The Right Materials for a Custom Fire Door

Installing the right fire doors in your buildings will be a significant part of your project’s success – and custom fire doors must consist of the right material if they are to provide you with the required level of fire protection.

But how do you know which material to select when creating your custom fire doors?

Fire Resistant Levels

One of the first things you’ll need to consider before deciding on a material for fire doors is what kind of fire resistant level you want your fire door sets to have (e.g. 1 hour doors, 3 hour doors). This will be key in determining what type of doors you choose and what type of material you want the door to consist of.

Custom Fire Door Materials

Fire doors can be made from any range of materials, such as wood, timber, steel, gypsum, MDF and even glass (or a combination). And there are multiple variations that are commonly available: sliding fire doors, hinged fire doors and double action fire doors. The internal ‘core’ component of the door can vary, as can the finishes the door will be available in.

The type of material you choose for your fire door will depend on several elements:

•    The type of construction you are working on and the fire resistance level that the door needs to fulfil (see above)
•    The size and thickness of your custom fire doors; while there may be some flexibility, you may find that certain doors/materials are only available (or certifiable) in certain sizes or thicknesses
•    The purpose behind your fire door; if your building contains certain products that are prone to burning quickly (like paper, chemicals), you may want to choose a steel door with a high fire rating that will stop the fire from spreading to other areas fast
•    The aesthetic or design choices that are intrinsic to your construction; some builds may be purely functional, but others may involve specific aesthetic design choices, so this may also affect the type of material or finish you choose (for instance, a residential client may want their custom fire doors to be wood or glass, but not steel)
•    The strength and long term durability that will be required and what impact that has on the decision of what type or brand of fire door you choose. The internal construction, weight and overall performance of the fire door need to be taken into account.

Good doors will often contain a versatile, vermiculite-based, homogenous core that is tested to Australian standards and guaranteed to provide the desired level of fire protection.

Our firedoors were created in response to the more difficult fire doors of the 1980s and prior, which were heavy to handle and usually contained harmful materials, like asbestos.

One of the biggest benefits about our fire doors and sets is that they can be applied to variety of finishes, such as timber veneers, plywood, MDF, panels, steel and even stainless steel.
This means they can blend seamlessly with the design of your building, while still upholding their protective function.

If you are struggling to select a specific type of material for your fire doors, our doors may provide a feasible and appealing solution.

Further Questions to Ask When Choosing Your Fire Doors:

•    Are my custom fire doors for residential, commercial or industrial protection?
•    What sort of fire resistant levels do I want my doors/building to have?
•    What type of material is best going to help me achieve my desired resistance? What exactly do I want to prevent?
•    Are there any aesthetic or design choices I need to consider when choosing the material for each fire door? Does the client have any specific preferences?
•    Who will I purchase my custom fire doors from? Can they produce the material I want and are they a reliable and certified manufacturer?
•    Will my custom fire doors meet Australian Building Code specifications and qualify for certification?

Have a fire door related enquiry? We’re happy to help. Contact Fire Safe Doors at [email protected] or call (02) 9070 0732, and we’ll work through a plan for your needs. 

The importance of FSC Certification

FSC Certified means your fire door complies with all the relevant environmental guidelines. Here’s why we recommend it.

There’s an abundance of permits, safety rules, laws, and codes to abide by in today’s construction industry. We can help you tick all those boxes with every installation while still maintaining an ethical, environmental approach.

Receiving FSC Certification is a huge asset for your workspace or business, so let’s run through what it is and why it’s worth asking for.

What is FSC?

FSC is an acronym for ‘Forest Stewardship Council’. The international body (with an Australian branch) certifies that forest products are used responsibly and sustainably. Scoring its label informs customers, workers and potential clients that your operation is socially conscious and cares about its impact on the planet.

The FSC is made up of two components:

FM (Forest Management): This component is targeted towards “forest managers or owners whose management practises meet the requirements of the FSC”.

CoC (Chain of Custody): This component addresses “manufacturers, processors and traders of FSC certified forest products.”

Our Fire Safe Door installations apply to the second component, in which we ensure our timber supplier is FSC approved.

The FSC is a not-for-profit organisation supported by the likes of the Australian Conservation Foundation, the World Wildlife Fund and Greenpeace. These backings give the FSC certification immense value and reputation, as the organisation’s principles are founded on science, not generating income.

Earning their certification often means operational practices and business protocol have been adapted, which means only a select number of suppliers adhere to the FSC, increasing its significance.

Image: FSC

Why should I get FSC certified?

Sourcing products from FSC certified operations such as Fire Door Installers will do wonders for your operations’ perception and client base.

Firstly, FSC certification will show customers and clients that you are a responsible business with a moral code, increasing your brand trust.

Secondly, FSC certification will open you up to the always-growing FSC market, where a wide range of environmentally responsible products can be acquired.

Thirdly, sustainable materials and markets are the way of the future. Think of environmentally ethical procedures as “creating equitable access to benefits”.

And last but not least, you will be actively supporting the work FSC does to help prevent deforestation and unethical environmental destruction.

So, what’s next?

If getting FSC certified fire doors is on the agenda, please don’t hesitate to reach out. Our Fire Doors come with the desired FSC label, so you don’t have to arrange a certification. For more information on the FSC, check out their Australian branch here.

Have a fire door related enquiry? We’re happy to help. Contact Fire Safe Doors at [email protected] or call (02) 9070 0732, and we’ll work through a plan for your needs. 

How to Conduct a Fire Drill in the Workplace

Fire drills are important to conduct within organisations. For staff and patrons, they can be a life-saving measure during fire emergencies.

In every workplace, it is important to establish actionable procedures to be carried out in the event of fire hazards and emergencies. With the guidance of fire safety experts, and an appointed fire warden, employers can ensure that they have an effective fire drill practice in place, for new and existing staff to undergo, in compliance with fire safety regulations, and an organisation’s legal duty of care.

For those who may be inexperienced in developing or conducting an effective fire drill for a team of people to follow, you may feel confused about how and where to start. In this article, we provide seven general and easy-to-follow steps on how to prepare and conduct a fire drill in the workplace.

1. Ensure the building is fitted with fire-rated doors and smoke alarms

Fire safety begins with your surroundings. Prior to establishing a fire drill, it’s important to ensure that the building is equipped with the appropriate fire-safe materials, including a fire-rated door. Here at Fire Safe Doors, we are experts at building fire-rated doors that are stringently tested to withstand flames for a specific period of time, depending on the Fire Resistance Level (FRL) applied to the door. Put simply, Fire Resistance Levels measure structure, integrity and insulation. 

Additionally, make sure the building has correctly-fitted and functioning smoke alarms, which are tested once a month. One of the most important ways to ensure their effectiveness is to install them in the right locations. For example, one crucial location would be within 3 metres of a cooking appliance, as a large number of fires begin in kitchens. On the other hand, a location to avoid is near windows, as drafts can cause them to go off without warrant.

2. Set clear objectives for the fire drill and convey them to staff

Prior to conducting a fire drill, it is important to set the right goals and have a clear purpose in mind to convey to staff. For example, is one of your goals to reduce the amount of time it takes for all personnel to safely evacuate the building? In general, the duration of most fire drills is five to 15 minutes.  If a work environment contains serious fire hazards, then fire drills are recommended to conduct once every three months. For less-hazardous workplaces, one fire drill every six months is the recommended interval.

3. Seek training and advice from fire safety experts

When developing a fire evacuation plan, it is crucial to consult fire safety experts who can review, adjust and approve your procedures. For example, you can reach out to ComSafe Training Services, which is a commercial sector of Fire and Rescue NSW. They are also a registered training organisation (RTO91235) that can aid your team in the development and deployment of a fire drill.

For starters, ensuring you have a floor plan drawn up of the workplace building As a general guide, Draw a floor plan of your home, including two ways of escape from each room. Plan an escape route and ensure everyone knows how to get out.

4. Follow the right steps when developing a fire drill

As a starting point, it is imperative to have a floor plan of the workplace building drawn up. This can be a great way to visualise and mark escape routes, as you map out the evacuation journey. Next, ensure that fire exit doors are not blocked by any objects such as furniture, or other potentially heavy items that may be difficult to move out of the way in the event of an emergency. As advised by Fire and Rescue NSW, keeping window and door keys next to locks can be crucial, should a fire evacuation be necessary.

At the onset of a fire emergency, it is important to act immediately. Don’t delay taking action. Ensure you set a designated assembly area, evacuation route, and designated meeting point outside of the building. Once staff left the building, do not go back inside, until you receive confirmation from fire safety experts, such as firefighters, that all hazards have been mitigated. And, of course, dial ‘000’ for emergency assistance. It is important employers and managers to relay all of this information to their team members, so that everyone is aware of these general safety steps.

5. Appoint a fire warden

In the workplace, designated fire wardens play an integral role in the assistance, implementation and improvement of fire drills, and other relevant safety procedures. In the event of a fire evacuation practice, their primary responsibilities are to lead the fire drill, possess sound knowledge of the building’s fire exits and escape routes, ensure all personnel are accounted for, assist/instruct employees throughout the procedure, and ensure that obstructions are eliminated for staff members with special requirements, such as wheelchair access.

6. Set the right expectations

When there is no imminent danger, fire drills may not be taken seriously by staff members. However, if an actual fire emergency was to occur, this attitude would not be helpful. Therefore, as a team leader, it is important to communicate the importance and seriousness of the fire safety practice, and the necessity of its existence, to ensure that staff remain attentive during the experience, and gain the knowledge required to protect themselves and their colleagues.

7. Action the fire drill

Before the fire drill commences, request the fire warden, and any other personnel with delegated duties, to go to their designated positions and observation points in the building. Once the fire alarm is set off and the drill commences, the appointed warden should carefully monitor the execution of the drill, so as to identify any procedural bottlenecks, inefficiencies or hazardous practices that may arise. Lastly, ensure that the fire drill is timed by a designated team member, so as to ensure the entire process occurs within a safe and appropriate time frame.

Have a fire door related enquiry? We’re happy to help. Contact Fire Safe Doors at [email protected] or call (02) 9070 0732, and we’ll work through a plan for your needs. 

The Many Reasons You Need a Fire Door

Fire doors are extremely important in protecting your buildings and the people that occupy them in the event of a fire. Here are several great reasons from Fire Safe Doors on why you need a proper fire-rated door for your buildings.

1. Safety

Fire rated doors are an intrinsic part of every Fire Protection model and serve to keep people safe if a fire occurs. Fire doors work to stop fire and smoke from spreading quickly and entering isolated areas, such as fire exits and corridors, where people could become trapped. In this way, fire doors are vital in saving lives.

2. Building Preservation

Fire rated doors are also vital in protecting a building, preventing fire (and smoke) from spreading throughout the structure and causing extensive and costly building damage.

Hinged fire doors and sliding fire doors also stop fire from transferring to adjacent buildings, properties or environments; if this were to occur, the effects could be devastating, causing further damage to other buildings and also harming lives, animals and vegetation.

3. Fire Management for Multi-Storey Buildings

In the incidence of a fire, specialised temperature-rise fire rated doors will also limit the transfer of heat from the fire, meaning the other side of the fire door won’t be affected.

These types of doors can be common in multi-storey buildings or buildings with ‘horizontal’ exits. This is important in upholding the safety of occupants and means they can reach fire exits safely, even when fire is located on the floor above them.

4. Australian Compliance

Australia has strict and specific legislation in regards to fire doors in all states.

As a designer, architect, builder, installer or owner, it is very important to ensure that all fire rated doors and frames comply with Australian (and state) regulations in relation to thickness, material, framing, configuration, entry/exit requirements and door signage.

To do so means gaining the right certificates, avoiding serious penalties and generally providing a safe and reliable environment for your clients/occupants.

If you are unsure about the fire door regulations in your state, consult the Australian Building Codes Board or contact FSE Special Purpose Doors.

5. Easy Exits

Fire doors also make it easy for people to escape a building if a fire occurs. All doors should be clearly marked with the correct signage, making it simple for people to identify where to go in the event of a fire.

6. Comprehensive Fire Protection

Fire rated doors are just one component of a comprehensive fire protection plan that you should adopt for all of your buildings. Fire exits are extremely important in protecting both people and the building and it is crucial that the right fire rated doors contribute significantly to your protection system.

The other elements of your fire protection plan can include smoke and fire alarms (automatic/manual), fire extinguishers, fire hoses, fire exit/evacuation maps and the correct fire door signage. Owners should also conduct fire/First-Aid training and drills and regular internal audits to ensure fire exits remain clear at all times.

Have a fire door related enquiry? We’re happy to help. Contact Fire Safe Doors at [email protected] or call (02) 9070 0732, and we’ll work through a plan for your needs. 

Fire Door Signage Rules in Australia

When installing fire doors in your developments and projects, it is critical that they have the appropriate fire door signage.

The right signs:

•    Clearly and visibly mark all fire doors for the building’s occupants and improve fire safety and awareness once the building is completed
•    Ensure compliance with Australian fire door regulations set out by the NCC (National Construction Code) and the Building Code of Australia (BCA)
•    Help you qualify for the required Occupation Certificate

Signage for Fire Doors in All States

For all other states, the Building Code of Australia stipulates that the following sign must be displayed on all fire doors:

This sign must be permanently displayed:

•    On the “approach” side of all doors leading to a fire exit or fire stair, no matter where in the building the fire door is located (e.g. even if the door is located on the roof or in the basement)
•    On both sides of all doors that ordinarily must be kept closed and that rest between individual fire compartments

Signage for Fire Doors in NSW Only

Fire door signage regulations differ slightly for buildings located in NSW.

In NSW, all fire doors must permanently display the above sign (Fire Safety Door / Do Not Obstruct / Do Not Keep Open) and they must also display this sign outlining the ‘Offences Relating to Fire Exits.’

The ‘Offences Relating to Fire Exits’ sign must be displayed at all times, either on the door itself or adjacent to the door (i.e. on the wall). It should be located:

•    On the “approach” side of all doors leading to a fire escape or fire stair, regardless of where in the building the door is located
•    On both sides of all doors between individual fire compartments where the doors must be kept closed at all times

Signs for All Fire Exit Doors (All States)

There are also strict regulations regarding signage for Fire Exit Doors throughout the entirety of Australia. No matter which state you are in, the sign below must be displayed on all fire exit doors:

This sign must be visible:

•    On both sides of a fire exit door that leads from the interior of a building to an open space (e.g. the street)
•    On both sides of all doors leading from an exit isolated from fire to an open space

Further Tips When Determining Your Fire Door Signage

•    All signs must be placed at eye level
•    Ensure the signs you buy comply with the legislation in your state; if you are unsure what is required, check with the Australian Building Codes Board
•    Check that the sign is the right size and made of appropriate material for your particular door/building

Have a fire door related enquiry? We’re happy to help. Contact Fire Safe Doors at [email protected] or call (02) 9070 0732, and we’ll work through a plan for your needs. 

Commercial Fire-Rated Doors vs Non-Fire-Rated Doors

To effectively fireproof commercial buildings, it’s best to install fire-rated doors over non-fire-rated doors. But what’s the difference? 

Fire doors are crucial safety assets in commercial and industrial spaces. However, not all fire doors are built the same. While non-fire-rated doors can comprise any fire-resistant materials, fire-rated doors are constructed and tested to hold out against fires at defined temperatures for certain time durations, be it either 30, 60, or 120 minutes.

This stipulated timeframe is the amount of time they are equipped to resist catching fire, as well as to prevent the passage of smoke and flames from one section of a building to the next.

fire-rated doors

Here at Fire Safe Doors, we are experts at building fire-rated doors that are stringently tested to withstand flames for a specific period of time, depending on the Fire Resistance Level (FRL) applied to the door. Put simply, Fire Resistance Levels measure structure, integrity and insulation. 

In addition to providing ongoing monitoring, testing and maintenance to ensure durability, we also make certain that all of our work is conducted in compliance with building codes, fire safety codes and Australian Fire Door Regulations for Commercial or Industrial Properties.

While fire-rated doors and non-fire-rated doors can look quite similar at first glance, the difference between the two is primarily in the materials. As mentioned above, non-fire-rated doors can comprise any fire-resistant materials, including steel, glass, timber, aluminum, gypsum or galvanized iron. 

Fire-rated doors are manufactured with a combination of materials that work together to cease or slow down the spreading of smoke and flames. Commonly, these materials consist of steel, wood, fire-rated glass, and fiberglass. 

Finally, how do fire-rated doors actually work? Well, around the edges of a fire door, you will find intumescent seals, which are purpose-built to expand when temperatures reach above 200°C, to close the gaps between the door and door frame.

Put simply, fire-rated doors protect the lives of individuals and buildings in two key ways: By creating a barrier to prevent the spread of smoke and flames when the door is closed, and by facilitating an escape route when the door is opened. 

Have a fire door related enquiry? We’re happy to help. Contact Fire Safe Doors at [email protected] or call (02) 9070 0732, and we’ll work through a plan for your needs. 

Installation of Fire Doors

Fitting fire doors correctly is critical to their performance and long-term serviceability. Here is a quick rundown of the installation process.

• Before commencing installation, check that all hardware and fixings are on hand to be able to complete the job. It is also recommended that the latest revision of the door schedule is being used and the door is correct for the opening.

• Once the pre-checks are complete, measure the reveal height, and width, to check if the doors will fit into the opening. If you are replacing existing fire doors, do not use them for reference, as they may not have been fitted correctly in the first place.  Always scribe the door to the frame and never rely on guesswork. Removing too much material from any one part of the perimeter of the door can dramatically weaken it and make it redundant.

• Check hinges are well secured, that they move freely with no biding and that there is sufficient quantity the size of the door. The Door Manufacturer’s markings will identify the hinge and lock side. Mark the fire doors on the top face hinge side for ongoing reference.

• Open the hinges then place door leaf in the frame. It should be noted that all frames for fire doors should also be fire rated. Wedge the door into the head of the frame and scribe the door with a 2.5mm spacer. Check that the bottom clearance does to exceed the maximum recommended gap of 10mm before proceeding any further.

fire-rated doors

• Starting with the hinge side, machine door to scribe marks and finish by planing a 2mm splay or “Back edge”.  Back edge will ensure the closing door edge does not bind on the door frame. Using a sharp chisel or trimmer, cut the check out for the door hinges and fit them to the door using the correct, approved fixings.

• Next, plane the lock side to the scribe marks remembering to leave a 2mm splay or “Back edge”. Sand edges and paint the top and bottom of the door with an oil-based paint.

fire door

• Place the door onto the door frame, attach the hinges and check the door swings freely and without binding. Even the gaps on all edges by easing the hinges, ensuring that the gap between the frame and door does not exceed 3mm. Fit the nominated door hardware and adjust to ensure backcheck is in operation and the door latches all as required under AS1905.1.

• Once the installation is complete and the installer is satisfied that the doorset is fully operational and complies with the requirements of AS1905.1, affix the metal identification and approval tag, record the number ready for the issuance of the Door Certificate.

Have a fire door related enquiry? We’re happy to help. Contact Fire Safe Doors at [email protected] or call (02) 9070 0732, and we’ll work through a plan for your needs.

Fire doors vs smoke doors – spot the difference

Fire doors and smoke doors offer protective barriers during fires, but in different ways. How can you tell which is which?

When installed and monitored effectively, quality-built fire doors and smoke doors offer crucial barrier protection in the event of building fires. However, the two doors are designed to protect buildings and residents in different ways.

For starters, smoke doors are built to block out smoke, as well as flammable items. On the other hand, fire doors are built to slow down and prevent the spread of flames by keeping them partitioned. For those of you who may be unaware of their different characteristics, it can be hard to tell which is which. Here are three elements to look out for.

fire doors vs smoke doors

1. Check the certification label

To comply with fire safety regulations, fire doors and smoke doors must be clearly labelled to aid with differentiation. Check for the certification label, which would likely be on the top corner of the door leaf.


2. Identify the different materials

Smoke doors generally comprise wood, steel and aluminium. They’re designed to last only a certain amount of time, and may need more maintenance. Fire doors, however, comprise materials that are flame-resistant, so that they maintain durability and effectiveness for longer periods of time.


3. Spot the protection features

Smoke doors are fitted with specialty seals. These seals are designed to protect people by activating as soon as a smoke detector goes off. Fire doors on the other hand are fitted with different features, such as a fire-resistant sealant, which is designed to keep the door shut during a fire, to prevent the flames from spreading further across the building.

Have a fire door related enquiry? We’re happy to help. Contact Fire Safe Doors at [email protected] or call (02) 9070 0732, and we’ll work through a plan for your needs. 

Fire-proofing your home in four steps

As we approach the warmer months, fire-proofing your home becomes more and more crucial, for the safety of you and your property.

Fire-proofing your home can be tricky if you don’t know where to start, so we’ve rounded up six simple steps you can take to significantly decrease the risk of a fire starting in or around your property.

Here’s what you can do to keep yourself, your home and your family safe this upcoming summer, using these handy tips from fire-proofing experts.

1. Clean around your property

Fire protection often begins outside the home. If your property is surrounded by dry grass, dead trees, foliage or leaf litter, we strongly advise clearing this up. This is due to the fact that these elements can act as fuel for a fire. So prior to bush fire season commencing in Australia, it would be a good idea to tidy up the yard, and make certain that any flammable materials are contained in fireproof containers.

2. Install a fire safe door

Fire doors are specially made with elements that are highly fire-resistant, and help slow down the spread of flames and smoke, should a fire occur. Fire safe doors are a necessary implementation in buildings with three floors or more.

Here at Fire Safe Doors, we stringently test each door leaf, door hardware and door frame, to make sure the correct fire rating level has been obtained. We also regularly inspect our fire safe door fittings, to ensure their ongoing compliance with Australian Standards.

Fire doors must be self-closing and self-latching. They should never be obstructed or held open as they need to be closed in order to prevent the spread of fire and smoke.

Don’t hesitate to contact us about how we can assist you with the installation of a fire safe door today. They can be a crucial, life-saving addition to any residential building, as they substantially decrease damage rates, and allow the fire brigade more time to attend to on-site dangers.

3. Garden sprinkler systems

If you live in an area that experiences a higher bushfire risk, installing sprinkler systems around your home can be useful in preventing a house fire from occurring. They can be installed not only in your garden, but also on your roof. This allows the sprinklers to direct water onto the building itself, helping prevent a house fire from occurring due to heat or embers.

4. Gutter guards

Stop hazardous materials, such as leaves and other kinds of foliage, from gathering in your gutters. Gutter guards are a great solution for this. They can comprise of wire mesh, or other kinds of essential materials. Once fitted over your gutters, they enable the prevention of debris build-up.

If you give us a call at Fire Safe Doors, we can discuss installing a fire-proof gutter guard at your home, to protect you and your loved ones this summer.

Have a fire door related enquiry? We’re happy to help. Contact Fire Safe Doors at [email protected] or call (02) 9070 0732, and we’ll work through a plan for your needs. 

Fire Safe Doors: Our Services

Fire Safe Doors handle all stages of the fire door process, from initial manufacturing to final installation

If you’re wondering how Fire Safe Doors can assist in your next safety project, here’s a holistic rundown of our services, from start to finish.


CFDS metal frames, standard or non-standard, are available in both fire-rated and non-fire-rated forms, are all made from quality materials.

In 2012, we invested in a facility to enable the direct manufacture of our own frames. Initially, this has been set up to meet our clients’ needs and ensure effective time frames for the supply of non-standard frames. Once the detail is confirmed, it is generally possible to turn around frames in 2-3 days (depending on the size of the order).

fire door


CFDS is a family-owned and operated business that prides itself on its commitment of service to its clients. We have a small fleet of vehicles including 8.5-tonne trucks and 1-tonne tabletops.

We are able to supply frames, door panels, and sundry items, throughout Sydney, as far south as the ACT, and as far north as Forster/Tuncurry. Our drivers are multi-disciplined and are able to perform other tasks such as rectification, remediation, and tagging, which further provide efficiencies to our clients.


A team of expert and qualified door fitters are engaged to ensure fast and accurate fitting of door sets to our clients’ satisfaction.

Tagging & Certification

As part of our BCA/AS requirements, expert tagging and certification are provided by CFDS on the completion of our works to our client’s satisfaction.

Have a fire door related enquiry? We’re happy to help. Contact Fire Safe Doors at [email protected] or call (02) 9070 0732, and we’ll work through a plan for your needs.