5 Things You Should Know Before Getting a Fire Door
Fire doors are specialist safety doors that are tested to ensure that they can withstand fire for as long as possible. They are a standard safety feature as they stop the spread of fire between different sections of a building and protect residents in the advent of an emergency. If you are thinking of adding fire doors to your building’s safety infrastructure there are a few things you should know before making your decision.
There’s no doubt about it, fire-safe doors are a crucial part of a building’s safety infrastructure, but before you make your choice about which door is best for you, it’s important to consider factors such as the fire rating, aspect and components.
Fire Door Configurations
Fire doors area used across numerous industries, however, there are different configurations that can accommodate unique aspects of different buildings. Some examples of the options available include:
• Hinged fire doors – These doors have a standard hinged fitting and are perfect for general use in industrial and commercial applications. They are also suitable for residential purposes, such as hotels and apartments where it’s required that they are rated to one hour.
• Double action fire doors – These doors are useful in places where bi-directional traffic is common and provide more space for people to exit and enter.
• Sliding fire doors – These doors are efficient at compartmentalising flame and smoke and are used in many high-risk industries.
• Heritage fire doors – There are many doors in the country that are protected because of their heritage status. These doors can be upgraded to fire doors so that they keep their aesthetic, but improve on their fire safety rating.
Fire doors can be constructed from many different materials, including timber, steel, gypsum, MDF, glass or even a combination of these. Before you choose the material a material you should consider the following factors:
• The type of building that you are working on and the fire resistance rating that you need to meet.
• The thickness requirements of your door. Though there are many options available in terms of materials, you might find that some materials may only be certifiable as fire rated in a certain thickness.
• Your interior design choices. Although fire doors must prioritise functionality, different materials give a designer choices to match the interior of the building’s design.
• The strength and durability needed. A door’s material must be suited to its purpose and if it exists in an environment where it is likely to be exposed to a high level of wear, it needs to be suitably resilient.
Different Components and Hardware
There are many parts that make up a fire door, and apart from the materials used and their overall configuration, what sets them apart is their different components and hardware. Here are some that you will likely encounter.
• Intumescent seals sit around the edges of the door and are designed to expand when temperatures reach beyond 200°C, thereby sealing the gaps between the door and the frame.
• Automatic door closers must be fitted so that in the case of emergency, the door closes and stops the spread of flame and smoke.
• Locks must be fitted that comply with the latest BCA regulation and when new locks are fitted they must be upgraded to the latest standard. Locks must be self-latching and are not permitted to have a hold open feature.
• Panic bars must be fitted in buildings where there may be large crowds exiting simultaneously.
Fire Doors and Components Must be Certified
When choosing a fire resistant door, it’s important to know the certification of your doors. The Building Code of Australia dictates that a Fire Resistance level is to be expressed as a period of minutes for three categories: structural adequacy, integrity and insulation. Each of these are tested to the Australian standard AS1530.4, which measures fire tests on materials, components and hardware. The Fire Resistant Level is expressed as SA/INT/INS, and is representative of the tests conducted.
Inspections are important to make sure that fire doors remain compliant and are performed bi-annually by accredited officials. Inspections make sure that doors comply with regulations set by the Building Code of Australia and check for the following:
• Door openers function properly and latching mechanisms lock and unlock as designed.
• All parts and components of the door including frame and hardware uphold their required fire resistance rating in accordance with AS1905.
• There is adequate clearance around the edges of the door, and the measurements are compliant with regulations.
• Doors are not misaligned, altered or damaged in any way that could affect their functionality.
Here at Special Purpose Doors, all of our fire doors our fire door hardware is tested and certified in accordance with the Australian Building Code Standards (i.e. AS1530.4).
We supply a wide range of fire doors to meet the needs of any building. These can be built using a variety of materials and configured and fitted to meet most aesthetic and functional requirements.
FSE Special Purpose Doors are experts in all aspects of door manufacture and installation and have particular expertise in fire doors, custom fire doors, solid core doors, heritage door upgrades, acoustic doors, and radiation shielded doors. We supply and deliver fire doors to Sydney and throughout Australia.