Fire Door Safety – 7 Common Sins

Imagine the only thing between you and a raging fire is a door. If you are in luck it will be a properly installed and maintained Fire, Smoke & Exit Door. If the door and its components are up to Australian Standards then it should buy you (and others!) enough time to get to safety.

When our team are out and about conducting safety inspections on Fire Doors we routinely come across the same issues which pose a huge safety risk in the event of a fire. Fire doors are often not given a second thought, yet they are in almost every building where we work, live and sleep. If a fire breaks out, every tiny detail and split-second counts.

Common Fire Door Problems:

  1. Door is propped open or locked
  2. Door closers not working or adjusted incorrectly
  3. Access to door is blocked
  4. Door has been repaired with non-fire rated components
  5. Excessive gaps between door and its frame
  6. Intumescent and smoke seals are damaged or missing
  7. Lack of routine maintenance by a certified inspector.

To be effective and able to be certified, a fire door must be fitted and maintained correctly, be self-closing and latching and ALL components must be fire rated and compatible to Australian Standards. This is the only way to ensure that the fire door performs to its intended fire rating use.

See How Fire Door Failures Can Quickly Spell Disaster

A controlled burn test of two identical fire doors, undertaken as part of Britain’s 2017 Fire Door Safety week, was captured on video and demonstrates the harsh reality of failure to maintain fire doors correctly. Both doors were the same but one had a number of defects including being fitted with standard (non-fire rated) hinges, having excessive gaps between the door and its frame and smoke seals were missing. In the burn test, the defective door began to fail in only four and half minutes with smoke pouring through the gaps and fire beginning to break through. In contrast, the correctly fitted and functioning door lasted 33 minutes before it began to fail.

Imagine being on the upper level of a burning building and your only means of escape is via a stairwell protected by fire doors on each level. If the fire doors are all operating effectively, you will have a good chance of escape. If not, the answer could be very different.

How To Ensure Your Fire Doors Will Work Effectively And Are Compliant

Owners of buildings have a duty of care to workers, visitors and residents to ensure that all fire doors are inspected and maintained on an annual basis to protect the safety of all on the property.

There is no room for complacency when it comes to fire door safety. It is purely about life and death.

Contact Fire Rating Solutions for expert fire door inspection services and to establish an ongoing maintenance routine to protect life and safety. Phone +61 3 9419 1393.