Industry-leading doors by Larnec DoorsLarnec Doors personal access door background

Fire-Rated Door vs Non-Fire Rated Door

See all articlesRed fire exit door
Commercial doors
November 30, 2022
minute read

Larnec does not offer fire-rated doors. However, understanding how fire-rated doors work is critical for any industrial, residential or commercial buildings.

What Are Fire Rated Doors?

A fire door or fire-rated door is one that has a fire-resistant rating. These doors are used to reduce the spread of fire and prevent smoke from travelling between areas. Fire doors are an important part of any building because they can slow down the speed at which fires spread between rooms. They might be able to save your life or somebody else's in case there was ever a fire.

A common misconception is that some doors are fire-proof. This is incorrect. There is no such thing as a fire-proof door that can completely withstand fire. Instead, fire-rated doors are used to measure the level of fire-resistance they offer.

Fire Doors & Fire Resistance Levels

Fire-rated doors are purpose-built to resist flames for a certain amount of time. The amount of time, through testing, determines the fire resistance level or FRL. A fire resistance level is given in 3 categories and will look like this: 30/60/120.

  • Structural adequacy: the door will remain vertical and support the load for at least 30 minutes.
  • Integrity: the door will block the flames passing through the door for 60 minutes.
  • Insulation: the door will provide insulation from the heat, fire and smoke for 120 minutes. The room on the other side of the door will also not increase in temperature.

There are 4 ratings for each of the 3 categories.

  • 30
  • 60
  • 120 (the highest score)
  • – (non-load bearing door)

The first category, structural integrity, can also be given a dash. The rating could look like –/30/60. In this rating, the dash means the structural adequacy is a non-load bearing door however the fire door provides integrity and insulation.

All fire-rated doors are required to be installed with a compliance tag on the door and door jam. This tag contains the following information:

  • Fire resistance level
  • Name of manufacturer
  • Number of performance (Australian standard)
  • Serial number
  • Year of manufacture

Types of Fire-Rated Doors

Steel doors

Metal doors, like steel doors, can provide up to four hours of fire protection in comparison to 30-60 minutes from non-metal ones. The standard for this type has been verified following the testing procedure specified by Australian Standards AS1530 and AS1905

Steel fire doors are perfect for environments where increased security or hygiene requirements must be met. They can easily withstand high levels of heat and contamination, making them a popular choice in kitchens that typically experience greater levels than other areas such as hospitals; this makes these durable metal products an excellent investment.

Glass doors/glass windows

Glass doors are a great option for those looking to create an aesthetically pleasing environment. These types of panels also comply with all current Australian fire door regulations for safety, making them the perfect choice in many situations.

All fire-rated glass doors are required to have a minimum level of fire safety compliance. Fire doors must be made with approved, flame-resistant glass that can withstand temperatures up to 900 degrees celsius. For comparison, normal window panes will melt at around 120 degrees which means they're ill-suited for fighting high-intensity fires.

Wooden doors

Most wooden fire-rated doors have a solid core that can be made of timber, flaxboard, magboard or particleboard. There are several ways a fire rating can be achieved for a wooden door. This will depend on how the core is built.

Fire-Rated Door Regulations


Currently, there is no legal requirement for installing fire-rated doors. However, the slightest gap between a fire door, door frame, glasswork or seal will cause the door to become faulty. As a result, it will not meet the BCA requirements and Australian Standards for fire safety.

Door frames

The door frame is one of many components that make up a fire exit. They're usually purchased from either the manufacturer or someone who specialises in this type of installation. There may be situations where you are unable to instal new seals or door frames.

In these situations, commercial or industrial properties can opt to fit intumescent seals into the door edge. This is often the case where there is gap between the fire door and the door frame. The gap must be no more than 3 mm.

Non-Fire-Rated Doors

The exterior of a non-fire-rated door can be the same as a fire-rated one. However, these doors have not passed strict testing for their fire-resistance levels as well other Australian Standards for fire safety.

The durability of these doors makes them ideal for everyday use, but they do not offer any real protection in the case of fire. As flames spread through a non-fire-rated door it's quickly consumed allowing the fire to keep spreading throughout your property.

Commercial Doors For All Industries

Not all doors in your commercial building need to be fire-rated. Commonly, the ones used as an escape route will be fire-rated doors. We provide a wide range of doors from metal doors and double doors to commercial doors and more.

If you’re a property owner for residential buildings or a single commercial building, Larnec can help you find high-quality, durable and safe dooring solutions. We specialise in personal access and commercial doors for a range of industries and buildings including:

  • Shed doors
  • Emergency exit doors
  • Shipping container doors
  • Security doors
  • Portable building doors
  • Industrial doors
  • Metal-clad doors
  • Dual skin doors
  • Pre hung doors
  • Wind rated doors
  • Tilt up panel doors.

Related articles