Fire Door / Smoke Door Inspections in Strata Buildings: Why is this Necessary?

02 May 2019

Fire door/smoke door inspections are major necessities in strata buildings today. Especially since strata property is owned by multiple individuals or companies, more focused attention may be required by building management to ensure that all fire protection doors meet NSW fire safety requirements. With shared property ownership, there may also be delays in scheduling the necessary fire safety compliance inspections by qualified fire safety consultants. Delays may occur in gaining access to all the fire and smoke doors located in a strata building as well.

The Strata Title system became effective in Australia in 1961 for better handling of the legal ownership of a section or portion (commonly called a ‘lot’) of a structure or building. Many different types of shared property ownership are in the strata category, including lot ownership of townhouses, apartment or condominium buildings, villas, commercial office complexes, warehouses, factories and retail shops. In these properties with joint ownership, all lot owners share responsibility for maintaining fully inspected buildings that meet all regulations for fire safety today.

Why Fire and Smoke Door Inspections are a Vital Necessity in Strata Buildings

Regular inspections of fire and smoke doors located in strata buildings must be performed by qualified fire safety consultants for the following essential reasons:

• Doors with Deadbolts. – Fire and smoke doors that have deadbolts do not comply with NSW fire safety regulations. It is especially important in strata buildings to ensure that every fire protective door provides complete fire safety as required since many people may rent living or work space within these buildings. These doors must provide fire protection for all owners, renters and inhabitants. Because deadbolts prevent doors from self-latching, either the deadbolts must be replaced with suitable hardware, or the entire doors must be replaced with doors that comply with all fire safety regulations.

• Gaps between Doors and Frames. – If there are gaps between the fire/smoke doors and door-frames in your strata building that exceed the allowances for meeting fire safety requirements, these doors must be replaced with doors that fit more closely to their frames. In some buildings, this problem can be resolved by using compliant seal upgrades to ensure that these doors are compliant with the fire safety standards required by regulation AS1851 (2005).

• Doors without Proper Signage. – Across Australia, fire safety standards for strata buildings require that every fire/smoke door connected to a fire-isolated corridor or stairwell must include approved signage that reads, “Fire Door – Do Not Obstruct – Do Not Keep Open.” This approved sign must be securely attached to the door in order to comply with fire safety regulations. Any doors that are final exits for these corridors or stairwells are required to include these permanent signs on both door sides. Lighted exit signs above doors are required only for the egress side of each door.

To ensure complete fire safety compliance for all the fire and smoke doors in your strata building today, contact the expert NSW fire safety consultants at Key Compliance located in Kogarah, NSW. As an experienced and respected corporate member of the Fire Protection Association of Australia (FPAA) with more than 30 years of membership in the Australian Institute of Building (AIB), our team will provide regular and thorough fire safety inspections and recommend any needed repairs or replacements of the fire/smoke doors in your strata property. Upon compliance with all NSW fire regulation requirements, your building’s Annual Fire Safety Statement (AFSS) will be provided.