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Fire Doors

Fire doors are an essential fire safety measure implemented in many buildings and facilities across Australia, and are a crucial component of an Annual Fire Safety Statement (AFSS). These specialised doors are designed to prevent the spread of fire and smoke within a building, providing a protective barrier that can be instrumental in saving lives and property.

In Australia, the design, installation, and maintenance of fire doors are governed by a number of Australian Standards. The primary ones include AS 1905.1, which outlines the specifications for fire-resistant door sets, and AS 1851, which sets the maintenance requirements.

Fire doors in Australia must be self-closing and self-latching to be compliant with the National Construction Code (NCC). They should be kept closed at all times, unless they're fitted with approved hold-open devices that automatically release in the event of a fire. This ensures that the fire door can effectively compartmentalise a building, restricting the spread of fire and smoke, and providing occupants with safe evacuation routes.

There are various types of fire doors available, including hinged doors, sliding doors, and roller shutter doors. Each type is rated for a certain period of fire resistance, generally ranging from -/60/30 (providing insulation for 30 minutes) to -/240/240 (providing insulation for 240 minutes).

Inspection and maintenance of fire doors is mandatory under Australian law, and any faults must be reported and repaired immediately. As per AS 1851, fire doors must be inspected every six months by a competent fire safety practitioner. These regular inspections, along with the necessary repairs and replacements, are typically documented in the AFSS, which must be submitted to the local council and Fire and Rescue NSW annually.

It's important to note that it is illegal to prop open a fire door or tamper with its self-closing mechanism, it's also illegal to install a lock or a door closer that isn't compatible with the fire door. Any modifications to the fire door, including the installation of additional hardware, must comply with AS 1905.1 and should only be done by a professional.

Overall, fire doors are a critical element of fire safety in Australia. Building owners and managers must ensure that they are compliant with the regulations for fire doors, as outlined in the NCC and various Australian Standards. By doing so, they contribute to the overall safety of the occupants and ensure a level of preparedness in the event of a fire.