Every fire resistant doorset installed in Australia must be installed in accordance with the requirements of the Building Code of Australia (BCA). The current Australian Standard referred to in the BCA for Fire Resistant Doors is AS1905.1-2005 “Components for the protection of openings in fire resistant walls.
While this article concentrates on the requirements of the fire door compliance tag, a fire door is a component of a complete doorset which includes the door leaf, or leaves, the frame (inclusive of the required frame compliance tag), hardware, seals, other attachments to the doorset (e.g. vision panels and air grilles) and the wall in which the doorset is installed including the fixing of the attachments to the door/s, the door/s to the frame and the frame to the wall.
This Blog Post is accompanied by a summary table of fire door compliance tag requirements in Australia. The table details all the relevant Australian Standards and the relevant clauses relating to fire door compliance tags. To view the table click here (sorry could not format it to fit on this Blog Post).
The fixing of a compliance tag to a fire resistant doorset has been a requirement from the initial fire door code (AS CA57, Part 1-1972) to the current time.
The door tag is an integral component of a fire-resistant doorset identifying the door and setting it apart from other doors such as solid core doors, hollow core doors and the like.
Considering this, it is clear why the compliance tag is so critical; it identifies the door as a fire-resistant door (being a component of a complete fire resistant doorset), and further gives a reference to the performance (i.e. the fire –resistant level) of the specific door.
The physical tag requirements have remained unchanged over the revisions of the relevant standards (aside from the imperial to metric changes which first appeared in the 1976 revision) but more often we are seeing tags provided by suppliers which are printed, not etched, embossed or stamped which can lead to issues in identification when tags are painted over.
Recessed or projected numbers and letters can be painted over and still be identifiable even if a solvent is used to clean the tag. This tiny little point is often missed by tag providers and this should be addressed by all who have the responsibility of manufacturing, supplying or installing compliance tags and is a clear requirement of the Standard and for good reason.
Building owners and managers should be aware of the importance of compliance tags to ensure trades such as painters are directed to treat compliance tags as they would locks and closers and protect them prior to painting.
The fixing of the compliance tag to the door leaf is another issue. Adhesives while appropriate short term can degrade over time. This can lead to compliance tags becoming detached from the door.
Sticking a tag to a door leaf is a major contributing factor in compliance tags falling off doors and aside from the 1984 revision tags have had to be either mechanically or firmly affixed.
This small point is the bane of contention of building owners and managers who consistently see the wording “missing compliance tag, recommend new door”.
Industry providers are doing themselves an injustice in not doing these simple things to protect the end user from the premature replacement of their fire resistant doors.
The details on a compliance tag provide critical information which is used by inspectors (or should be used) to assess the fire resistant doorset during its serviceable life as it identifies the conditions by which the fire resistant doorset was designed and should be assessed against.
These details have changed over the years so inspectors should be aware of the marking requirements for the relevant performance standard applicable to the doorset being inspected (see table above “Required Tag Details”).
If you have seen a tag in the field with the standard “AS1851” prominently displayed, this is not a compliance tag. This detail provides no assistance to the inspector of the fire-resistant doorset as it fails to provide any of the details required by AS1905.1.
Tag location is stated in general as approximate and where the placement of the tag on the hinge side of the door leaf could impact the performance of the doorset (i.e. perimeter door seals for example) there is comment to recommend the relocation of the tag to the face of the door on the top hinge side.
Who can tag a fire-resistant door has been defined since the Standard revision in 1990. In looking at the possibility of retagging a fire-resistant door which has lost its compliance tag, we must firstly satisfy ourselves that we are able to.
For doorsets manufactured and installed prior to 1990, the Standard provided no definition as to who could tag a fire-resistant doorsets and as such it would be reasonable to assume that doorsets of this era are able to be tagged by anyone who could satisfy the requirements of assessing the installation and making the determinations required by the relevant code at the time the doorset was manufactured and installed.
For doorsets installed between 1990 and 1997, the definition provided for who can tag a fire-resistant doorset was defined as “The Supplier”, defining the supplier as the sponsor of the test on the prototype fire-resistant doorset who certifies that the doorset, when installed, complies with the Standard. Considering this definition, to retag a doorset manufactured and installed during this time you would have to identify the core of the door to then identify the “Sponsor”. Additional to this would be your ability to identify the year of manufacture and installation.
For doorsets installed since 1997 the manufacturer or certifier has been defined as the allowing tagging entity. To tag a doorset manufactured and installed in this period you would have to be able to identify who the original manufacturer of the door was in order to seek their authorization to retag a fire-resistant doorset.
The issue of being able to retag a fire-resistant doorset is a hot topic with companies on both sides of the fence. The issue of “should you retag a fire door” is not discussed in this article and it is incumbent on individuals making claims of being able to retag fire-resistant doorsets that they can do so in accordance with the requirements of the Standards.
As with the physical requirements of a tag, documentation has been a requirement since 1972. The details of documents and the form in which they are provided has changed over revisions but in general, a “schedule of evidence” or “evidence of compliance with the code” has been required. An example of the documentation to be provided is given at the back of most Standard revisions.
A NOTE ON ASBESTOS
A common practice for identifying a fire-resistant doorset is to remove the lockset to expose the inner core of the door. By exposing the core an experienced individual may be able to identify the type of core and the potential manufacturer or sponsor/applicant.
If you do undertake this practice please be mindful that fire doors manufactured up until the early 1980’s were predominantly manufactured using asbestos as the core material. Removing the lockset can lead to exposure to asbestos fibres and should be avoided at all costs. If you suspect that a door may contain asbestos then it would be advised that the appropriate controls are put in place prior to removing the lockset to ensure exposed asbestos is contained.
Table below summarises State and Territory Acts and Regulations with respect to working with Asbestos.
|State / Territory||Act||Regulations|
|QLD||Workplace Health and Safety Act 1995||Workplace Health and Safety Regulations 2008|
|NSW||Occupational Health and Safety Act 2000||Occupational Health and Safety Regulations 2001|
|ACT||Work Safety Act 2008 Work Safety Legislation Amendment Act 2009||Dangerous Substances (General) Regulations 2004|
|VIC||Occupational Health and Safety Act 2004||Occupational Health and Safety Regulations 2007|
|TAS||Workplace Health and Safety Act 1995||Workplace Health and Safety Regulations 1998|
|SA||Occupational Health, Safety and Welfare Act 1986 Occupational Health, Safety and Welfare (SafeWork SA) Amendment Act 2005||Occupational Health, Safety and Welfare Regulations 1995|
|WA||Occupational Safety and Health Act 1984||Occupational Safety and Health Regulations 1996|
|NT||Workplace Health and Safety Act 2007||Workplace Health and Safety Regulations 2008|
(Source http://www.asbestosaustralia.com.au/ )