Your Building Fire-Safety Checklist

Fire doors are vital, but they aren’t the be all end all of fire safety. Here are 5 free measures to ensure your building’s occupants are well protected.

Just like buying a car, your fire-safety products aren’t self-sufficient after the purchase. You have to routinely check your products, book maintenance and ensure their performing as effectively as possible. Fortunately, a lot of fire safety checks are completely free and pretty low-effort too. These are 5 essential measures to help you keep your building and its occupants safe from any potential fires.

Exit Doors

It’s imperative that your fire doors and exit doors are easy to open from the inside. Just imagine the horror of making it to the exit only to discover the door is jammed or locked. If you haven’t used these doors in a while, it’s definitely worth double-checking they’re good to go in the case of an emergency.

Keep A Clear Path

All the relevant walkways to exit doors should be 100% clean of clutter and obstruction at all times. The last thing you want in an emergency situation is someone tripping over because someone left a box near the exit door. Or, even worse, having to lift something to simply access the exit.

Image: Getty

Flammable Objects

It’s also crucial to check for flammable objects in your building. One of the most effective means to keep occupants safe is by limiting the time it takes for a fire to spread. If you need to keep flammable objects in your building, they should be safely secured and well out of the way of any fire doors or exit routes.

Book Regular Checkups

After installing a fire door, you should always ask your installer how frequently the door needs to be inspected. We’d highly recommend booking an inspection for the suggested date for peace of mind. This is also true for other fire-safety paraphernalia such as fire sprinklers and fire extinguishers. There’s also plenty of sound legal requirements when it comes to fire safety in Australia, so it’s always best to be on top of upkeep to avoid any potential penalties or fines. If you have questions about maintenance and inspections, give us a call on the number below.

Smoke Alarms

Smoke alarms are your best friend. It may not seem like it when they go off during your steak cook up, but in the case of a fire, smoke alarms are the ultimate tool for getting everyone in the know and alert. That’s why it should be routine to replace their batteries and click the test button to ensure they’re functioning correctly.

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. 

10 facts you probably didn’t know about fire doors

Fire Doors are above all else, a safety device. But that doesn’t mean there isn’t more too them beneath the surface.

#1 Fire Doors are measured by time

Fire Doors are made of fire-resistant materials and are measured by how long they can compartmentalise a fire before melting. Most wooden fire doors are designed to withhold fire for 30 or 60 minutes (FD30 & FD60). However, specialised doors can be designed to last far longer. What you choose for your project depends on legal requirements as well as your building’s variety of evacuation options.

#2 Fire Doors Expand

Fire Doors are made with intumescent materials, meaning they expand when exposed to heat. Intumescent strips line the edges of a fire door so that the door swells up and seals the fire in. This prevents any smoke or embers from breaking through to the other side.

#3 Fire Doors Can Be Painted

You’re probably used to seeing Fire Doors in their typical, bland design. However, fire doors can actually be painted with high-quality paints without deterring from any safety protocols. This obviously helps the doors blend in with a buildings’ existing aesthetic. Don’t camouflage it though! The fire door should still be easy to locate.

#4 Fire Doors Must Block Out Smoke

Believe it or not, more people die by fires from smoke suffocation, not the actual flames. This is why Fire Doors are designed to completely close off a fire. If smoke is seeping through a fire door before its set time limit is up, it needs maintenance as soon as possible. This leads us to the next fact…

#5 Fire Doors require frequent inspection

Unfortunately, you can’t just instal a fire door and call it a day. For a fire door to be effective, it needs regular inspection to ensure all its components are functional. As the building owner, you are responsible for its upkeep.

#6 Fire Doors Can Go Anywhere

While Fire Doors are a legal requirement in commercial properties, that doesn’t mean you can’t have one installed in your home. In larger homes, fire doors are typically installed close to the kitchen as that’s where most fires begin.

#7 Installing Fire Doors Requires A Licence

There’s a specific licence awarded to those who have been properly trained to install, inspect, and repair. Considering the vital importance of a fire door, this is definitely a good thing. So, even if your tradie mate insists he can do it for you, double-check he has the licence.

#8 Fire Doors Are Made With Various Materials

Fire Doors are usually made with timber or glass, but there are a myriad of options at your disposal should you be inclined. They can be constructed with gypsum, steel, aluminium, and of course, the wonder mineral vermiculite.

#9 Fire Doors Use Vermiculite

Vermiculite is a hydrous phyllosilicate mineral that has become commonplace in fire doors. This is due to it’s extreme heat-expansion properties, ensuring all that smoke stays put.

#10 Fire Doors began in 1904

The first fire rated steel door was invented and patented by Mr Dahlstrom. Over 100 years later, they’re on almost every street, and they’re not going away anytime soon.

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.