Why Do Doors Need Maintaining?
Smoke doors and fire doors are two of the most important safety features of any building. They are essential to contain flames and smoke in the event of a fire, ensuring they do not make their way into isolated areas or between buildings.
After installation, doors need to be checked regularly to ensure they are functioning correctly and still comply with the Building Code of Australia – this includes all necessary elements of the fire door system: the door itself, hinges, handles, framing, locks and latches.
Any disruption with the state of the door or any of its components, no matter how small, may affect its performance, so periodic checks by certified authorities are crucial!
Annual and half yearly fire door and smoke door inspections are mandatory to ensure all doors remain compliant with the regulations set out by the Building Code of Australia.
Maintaining your fire doors and smoke doors means making sure that:
- All door leaves, frames and hardware continue to be fire rated and uphold their required fire resistance rating (in accordance with AS1905) in regards to material, construction and installation
- All door openers continue to function properly, with self-closing and self-latching mechanisms fully operational at all times
- No doors have been fitted with a deadbolt or similar lock since the last inspection
- All clearances on all edges of the door continue to be compliant with regulations and have not been altered since the last inspection
- Doors are not damaged, broken, split, misaligned or altered in any way that could affect their functionality in stopping fire, smoke or gases in the event of a fire
Signage is also an important component of fire door and smoke door maintenance.
You should check that the right signage accompanies each door at all times, based on the requirements for your state or the national requirements set out by the Building Code of Australia.
The right signage should include notices that identify the door as a fire door or fire exit, instruct building occupants not to obstruct the door and (in NSW) display the penalties for ‘Offences Relating to Fire Exits.’
Head here to learn more about signage for fire doors in Australia.
You don’t have to wait for annual inspections to make sure that your fire doors and smoke doors are maintained, in working order and are fire safe.
Between inspections, you can also regularly maintain your doors by keeping an eye out for:
- Any damage to doors, door hardware or frames – if you notice any damage to the door (even something as small as a missing screw) or if you see that the door is not operating correctly, you will need to repair or replace the door straight away.
- Depending on how quickly your door can be repaired or replaced, you may need to notify your nearest fire brigade/station and your insurance company (e.g. if it can’t be replaced within 3 hours).
- Note that you cannot fix or replace a door if your fire alarm systems or other emergency systems are not properly operational
- Obstacles that may be blocking or obstructing doors from closing or that may have been placed in front of the door to hold it open– you should remove these immediately and inform staff or occupants of the dangers/penalties of this action
- Any other fire door offences that are being carried out by building occupants; bear in mind that occupants may not be aware they are disrupting fire regulations – if this is occurring frequently, you should communicate the right messages to occupants to ensure they comply with laws
- Signage that is missing, damaged, defaced or simply peeling off the door/wall – you should ensure these signs are replaced as soon as possible