At DEM Fire, we provide complete and compliant fire protection solutions, but as employers are responsible for employee safety, it is useful for you to have some awareness of fire exit door regulations.
In Australia, these regulations are enshrined in the Building Code of Australia (BCA) and in state legislation, which in NSW is the Environmental Planning and Assessment Regulation (2000). Occupational Health Services Australia (OHSA) further states that failure to provide employees with safe working conditions may result in a complaint, inspection and legal prosecution.
Also referred to as emergency doors or sometimes fire escape doors, the primary purpose of fire exit doors is to provide a swift escape route for staff or building tenants in the event of an outbreak.
Fire exit doors are one component of a fire exit route, which consists of three parts:
The Building Codes Australia (BCA) lists three types of doors in a fire exit route:
Every fire protection system is composed of multiple systems, such as passive fire systems, sprinkler systems and detection systems that together help extinguish and/or prevent the spread of an outbreak. There are requirements specific to each component in order for it to fulfil its primary function.
As outlined under BCA AS1428.1 (Disabled Compliance) and D2.21 (Emergency Exits), in order to provide a fast exit route, fire exit doors must meet the following criteria:
In addition to the construction of and access to fire access doors, there are additional regulations for employers that include clear and adequate signage of exit doors and all passageways along exit routes, adequate space around fire doors to provide visibility and a clear exit, and at least one fire exit on every floor of a building.
Large properties may require more than one fire exit per floor.
In accordance with BCA D2.21 (Emergency Exits) and AS1905.1 (Fire Resistant Doorsets), all fire exit doors must also be fitted with fire-rated locks, installed to specific heights dependent on business function (child care centres for instance have lower height locks), and the locks must be automatically self-latching with an automatic door closer to prevent the movement of smoke and/or back drafts.
It is compulsory for all employers and/or building managers to provide a safe, functional and BCA compliant workspace – which is why ongoing asset maintenance is also a crucial component of your fire prevention system.
At DEM Fire, we take a holistic approach to fire prevention. We provide tailored solution design and system installation to ensure your property is safe and fully BCA compliant. We provide regular asset management to maintain the quality of your fire prevention solution.
With an industry-leading team of accredited practitioners and fire safety experts, we also understand compliance requirements for diverse industries and property types, including schools, shopping centres and stadiums.
Please contact us for information on fire exit door regulations, and for comprehensive fire prevention solutions.