An Overview of Fire Rated Swinging Double Action Fire Doors For Schools & Hospitals

We take a look at the advantages of swinging double action fire doors in spaces like schools and hospitals where swift, easy movement is an imperative.

Like any other building, it is imperative that schools and hospitals have the appropriate fire protection in place.

While fire doors in these buildings must serve to keep occupants safe and minimise fire damage, they also need to facilitate easy and swift movement in corridors, passageways and between certain rooms/areas. Swinging double action fire doors are an excellent option for these spaces.

What Are Fire Rated Swinging Double Action Doors?

Swinging double action fire doors act like any other fire door and come with fire resistant ratings to ensure maximum fire protection.

However, the key difference with fire rated swinging double action fire doors is that they will swing back and forth 180-degrees to allow traffic to move quickly and easily back and forth through the doors.

Double action fire doors are ideal for passageways that face a high volume of traffic and egress each day or contain a high volume of occupants. They are utilised in expansive areas where doorways and corridors are quite large and hence require a larger door to satisfy fire separation zoning requirements.

Selecting the Correct Double Action Fire Doors

It is important that your particular choice of swinging double action fire doors is appropriate for your school or hospital setting.

When selecting your double action doors, you will typically need to decide:

  • Whether you need a single door only or a pair of double swing doors – your preference will often depend on the width of your passageway or doorway; if you are installing fire doors in a hospital, for example, double doors are usually needed given the wide span of hospital hallways
  • What type of material you require for the fire door – like all fire doors, swinging double action doors can be produced in a range of materials to suit various purposes; consider what material will best suit your purpose and how this will inform the weight and durability of your door. Read more about custom fire doors here.
  • What particular finish you want – you can often choose from a range of finishes to suit the design and purpose of each fire door; for instance, you might want a laminate door finish for a school or a lead-lined door for a hospital x-ray room
  • Whether you need a window vision panel in the door – swinging double action fire doors with glazed windows or view panels can be necessary in both schools and hospitals, so you will need to consider whether this is a requirement for your fire doors
  • If you want the doors to be opened manually or automatically – this will depend on the purpose of your door and where in your building it is located; remember that all fire doors must close and latch on their own (i.e. self-latching) or they must close automatically in the event of a fire in order to comply with regulations set by the BCA (if the doors are held open by magnamatic sets, for instance)

swinging Double Action Fire Doors

Maintaining Swinging Double Action Fire Doors

If you do choose fire rated swinging double action doors for your school or hospital, you or your building managers will need to maintain the door as you would any other fire door.

In particular, your swinging double action door set will require standard, regular inspections (by a qualified inspector) to ensure that:

  • It continues to uphold its fire resistance rating and remains compliant with Australian regulations
  • All latches, closing devices and other hardware remain functional and operative – this can often be one of the biggest concerns with swinging double action doors and so thorough inspections are paramount
  • All door signage and compliance tagging remains visible in the appropriate positions on the door
  • All occupants of the building (such as nurses, doctors, children, teachers) uphold all fire safety and OHS rules and that the swinging double action doors are not being obstructed or damaged in any way

Do you need a swinging double action fire door for your next construction project? 

FSE Special Purpose Doors can supply standard and swinging double action fire doors for the construction of schools, hospitals and other public buildings. For further information, contact us at [email protected] or 1300 4 DOORS.