In Australia, commercial building regulations must be met for a wide range of doors. These regulations, standards and compliance require the doors to pass a number of tests from durability and strength to accessibility and security.
Residential, industrial and commercial buildings all have standards they must comply with. As a renter or a building owner, it’s important to understand the standards and building codes surrounding doors and openings.
Doors of all types have strict guidelines for manufacturers and installation. This includes fire doors, exit doors, automatic doors, emergency doors, travel doors and more.
General Door Compliance
The Australian Standards AS2047 and 1288 provide a framework for building construction, including windows and doors. A building's integrity depends on these components being built according to code minimums set out in an industry-standard known as ‘the Building Code Of Australia’.
All doors must have a performance label that confirms the door is certified with the Australian Standard 2047. There should also be a certificate of compliance showing the doors have met the National Construction Code.
Doors can also be tested and approved by an independent NATA-accredited auditor of the Australian Standard 2047. Surveyors and the local council can also request compliance verification before approving a building.
Security Door Standards
The standards for home security doors in Australia is there to protect consumers. Businesses that sell security products are legally required to ensure their doors have been tested and comply with the relevant Australian Standards. Security doors are there to protect the home through durability and deterrence. They must be strong enough to prevent a break-in if it occurs.
The Australian Standard 5039 sets out the basic requirements for a security door. This standard covers everything from the materials it needs to be made out to how well the door is reasonably expected to withstand a break-in. Manufacturers of security doors must qualify the product in a NATA-accredited lab in order to test the door so that it meets the standards set in AS5039.
There is a second Australian Standard relevant to security doors and that is AS 5040. This covers the installation of a security door. These doors must be installed with a strong frame, ground and wall masonry. A licensed technician can only install these doors.
The final Australian Standard for security doors is AS 5041. This standard has all the methods for testing security doors to provide proper consumer protection. These tests include knife shear tests, cyclone screen tests, impact tests and many more.
Door Controls And Openings Standards
The ageing Australian population has meant there have been reforms to door regulations. The Australian Standard 1428.1 focuses on design for access and mobility. This standard, as well as others, has been made compulsory by the National Construction Codes of Australia.
How we interact with a door and its openings plays an important role for many in regards to the accessibility and path of travel. For many Australians with a hand or arm disability, the type of door control can determine if the door is accessible or not.
The aim of AS 1428.1 is to make sure door controls provide support and prevent hands from slipping off the door. It also outlines how much support is needed for closing the door. This has resulted in certain door handle types being compliant with this standard.
This standard also addresses how much clearance a door and handle require, the height of a handle, standardising lock height, as well as the force required to operate the door. If your building has an automatic door, exit door, fire door or travel door, being aware of the latest standards is key to making sure your building is still compliant.
Exit Door Standards
Fire exit doors are an important part of fire safety for buildings. They have very specific requirements regarding locking mechanisms, and it is crucial that they be implemented correctly in order to maintain compliance with these laws.
For many years, an exit door was viewed simply as a door for emergency exits if a fire exists or an emergency. This has drastically changed. Exit doors are now used as emergency exits for all kinds of scenarios, not just as a fire door.
Exit doors must comply with multiple codes which include:
- BCA D2.21 (Emergency Exits)
- AS1905.1 (Fire Rating)
- AS1428.1 (DDA / Disabled Discrimination Act)
Another important part of an exit door is the locks used within the door. Exit doors include fire doors and path of travel doors, which are governed by multiple authorities here in Australia. In most cases, these doors are identified by an illuminated green exit sign.
Your local council and fire department will often be the ones to enforce these regulations. Regardless of whether it’s a local council building or an industrial complex, these standards can be ambiguous and complex. Often it is up to the interpretation of the inspection authority at the time of review.
There are three main types of exit doors:
- Fire door: a door made of fire-rated materials that allows a person to enter a safe room, stairway or tunnel. This door must have a fire rating compliance tag. The frame and surroundings of the door must also be fire-rated.
- Exit door: an exit door is one that allows for an emergency exit from a building. In some cases, this may need to be a fire-rated door or a steel-framed door.
- Path of travel door: these are doors that lead to a fire door or exit door.
Compliance standards for these doors:
- The opening action of the lock must be a single-handed downward lever action or a pushing action.
- No internal knobs or turn snibs. This standard addresses the need for an emergency opening mechanism for people with hand/arm-related disabilities, burns on their hand, wet or perspiring hands or aged hands.
- The opening action should be capable of being operated with a nudging action while dragging an injured or unconscious person.
- The door cannot be locked on the inside of the door.
- The door has only one lock.
- The standardised lock height of 900 m, to 1100 m, from the floor.
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