Who is Responsible for Fire and Exit Door Compliance?
As per the Queensland Building Fire Safety Regulations, the responsibility for compliance lies with the owner, business or person that is occupying or managing a building within Queensland. Failure to comply with these regulations could in some circumstances lead to prosecutions. These health & safety regulations set down certain actions and equipment that must be provided and made available in the event of a fire hazard breaking out.
How to Comply With Your Annual Fire Inspection?
Annual inspections by the fire department/fire compliance consultants are performed to assess and mitigate potential fire and other safety hazards in buildings. Most fire departments/fire compliance consultants provide you with a written report of any corrections that are necessary. These inspections vary in type and frequency, depending on the jurisdiction, city, and state.
Following many years of rectifying non-compliant risks concerning Fire and Exit doors identified by fire inspection reports, TopLock have identified the most common problems and how you can go about fixing these issues. More often than not it is a simple fix, and does NOT require the replacement of the Fire/Exit door.
5 Most Common Compliance Issues
Deadbolts fitted to Fire and Exit doors – Under no circumstance should a deadbolt be installed to a Fire door or a signed Exit door, unless written confirmation has been given by the appropriate body. This includes internal residential Unit entry doors in a building complex.
Solution – a replacement door will often be required. However, in some circumstances the existing door can be filled with the correct fire filler retardant and achieve certification. This is at the discretion of the certifier and it is essential that a tradesman qualified to work on Fire doors is engaged.
Non-compliant door closer, or NO door closer – Fire doors must be installed with a door closer that has the appropriate Fire rating, generally 2 hours. The door closer must close and latch the door shut, in order to create a fire and smoke barrier. The door must be kept closed at all times and not held open, unless the device installed is auto release and integrated into the Fire alarm system.
Non-compliant locks – Doors on evacuation routes must be able to be opened by a single handed downward or pushing action on a single lever device. Knob type handles are not acceptable door hardware for these doors, all internal handles MUST be lever action. All locks must also have the appropriate fire rating specified for the door.
Solution – Remove non compliant locks and replace with compliant lever locks.
Multiple Locks on Exit Doors – Exit doors can only have 1 lock installed, in order to comply with the single lever device rule. Additional locks may only be installed if written authorisation is given by your certified Fire inspector and locked only when no persons are in the building.
Solution – Remove non compliant locks.
Multiple locks on Fire Doors (Non Exit) – Multiple locks on Fire doors are permitted. However, there are still rules and regulations that must be followed, outlining which combination of locks can be installed to ensure that the Fire rating is not compromised. For more information on compliant locks please call and talk with one of our technicians.
Solution – Where secondary non compliant locks have been installed, a replacement door will often be required. However, in some circumstances the existing door can be filled with the correct fire filler retardant and achieve certification. This is at the discretion of the certifier and it is essential that a tradesman qualified to work on Fire doors is engaged.
Please note that we are not licensed certifiers and that this information does not cover all areas required to pass an inspection. It is only the most common faults we tend to see in our trade as qualified Locksmiths.
Sound complex? It is.
You’re dealing in people’s lives in the event of a fire or emergency. Don’t live with the stress of whether your premises complies with requirements or try and understand the legislation yourself, when we will carry out a no obligations, free audit for you and advise any non-compliance issues.
Learn more about window and gate safety here.