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Smoke Doors

Smoke doors are an important component of fire safety measures in buildings and are crucial to ensuring the safety of occupants in the event of a fire. They are designed to prevent the spread of smoke from the area of a fire to other parts of a building. In Australia, their use and installation are governed by various regulations and building codes, most notably the Building Code of Australia (BCA).

According to the Building Code of Australia, smoke doors must be installed in certain types of buildings, typically those where people sleep or gather, such as hotels, hospitals, and apartment buildings. They are also required in buildings of a certain size and height. The specific requirements for smoke doors can be found in the BCA, which provides detailed technical provisions for the design and construction of buildings throughout the country.

Smoke doors in Australia are subject to regular inspections as part of the Annual Fire Safety Statement (AFSS) process. The AFSS is a declaration given annually by the building owner that all the fire safety measures within the building, including smoke doors, are in proper working condition. It ensures that fire safety measures are maintained to a standard that allows them to perform to a level that matches or exceeds their original performance capabilities.

The New South Wales (NSW) government, for example, requires that smoke doors are included in the AFSS for buildings that have them. The AFSS must certify that the smoke doors are in good working condition, maintained in accordance with Australian Standard 1851, and capable of fulfilling their intended function of preventing the spread of smoke in a fire.

A certified fire safety practitioner (CFSP) typically carries out inspections of smoke doors. The CFSP will check for a range of issues, including ensuring that the door self-closes and latches without the assistance of a person, that there is no damage to the door or its seals, and that there are no unauthorised modifications to the door.

It's important to remember that a smoke door is not just an ordinary door. It's a specially designed and constructed piece of fire safety equipment, which may incorporate fire-resistant materials and special sealing mechanisms to help block the passage of smoke.