Solutions for Expediting Fire Door Measurements

When performing an on-site fire door inspection, one of the most time-consuming parts of the process is taking measurements.

But this is also one of the most important steps. According to the Door Security & Safety Foundation, some of the most common deficiencies in fire-rated doors are:

  • Poor clearance dimensions around the perimeter of the door in the closed position.
  • And bottom flush bolts that do not project properly into the strikes.

To accurately gauge this, in most cases you will need to take a measurement.

This means getting out the measuring tape or ruler and calculating the correct distance. In some cases, the distance can be very short, requiring exact accuracy.

Where this can also become time-consuming (and burdensome) is in cases where the top frame of the door is too high to reach on your own. In these instances, you will likely need to bring a ladder or a stepstool with you. Just what you needed, right?

Fortunately, new technology is bringing with it a solution for fire door measurement woes. You can download apps that make measuring easier — and faster.

Some of the best measurement apps for the job include:


  • The iPhone comes delivered with a built-in “Measure” app utility that uses the camera.
  • Start the app and wait a few seconds for it to calibrate itself.
  • Aim the camera at the starting point of the measurement and tap the button.
  • Move the camera to the end point of the measurement and tap again.
  • You’ll get the value expressed in both metric and imperial.


  • This app uses the motion sensor on an iPhone to measure volume, height, angle, and more.
  • Four distance measurement modes and two angle measurement modes are provided.
  • Move your phone from the starting point to the ending point and you will get the measurement value.
  • The faster you move your phone from Point A to Point B, the more accurate the reading will be.
  • It can also pass through obstacles between Point A and Point B without disrupting the measurement.
  • No Internet connection is needed.


  • A similar app that uses the camera on your smartphone.
  • The measurement calculation is based on the height of the camera and the tilt of your phone.
  • Supported by both Android and iPhones.


  • App for Android phones with an on-screen digital ruler.
  • Place the phone down straight, put an object at the top, and measure it like you would with an actual ruler.
  • Has a “caliper” mode with two handles on screen that you can move for precise measurements.
  • Better for measuring smaller, removable items, rather than the whole door.

Some caveats with camera-type apps:

  • You need a relatively well-lit region – the apps won’t calibrate in low-light.
  • The resulting imperial measure rounds to the nearest 1/2 inch, so unless you convert the metric to imperial yourself, you won’t see 24 3/8”, for example.

There are many more apps that use the built-in GPS and camera tools that smartphones have today – but remember, though remarkably good, the apps cannot completely replace an actual measurement tool, like a ruler, tape, or transit/theodolite. They can, however, help expedite the fire door measurement process.

Another app that significantly speeds up the fire door inspection process in mpengo’s Fire Door Safety Inspection App. We’ve designed this app specifically for fire door inspectors. Store your notes, measurements, and even photos all in one location and access it anytime. You can also compile fully documented inspection reports and invoices virtually automatically.

Learn more about the Fire Door Safety Inspection App today and download a free trial:


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