Why does your fire door need to be inspected?

The front entry doors to each apartment in your strata scheme are known as fire doors. Their purpose, aside from providing security to your premises, is to prevent the spread of fire from the common areas into your apartment and vice-versa.

The fire rating for most fire doors is 90 minutes, which simply means the doors should be able to prevent the spread of fire for at least 90 minutes which should be sufficient to allow residents to escape the building in an emergency.

Our Fire Services Technicians need to complete a brief visual inspection of the actual doors to check that their fire rating has not been compromised. The inspectors are looking for the following issues with the doors:

1. Fire Rated Locks & Spy Holes

Any penetration made to the fire door, such as installation of a new lock or spy hole can breach the fire rating of the door. As such all additional locks or spy holes that have been installed must be approved fire rated products that won’t compromise the fire rating of the door.

2. Improper Installations

The Australian Standards specifies that an occupant of an apartment should have unobstructed escape route from their premises so they are able to easily escape in the event of a fire. There are certain types of locks, namely the Lockwood 001 and 002 dead latches that have an automatic release function when opened which are permitted to be fitted to a fire door.

The Australian Standards also stipulate that there should be no article fitted to the door that will impede the door when it is closing. Items such as safety chains or door stops may be classified as such as impediment if fitted to the door.

3. Automatic Door Closer

Your fire door should be fitted with an automatic door closer to ensure that it remains closed at all times. The inspectors will test the operation of the closer to make certain that it is functioning and performing adequately.

 4. Clearances

This is to help prevent flames from engulfing the door in the event of a fire. Occasionally the doors can be misaligned by natural building movement, settlement, or every day wear and tear.

5. Door Tags

The stamp or tag is usually on the rear spine of the door and notes its classification, date of manufacture and fire rating. The inspectors need to ensure that this tag is evident.