The most common questions regarding fire door compliance

Q. I have just been informed our fire doors are non-compliant because they do not have compliance tags fitted. Is this correct?

A. Yes this is correct. Fire door tags show the fire rating, manufacturer, applicant, certifier and year installed and as such are an integral part of the fire door. If the tag is missing, the door is not compliant. If your fire door is relatively new you may contact the original certifier and ask them for re-certification, otherwise the only option is to replace the door with a new one.

Q. We have asbestos fire doors in our building. Do we need to replace them?

A. If your asbestos fire doors are still in excellent condition and functioning as required by the Australian Standards then you are not required to replace them. If however the doors are in disrepair, have faulty hardware or do not have a compliance tag fitted, the only option is to have the doors and hardware replaced. Many building owners are conducting routine replacement of the old asbestos fire doors as part of their commitment to workplace health and safety. If an asbestos fire door is damaged, it can become a serious health issue.

Q. I have just been told my fire door is non-complaint because it has a deadbolt installed. Is this correct?

A. One of the most important aspects of a fire door is for it to be self latching. Most deadbolts negate this function as they can prevent the door from latching when the deadbolt is protruding. In most cases the only way to rectify this problem is to replace the door and have new door hardware installed. There are deadbolts available that are suitable for fire doors, unfortunately most locksmiths are not educated in the Australian Standards that govern Fire Doors and usually install the incorrect type rendering the door non-compliant.

Q. Our fire doors failed an inspection because they didn’t have proper fire door signage. We have a green exit light above the door. Why did it still fail?

A. It is a requirement of The Australian Standards that all fire doors that lead into a fire isolated stairwell or corridor must have approved signage (FIRE DOOR DO NOT OBSTRUCT DO NOT KEEP OPEN). This sign must be permanently fixed to the door. Further, fire doors that form a final exit for a fire isolated stairwell or corridor must have signage on both sides of the door. Illuminated exit signs are only installed above the door on the egress side of the fire door.

Q. How often do fire doors need to be inspected?

A. The frequency for fire door inspections is determined by the building classification in the BCA. In the vast majority of cases, the fire doors in commercial and industrial buildings need to be inspected every 6 months. For residential buildings, the frequency is annually. Failure to conduct regular inspections can result in hefty fines so please give us a call to ensure your fire door maintenance and inspections are up to date.

Q. I have just been told our fire doors failed an inspection due to “excessive gaps” between the door and the door frame. Why is this?

A. There are very strict requirements regarding margins between a fire door and the frame. In the event of a fire, excessive margins can hinder the integrity of a fire door. If the gaps exceed the maximum margin then the door is non-compliant and will need replacing. In some situations, the use of compliant upgrade seals can bring the doors up to standard.