What All Strata Managers Should Know About Fire Doors
The role of a Strata manager is one of significant importance in ensuring the safety, compliance and maintenance of fire safe infrastructure. One of the most important parts of this infrastructure is fire-safe doors, which protects a building’s occupants by containing the spread of flame.
Strata managers have a lot of responsibilities on their hands, one of the most important being a building’s continuing fire safety. Here’s are some things that all strata managers should know about fire doors.
According to the NSW Environmental Planning & Assessment Regulation 2000 Part 9: Fire Safety… “the owner of a building, to which an essential fire safety measure is applicable, is required to maintain each essential fire safety measure in the building”. Failure to meet and maintain the correct standards can result in significant fines and legal ramifications, so strata managers should be on top of their building’s fire safety infrastructure at all times.
Fire doors are a type of passive fire protection system. They don’t extinguish a fire, but they do provide protection to residents by stopping the spread of fire to other parts of the building. This containment is called ‘compartmentalisation’. When a building is designed the architect divides it into different fire compartments, which can contain one or multiple rooms. The design should limit the spread of fire and smoke between compartments, and the best way to do this is by having a functional fire door.
Strata managers should be aware of their buildings different compartments as well as the location of the associated fire door and emergency exit procedures.
Fire doors require annual checks to ensure that they are operational, unobstructed, and fully compliant. All necessary elements – the door itself, hinges, handles, framing, locks and latches must be inspected by an accredited official. According to the Building Code of Australia, fire doors must be inspected in the following intervals:
• Every 6 months for common property fire doors
• Every 12 months for sole occupancy unit fire doors
Disruptions or damage with the state of a door’s components, no matter how minor, can affect its performance in the advent of an emergency. Therefore, checks by certified authorities are crucial.
An important task required of strata managers is to ensure all residents of a building know not to obstruct fire doors, as this can lead to damage and render them ineffective in the case of emergency.
Annual Fire Safety Certificates
Strata managers must submit a fire safety certificate and schedule for all new and altered buildings and for each year afterwards, they are required to submit an Annual Fire Safety Statement (AFSS). These documents must be approved by a certified Fire Safety Official, such as a Fire Engineer. Fire safety certificates are of legal importance and failing to submit on time is considered an offence. The penalties for late submission are as follows:
• $1,000 for one week late
• $2000 for two weeks late
• $3000 for three weeks late
• $4000 for four weeks late
Failure to submit can be considered grounds for legal action in the Land and Environmental Court and a maximum penalty of $110,000 can be charged.
Signage is an crucial component of fire doors and it’s important that the correct sign is displayed at all times, based on the requirements set by the Building Code of Australia.
If signs are missing, damaged or defaced they must be replaced as soon as possible, otherwise, penalties may apply. It is important that residents are made aware of the importance of keeping signage maintained, and the penalties associated with their interference.
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FSE Special Purpose Doors are experts in all aspects of door manufacture and installation and have particular expertise in fire doors, custom fire doors, solid core doors, heritage door upgrades, acoustic doors, and radiation shielded doors. We supply and deliver fire doors to Sydney and throughout Australia.