How Do Fire Proof Doors Work To Keep Your Building Safe?

It is important to know how exactly fire doors work to keep your building and its occupants safe. Let’s take a look at the details.

Fire doors are an essential part of any building’s fire protection model for the overall safety of the people inside. They work to stop fire and smoke from spreading quickly and making their way into isolated areas like fire exits and corridor where people could become trapped. In a nutshell, fire doors save lives.

But how exactly do fire doors work to keep your building safe? Let’s take a look.

Fire Resistance Level

In Australia, the National Construction Code dictates that all fire doors must be tested to certain specifications (i.e. AS1530.4) in order to meet resistance approvals and certification. After this they are given what is known as a “fire rating” or “fire resistance level” (FRL) – the latter being the correct terminology under the Building Code of Australia.

Three factors contribute to a door’s FRL. These are its structural adequacy, meaning its ability to maintain stability and load-bearing capacity when tested in accordance with AS 1530.4; its integrity, meaning its ability to resist flames and hot gases when tested in accordance with AS 1530.4; and insulation, meanings its ability to maintain a temperature below specified limits on the surface not exposed to flames below the limits specified, when tested in accordance with AS1530.4.

The sum of these three properties equal a door’s fire rating – basically its ability to resist heat and flames.

fire safety sydney


One of the key factors of how fire doors work to keep a building safe is their ability to contain a fire, but also lead pedestrian traffic to safety, and ensure people do not become trapped in isolated spaces like hallways, or dead-end corridors. This process is what is known as compartmentalisation.

How is this achieved? One way is through the implementation of magnamatic devices. These are specialised types of hardware that are installed in doors to hold them open. If an alarm or emergency is triggered, the device will automatically close the door, to prevent the issue from spreading to other areas of the building and causing harm or damage to the building and/or its inhabitants.

Doors Seals

High quality seals are an essential part of any fire door. They aim to reduce the severity of a fire by restricting the spread of flames through the gaps around the door leaf.

Quality sealing systems maximise the potential fire-resistance levels for a fire door. These seals expand when exposed to high temperatures, and as fire doors lock when triggered and do not need to be opened for escape, they provide a stable barrier against the flames.

Doors seal also help keep the occupants of a building safe by reducing the spread of smoke. Smoke contains dangerous toxins and can be harmful to those exposed to it. In fact, many fatalities associated with fire are due to smoke inhalation.

Fire Doors Signage

Lastly, fire doors are an important part of a building’s fire protection model because they display information that boosts awareness of fire safety. There are strict regulations regarding signage for fire doors throughout the entirety of Australia. These vary between state, so be sure to read more about signage here.

At FSE Special Purpose Doors, all of our fire rated doors are fully tested and certified to meet Australian fire resistance requirements. To find out more about our fire doors, please contact us at: [email protected] or 1300 4 DOORS.