How to Check your Fire Doors to Prevent the Spread of Smoke

Fire doors are an essential part of residential, commercial and industrial buildings, as they ensure the safety of occupants in the case of an emergency and in some cases, save lives.

BCA (Building Code of Australia) requires that all fire doors, be installed in accordance with the Australian Standard AS/NZS 1905.1.2005, as that way they can regulate the vital safety features to certify that the doors are able to withstand fires for as long as possible. Inspections for fire doors occur bi-annually, so if you haven’t had yours inspected in some time, organise a meeting with an accredited official.

Fire doors may fail at inspections due to physical defects that prevent the doors working properly. This may be because:

• There are problems with locking mechanisms
• The door does not comply with the AS1905 rating due to parts of the diminished features of the door eg. the frame
• The door has deadbolt locks or other prohibited features
• The door wasn’t installed properly, is misaligned, split, altered or damaged
• Clearances around edges of the door don’t adhere to required measurements

Fire doors prevent the spread of smoke and save lives during the event of a fire. It is essential that these are doors are up to standard and vital safety features are adhered to in order to perform to their potential. Here are five ways you can check your fire doors are working correctly.

Here are 5 things you can do to check your fire doors will prevent the spread of smoke and perform in the event of a fire.

Door gaps

Door gaps between fire doors and the door frame at the head should not exceed 4mm and should not be less than 2mm as there needs to be adequate room for intumescent strips to activate if a fire is blazing.

Smoke seals

Make sure that the smoke seals effectively close all gaps in the doors as smoke can travel through any gaps, no matter how big or small.

Door signage

Signage of the fire door needs to be maintained and cannot be defaced, damaged or missing. The door has to be clearly labelled as a fire door so it can be seen clearly in the event of an emergency.

Door closure against the seal

The fire door must be able to close properly, as over time and with frequent use, doors often drop and become warped, making it difficult for them to close effectively.


Fire doors must not be obstructed at any time by any occupants, items or furniture, as if they are, inaccessibility and obstacles may result in wasting valuable time in the state of an emergency and even loss of life.

Here at Special Purpose Doors, all of our fire doors and 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.

If you have any questions about Automatic Commercial Doors, 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.