted on the underside of the frame head (bottom right).  If both leaves of the pair are opened and the active leaf begins to close first, the coordinator holds the active leaf open a few degrees to allow the inactive leaf to close first.  When the inactive leaf is in the closed position, it engages the release mechanism on the coordinator which then allows the active leaf to close.

Sound complicated?  It is!  Coordinators and automatic flush bolts can be a problematic application, so fire exit hardware is definitely preferred where possible.  If fire exit hardware can’t be used, holding the doors open with approved hold-open devices that release upon fire alarm can help by reducing the frequency of use.

Source: NFPA 80 2007, 2010 –

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