Double Action or Hinged Fire Doors: What’s Best For You?

When planning your next construction project, the time will come when you will need to make some key decisions around the types of fire doors you need. Double action or hinged fire doors. What’s best for you?

One of the most common questions we are asked at FSE Special Purpose Doors is whether Double Action or Hinged Fire Doors are the best fire choices. Below, we take a look at the unique characteristics of both and offer some advice on what’s best for your build:

Double Action Fire Doors

Double action doors are doors that are capable of swinging both inwards and outwards, over a 180-degree angle. They are most often fitted to the top and vertical stiles.

These types of doors are ideal for larger hallways or spaces, where high levels of pedestrian traffic can occur in both directions.

A double action door will usually be ideal if you are designing or constructing:

  • A hospital or medical facility (or similar) with large doorways and hallways
  • A public theatre, arena, cinema or other ‘entertainment’ venue
  • A school, library or other public institution<
  • A commercial building, like a shopping centre or similar
  • Any other building or venue where large or wide hallways and corridors have been incorporated into the design

Double action fire doors can usually be kept open manually using a lock system (and can also be released manually), giving occupants much flexibility in door use. The Magnamatic system is one of the most reliable types of hardware that is used to help doors perform this function.

Double action doors are also capable of being linked to an internal alarm system which, if triggered, will automatically close any open doors so that they can provide the required fire protection in the event of an emergency.

hinged fire doors

Hinged Fire Doors

A hinged door is one that you would ordinarily find at the entrance of a residential home or a small corporate office, for example. As the name suggests, this door is fixed to the door jamb via two or more hinges and can usually only swing open one way (either inwards or outwards), at 90-degrees. Hinged doors are almost always fitted with a handle or knob.

Hinged doors can be used as fire doors in:

  • Residential homes and buildings
  • Corporate buildings
  • Professional business offices (e.g. doctors offices, dental clinics)
  • Hotels and accommodation buildings
  • Buildings and premises with smaller rooms, corridors and hallways
  • Fire stairwells, corridors and doorways leading to fire exits

Unlike double action doors, hinged fire doors are often not automatic, and must be manually opened and closed. As such, these doors are usually best for smaller spaces that only experience low traffic or infrequent traffic volumes.

Which Fire Door Should You Use?

Both double action fire doors and hinged fire doors can help you achieve a specific fire resistant rating for your building, including 1,2,3 or 4-hour ratings, ensuring it is compliant with BCA standards.

Each door can be manufactured using a variety of materials (steel, timber, lead-lined) and hardware, and can often be adapted to suit any particular fire resistant rating or purpose.

Depending on your particular project, you can of course utilise both double action doors and hinged doors in your build to suit the needs of each space you envision.

Some key questions that you can ask to determine what type of fire door will work for your project include:

  • Fire Requirements: What type of building or business are you working on? What fire resistant standards do you need meet?
  • Traffic: What type of traffic and how much traffic will be going through the doorway and the space? How often? And in what direction?
  • Door Performance: Do your fire doors need to perform any other type of function? E.g. Do they need to also double-up as hygiene doors or acoustic doors? Will they need to be kept open for short periods of time?
  • Door Components: How big will the door/s need to be to accurately perform in the given space, hallway or doorway? What materials do you want your door to be made of? What finishes will you require?

Looking for Double Action Fire Doors or Hinged Fire Doors or even a custom fire door for your design project?

Contact FSE Special Purpose Doors in Sydney on 1300 4 DOORS and we can provide you with tailored advice and excellent door solutions for your building.