What doors need to be fire rated?

15 Feb 2019

It goes without saying that nothing is more important than your family’s safety. Naturally you want to protect your loved ones and that includes ensuring they’re free from danger in your home.

Here at Door Stop, we are often asked by customers undertaking a renovation or extension whether they need fire-rated doors when replacing older ones for newer versions. Homes at risk from bush fires, should install such doors.

Local councils are required to map bushfire prone land and categorise it using the Bushfire Attack Level. From these classifications, you can work out the level and type of fire-rated door that’s required for your home.

If you’re property isn’t at risk, then you’re not obliged to fit them in your average home. Some of our customers do opt for a fire-rated door for example between a kitchen which adjoins an integral garage.

What is a fire-rated door?

Fire-rated doors differ to normal ones as they are built specifically to reduce the spread of fire or smoke between areas so that it won’t spread rapidly from one part of the building to another.

When closed they act as a barrier, yet also provide a means of escape in case a blaze should break out. Fire-rated doors need to be able to ‘compartmentalise’ a fire.

A fire-rated door will help minimise damage to your property as it is designed to withstand high temperatures and this includes the door leaf, door frame, and all the hardware including handles and locks.

The Building Code of Australia stipulates that all fire-rated doors should have seals which prohibit smoke and incorporate self-closing devices.

This means it can shut and latch by itself so it can’t won’t stay open.

What are fire-resistance levels?

Here in Australia, fire-rated doors are given a fire-resistance level and are labelled or tagged, so you can understand how effective they’ll be if the worst was to happen.

For example, a fire-resistance level of 120/120/60 outlines its guaranteed time for structural adequacy, integrity and insulation level.

With this resistance level, the first number indicates the door’s structural adequacy - the wall will remain vertical supporting the load for at least 120 minutes.

Its integrity means flames won’t be able to pass through the wall for at least 120 minutes.

The last figure gives an indication of its insulation. The door provides insulation so the other side won’t get hotter and increase in temperature for at least 60 minutes.

What doors need to be fire-rated?

Fire-rated doors are common in commercial buildings, apartments, hotels and may need to be installed in flats and buildings covered by strata laws.

Our modern lifestyle means that houses are prone to fires which can take hold much quicker. Properties are filled with more synthetic products which may ignite swifter and electrical devices which can easily spark.

If you want more information on fire-rated doors, then speak to us. We can find one suitable for your requirements. Here at Door Stop we are the experts on doors, hardware and accessories.

We sell hardwearing timber doors with high-grade hinges, bolts locks and handles, so come and visit one of our two showrooms today.

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