Smoke door regulations all building owners should know

Smoke doors are an essential part of fire-safe infrastructure, as they prevent smoke from travelling between isolated areas, buildings and other areas where employees, occupants or the public may be at risk.

Door Regulations are there to make sure that they adhere to the necessary standards that will protect employees, occupants and the public. Check out everything you need to know about smoke door regulations below.

What are smoke doors?

Smoke doors present a physical barrier that limits the spread of smoke, assisting a building’s occupants in evacuating and ensuring escape routes remain clear and tenable.

BCA Guidelines

Smoke doors are referenced by the BCA in Specification C3.4. Specification C3.4 of the building code states that “smoke doors must be constructed so that smoke will not pass* from one side of the doorway to the other” and provides the set of guidelines seen below.

A smoke door of one or two leaves satisfies Clause 3.1 if it is constructed as follows:

(a) The leaves are side-hung to swing—

(i) in the direction of egress; or

(ii) in both directions.

(b) (i) The leaves are capable of resisting smoke at 200°C for 30 minutes.

(ii) Solid-core leaves* at least 35 mm thick satisfy (i).

(c) The leaves are fitted with smoke seals.

(d) (i) The leaves are normally in the closed position; or

(ii) (A) The leaves are closed automatically with the automatic closing operation initiated by smoke detectors, installed in accordance with the relevant provisions of AS 1670.1, located on each side of the doorway not more than 1.5 m horizontal distance from the doorway; and

(B) in the event of power failure to the door, the leaves fail-safe in the closed position.

(e) The leaves return to the fully closed position after each manual opening.

(f) Any glazing incorporated in the door complies with AS 1288.

(g) (i) If a glazed panel is capable of being mistaken for an unobstructed exit, the presence of the glass must be identified by opaque construction.

(ii) An opaque mid-height band, mid-rail or crash bar satisfies (i).

For more information visit the Australian Building Codes website.


Are you interested in learning more about special purpose doors? Check out some of our other great blog posts: 

Why choose a solid core door? 

7 great benefits of steel doors

Damage to special purpose doors which is easy to avoid 

Do you have more questions about smoke doors? FSE Special Purpose Doors works with residential, commercial and industrial clients throughout Australia to design, manufacture and install fire and smoke doors. To learn more visit, phone 1300 4 DOORS, or contact us here.