Fire rated door hardware FAQ’s

When it comes to building design, door hardware may seem like a small and insignificant detail. However, it plays a crucial role in ensuring the safety and functionality of a building.

From fire safety to security, door hardware can make all the difference. Fire safety should be the number one concern for anyone involved in a building’s design.

With that said, we have compiled some of the most frequent questions we are asked about fire door hardware and fire doors in general.


Can I install ANY hardware noted as fire rated on my fire door?

No. The hardware used for fire doors must be tested and approved for the fire core that is used in your door. There are 3 common fire core types used in Australia. Pyropanel, E-Core & Firecore. Each hardware item used must be tested and approved for the use on each fire core.

To check if the hardware item you wish to install is approved for use, we recommend you contact the hardware item’s manufacturer or a supply distributor of the fire core used in your fire door.


Does a fire door need a door stop to be compliant?

Yes, fire doors should have a door stop. I have seen certifiers turn a blind eye for doors opening out into a corridor where a door stop could be a tripping hazard, however, wherever possible, a door stop should be installed with the fire door.


What type of door closer can I install to a fire door?

The main requirement for a door closer for a fire door is that it has been tested on the core of the door you are using. For the door closer to even be accepted on a fire door, it must have the following features:

  • The ‘back check’ function
  • No hold open capability
  • Adjustable


Can I install a ‘deadlock’ on my fire door?

No. Deadlocks are not approved for use on fire doors. The two main requirements of a fire door is being self-closing and self-latching, so a deadbolt does not satisfy the self-latching requirement for fire doors.


Can I install a ‘Samsung Smart Door Lock’ on my fire door?

At the time of writing this blog – No. To date, none of the Samsung Smart Door Locks have been tested and approved for use on fire doors. However, this may change in the future. If the smart door lock has a ‘deadbolt’ function, then it will never be approved.


What takes precedence, SCEC requirements or fire rating?

This decision over which takes preference between SCEC requirements or fire door compliance, should ultimately be made by the end user of the building. The decision they are ultimately making is: what is more important, safety or security?

If it has been decided that SCEC is the overriding requirement, then a special fire engineering report or letter of dispensation will be needed for the fire door certifier. Only then can non-compliant security (SCEC) door hardware be fitted to fire rated doors.

Want to learn more about SCEC Endorsed Locksmiths and Locks? View our blog on the topic here.


Can a key-in-knob knobset be used on a fire rated door?

Yes, knobsets can be used on fire rated doors, so long as:

  • The knobset used has been tested  & approved for use on the fire core you are using, and
  • An extended back-set is installed (greater than 70mm backset will normally be required when using a knob on a fire rated door).
  • The door does not double as a fire exit door.

Important to note: if the door doubles as a fire exit door then a knob cannot be used.


Is a fire rated door the same as a fire exit door?

No. Fire rated doors and fire exit doors are not the same. These two requirements have similarities from a door hardware perspective but are totally different. A fire exit door’s most important function is allowing egress in case of a fire. A fire rated door is required for a door installed within fire rated walls.

However, a fire rated door can also be a fire exit door, if it is suitable for both functions and has been proven to comply with both.


Do fire rated doors need door seals to be compliant?

No, there is no requirement for a perfectly fitting fire door to have door seals. Where confusion occurs is when door seals are being installed to fire doors for other purposes, such as acoustic sealing or smoke sealing.

Where door seals are required for these purposes, they must be approved for use on fire doors – the same as all other door hardware items. 

Another area of confusion is ‘fire door upgrade’ seals. These door seals are used on existing fire doors where they no longer achieve the maximum tolerances allowed between the door and the frame. Where the door has drooped or bowed over time, fire door upgrade seals (often called intumescent seals) can be used to close these gaps in order to make the fire door compliant again. It’s important that a seal forms the correct barrier, and properly closes the gap, in order to bring the fire door back into compliance.


Do fire doors need to have routine inspections and testing?

Yes, fire doors should be routinely inspected and tested in order to remain compliant, in accordance with AS1851 – 2012. The classification of the building and state you are in determines the frequency of inspections. You must keep a record of these routine inspections, and be ready to supply evidence of this testing. For more information, and to ensure that you meet the requirements necessary, you can visit the Fire Regulations website.


Fire rated door hardware specialists

John Barnes are a team of Brisbane-based door hardware specialists, locksmiths, and a preferred supplier of door hardware. We supply and install high-quality door hardware, timber doors and metal frames, and stock and supply a range of quality, safe and secure doors and hardware, including fire rated doors. If you need timber doors, metal frames, fire rated doors, or installation of doors or frames, we offer fast and reliable service. From an extensive range of door hardware that is SCEC approved to fire rated and DDA-compliant doors, we can ensure that our solutions meet design requirements and legal requirements for your developments.