Fire Rated Door Hardware
Fire rated doors ensure the safety of the occupants of a building and stop the spread of smoke between different parts of a building. A fire rated door is more than just the door unit itself, it includes different pieces of hardware, and without each of these components, the fire safety of the door would be defunct.
The hardware of a fire rated door is extremely important in ensuring that the door as a whole maintains its structural integrity in the advent of fire. Without fire rated hardware, the whole fire rating of the door could become compromised.
Compliant Fire Rated Door Hardware
Hardware fitted to a fire door must be tested in accordance to the relevant specifications as set by the National Construction Code. The relevant requirements are documented under AS1905.1 (Components for the protection of openings in fire-resistant walls Part 1: Fire-resistant doorsets) and AS1530.4 (Methods for fire tests on building materials, components and structures Part 4: Fire-resistance tests for elements of construction).
Fire Rated Door Hardware Requirements
Requirements in the standards set by the Building Code of Australia ensure that doors remain functional in a fire, but also in an emergency situation that would require the evacuation of multiple residents in a building. Some of these include:
• Egress opening actions must be able to be opened by a single hand in a downward lever motion or pushing action.
• Knobs that are internal and turn snibs are not permitted as they are not at an advantage to people with hand injuries, burns, wet hands, the aged and the disabled.
• Opening mechanisms must be able to be opened with a nudging action, in case a resident has to escape the building whilst dragging an unconscious or injured person to safety.
• Key locks cannot be located on the inside of the door.
• Each fire rated door must only have one lock.
• The height of locks must be between 900mm and 1100mm from the floor, with the exception of childcare facilities childcare facilities, which may be 1500mm-1650mm high if necessary.
Fire Door Hardware
Fire Doors must be fitted with hardware that has the appropriate fire rating and each piece of hardware must be fire rated in accordance with AS1905.1. Some pieces of hardware are unique to fire rated doors and are vital in helping occupants escape smoke and flames in the case of an emergency. Some of these hardware requirements include:
• Self Latches: The lock of fire rated doors must be self-latching and are not permitted to have a hold open feature, as this could be detrimental in providing a flameproof seal in the case of an emergency.
• Automatic door closers: Fire rated doors must be fitted with an automatic door closing system that has an equal level of fire rating. This is an essential piece of hardware that controls the spread of smoke, heat and drafts that could feed the flame.
• Locks: Locks must be compliant with the latest BCA regulation and if a new lock is fitted it must be upgraded to the specification set in AS1905.1. Deadlocks, multiple locks, locking bolts and padlocks are considered dangerous and are not permitted. The BCA states that personal safety is valued higher over security.
• Panic Bars: Panic bars or crash bars are necessary where there may be large crowds that must all exist simultaneously. There are usually required in buildings such as halls theatres and stadiums where there is a risk of ‘crowd crush’, a situation where a crowd of people can crush each other against an unopenable door. These bars burst open when in contact with a crowd.
• Intumescent seal: This is a seal that sits around the edges of the door and is designed to expand when temperatures reach beyond 200°C, closing the gaps between the door and the frame.
Here at Special Purpose Doors, all of our fire doors our fire door hardware is rigorously tested 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 manufactures Automatic Doors for numerous industries throughout Australia.