Security screens on fire doors

Firstly and importantly – Fire and Rescue New South Wales advise against the fitting of security screens to fire doors, although it really is a BCA compliance issue.

There are several issues with security screens…

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Fire Rated Ceilings: A resident’s guide

Can I install downlights, ducted air conditioning, ceiling exhaust fans or manholes in my unit ceiling?
Well yes… but you need to be very careful if your ceiling designed to have a “resistance to the incipient spread of fire to the roof space for a period of not less than 60 minutes”.
Fire rated ceilings are an fire safety measure, designed to slow the spread of fire from one part of the building to another.

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Passive Fire Protection

Passive Fire measures are designed to stop (or slow) the spread of fire from one part of the building to another. Most buildings have Passive Fire protection measures – even if they are not specifically listed on the AFSS.

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Emergency Lights

In an emergency situation emergency lights should run on their backup battery for at least 90-minutes. Australian Standards require that exit & emergency lights be tested every 6 months. Exit and emergency lights have a shorter lifespan when compared to non-emergency lights.

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Smoke Alarms & Landlord Obligations

Landlords have clear obligations when it comes to the installation, repair and maintenance of smoke alarms.
So who is responsible for what?
Landlords can engage Civil Fire to fulfil their obligations for $75 + GST each year.

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Smart locks and fire doors

Technology is seeping in to every aspect of our lives – and door locks are no different.

Smart locks have many benefits – they can be reconfigured on demand (no need for re-keying), the resident can generate a log of when the door was accessed, different keys can be generated for the same lock, so a homeowner can tell when each member of the family came in, or when the cleaner arrived.

But can these locks be installed on fire doors? As with just about everything in the fire protection industry, the answer is not a simple yes or no…

Modifications to fire doors should NOT be made without written approval

First things first, owners & residents should not make any modifications to their fire door without seeking written approval from the Owners Corporation. Unit entry doors (fire doors) are not owned by the owner of the unit. 

Fire door approved hardware logs

Any hardware that is installed on a fire door must be tested & approved for use on that particular type of fire door.

The fire resistance level of a doorset requires the door hardware to be of the same fire resistance level or higher.

The fire resistance level of an item of door hardware is obtained from a fire test or an assessment by a recognised
testing authority in Australia in accordance to the standard AS/NZS 1905 Part 1.

Door hardware can only be used on the type of fire door it has been test & approved for – once you know the type of door you have installed, you can ask the manufacturer for the approved hardware log.

You will usually be able to determine the type of fire door from the fire door tag. The example below shows a FIRE CORE type door. Once you know this, you can ask the manufacturer for a copy of the approved hardware log. 

Only if that particular lock is listed on the approved hardware log can it be installed. 

Door tag

A snippet of the approved hardware log for ‘ECORE’ type doors is shown below.

Evidence of compliance

When a Civil Fire technician comes across a smart/electronic lock installed on a fire door, our policy is to ask the resident/owner to supply evidence of compliance.

Evidence is usually provided in the form of a test assessment report (excerpt below), or an approved hardware log. Once we have this information, we can determine if the lockset is approved for use on the fire door. If the lock is not approved for use, it will need to be removed & replaced with a compliant lockset.

Unfortunately, with so many electronic / digital locks now available, it is not possible for us to keep track of what locks are approved for use with what type of fire doors. 


Before you decide to install an electronic lock, you need to obtain written approval from the Owners Corporation.

You should confirm that the electronic lock you have chosen is approved for use with the type of fire door installed on your unit.

Electronic locks should be installed as per the manufacture specifications – our recommendation would be for a licensed locksmith to complete the installation.

In our experience the Kaba E-Flash Fire Rated Electronic Lockset is compatible with most types of fire doors.