Fire Door Basics

Fire doors are made from non-combustible material with a purpose of preventing a fire from spreading within a building. Generally fire doors are used in commercial applications as well as multi dwelling constructions. A fire rated door, is the “door component” of a fire door assembly. A fire door set consists of a fire door, a fire rated door frame, fire rated hardware (locks, handles and closers) and other accessories that combined provide a specified degree of protection to an opening from fire and smoke.

Each fire safety door will have a fire rating which determines how long the door will protect from the fire. This ranges from 1 hour to 4 hours. Most commonly used fire doors are rated 1 to 2 hours.

Local and national standards determine the minimum rating for each door in a specified area.

A fire rated door’s sole purpose is to prevent the spread of fire and smoke in a designated area. These include doors within a building or doors into or out of a building. Some doors will be used on a daily basis, for example the main entry door into a unit; and other will be used rarely, for example an emergency exit door. Either way, it is of vital importance that all fire rated doors are maintained in accordance with local and national standards to maintain the safety of those inside the building in the unfortunate case of a fire.

The Australian Standard outlines that regular fire door inspections must be carried out by qualified fire door specialists who carry the appropriate licenses. These regular inspections ensure that all fire rated doors are compliant and that any minor or major damage is picked up early and rectified quickly. Failure to comply with fire door compliance can result in hefty fines for the building owners and Body Corporate entities.

Routine fire door inspections will pick up if there are any non-compliance issues with fire doors. This can include, but is not limited to damaged doors, rusty frames, broken / rusted hinges, non-fire rated door locks, non-compliant dead locks, incorrect door margins and more. In many cases, individuals modify their doors not realizing they are in fact fire doors. Further, they install accessories like dead locks, peep holes, hooks and latches not realizing they are jeopardizing the safety of the fire door. Simply drilling a hole into a fire door can dramatically reduce its performance capability. Altering a fire door may render the door non-compliant and the door will need to be repaired or more likely replaced. In addition, industry standards insist a fire rated door must be fixed or installed only by a licensed fire door installer. Failure to do so will result in further non-compliance.  It is a very strict code… for a very good reason.

It is also important to note the area surrounding the doors is free of blockages.  Door openings and surrounding areas should be clear of anything that could obstruct or interfere with the doors free operation.

In addition, blocking or wedging fire doors open must be prohibited. Further, a fire door must be fitted with a self-closing device.

In conclusion, fire door safety is an important aspect of any commercial and residential building complex.

For all your fire door needs call our friendly staff at Scanline Fire Doors on 1300 302994.

About Peter Pedersen

Peter Pedersen has been in the fire door industry for over 30 years. He is a qualified Joiner/Carpenter and began his career in the fire door industry installing fire doors. As the Gold Coast grew so did his business, where he moved into an administrative role with Scanline Fire Doors. With his extensive knowledge of Fire Doors he can advise you on all aspects of Fire Door Maintenance.Google+
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