Fire safety in apartment buildings

Apartment fires have the potential to spread heat, smoke and fire throughout a building which can affect the safety of a huge number of occupants in a very short amount of time. Apartment living requires extra careful consideration of fire safety. Let’s take a closer look at fire safety in apartment buildings below.

Fire doors

Fire doors keep occupants of a building safe by stopping the spread of smoke and flames. While fire safety doors are a crucial part of any building’s fire safety infrastructure, they are especially important in apartment buildings where many people are moving in around the building regularly. 

Under the requirements of the Building Code of Australia, entry and exit doors to all apartment must be fire rated to one hour. ‘Fire door’ actually refers to a fire-rated door set, which includes the door leaf, frame as well as hardware such as handles, viewing panels, sir grilles and locks. Each must be tested and approved in accordance with the Building Code of Australia, article AS1530.4.

One of the main function of these doors is that they close and latch automatically so that in the case of a fire they are not left open. This is important so that ‘compartmentalisation’ can occur, which stops the spread of flames between different areas of a building while keeping key traffic areas flame free. Apartments are generally located in built-up metropolitan areas where building are close together, so the risk of fire spreading between building can be high.

Fire door maintenance

Once a fire door is installed, they still must be maintained regularly. Inspections are an integral part in making sure that fire doors continue to operate to the best of their ability.
According to the Building Code of Australia, apartment fire doors need to be inspected every s months for common property fire doors and every twelve months for sole occupancy unit fire doors

Strata managers of apartments are also responsible for submitting an annual Fire Safety Certificate and schedule for all new and altered buildings. For each year following they must submit an Annual Fire Saftey Statement (AFSS). Each of these documents is required to be certified by a Fire Saftey Official such as a fire engineer.

Smoke detectors

It is always important to maintain safe apartment rooms which protect building occupants against fire. As such, smoke detectors are a must-have. Smoke detectors function with a detection element that activates when it reaches a fixed temperature or an extreme increase in temperature occurs. Through combining various types of detectors and ensuring they are plenty installed in your home, you can rest easy knowing each apartment is as safe and protected as can be.

Fire escape plans

A fire escape plan is a set of rules or steps that building occupants must know and follow so that they can escape a fire as quickly and safely as possible. Fire escape plans must adhere to rules and regulations in accordance with the apartment and will include:

  • The build fire wardens
  • The two quickest ways out of every room
  • How to exit from upstairs if the home or building has more than one storey
  • An agreed-upon meeting place outside
  • How to call Triple Zero

Apartments are shared residential complexes and require strict fire protection systems to ensure the safety of all residents. FSE Special Purpose Doors manufactures fire safety doors for numerous industries throughout Australia, including apartment buildings. These can be built using a variety of materials and configured and fitted to meet most aesthetic and functional requirements.

If you want like to learn more about apartment fire door regulation – or about Special Purpose Fire Doors in general, you can find our products here. To book a quote, phone 1300 4 DOORS, or contact us.