Fire doors form part of a passive fire protection system to reduce the spread of fire between separate compartments or areas of a building. They provide safe access to adjoining spaces while maintaining a critical fire separation barrier. By slowing down the spread of fire from one area of a building to another, this allows occupants time to evacuate and provides access to fire services who have a greater chance of saving the property from the devastating consequences of a raging fire.
A fire door is designed to resist fire and slow down the spread of fire from one fire compartment of a building to another, and for the allocated time defined by the associated wall type. This allows occupants a certain amount of time to safely evacuate prior to failure of the systems.
Maintenance of fire doors is particularly important to ensure regulatory compliance and to ensure their ability to protect life and property effectively in the case of a fire. Issues such as out of square frame installations, building movement over time and variance in floor levels and finishes can all lead to the need for fire door maintenance and/or repairs.
Fire doors must be properly installed and regularly maintained to reduce the risk of failure. They must be kept closed, be self-closing and latching, openable from the egress side of a building, any gaps must be within tolerances and all components (including closers, handles, vision panels, locks and air grills) must be functioning correctly with correct signage displayed. Fire doors require a clear, safe path and must remain clear of obstructions. Under section 17 of the AS1851-2005, all smoke and fire door systems must be tested every 3 months for automatic doors or 6 months for hinged doors.
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