Fire Safety Signs

We often find signs on doors are non-existant or do not meet the requirements of the Building Code of Australia (BCA). The following is an short extract from the BCA 2009 that clearly outlines the requirements for fire safety doors.

D2.23 Signs on doors

  1. A sign, to alert persons that the operation of certain doors must not be impaired, must be installed where it can readily be seen on, or adjacent to, a?
      1. required fire door providing direct access to a fire-isolated exit, except a door providing direct egress from a sole-occupancy unit in a Class 2 or 3 building or Class 4 part; and
      2. required smoke door,
        on the side of the door that faces a person seeking egress and, if the door is fitted with a device for holding it in the open position, on either the wall adjacent to the doorway or both sides of the door; and
      1. fire door forming part of a horizontal exit; and
      2. smoke door that swings in both directions; and
      3. door leading from a fire isolated exit to a road or open space, on each side of the door.
  2. A sign referred to in (a) must be in capital letters not less than 20 mm high in a colour contrasting with the background and state?
    1. for an automatic door held open by an automatic hold-open device?
    2. for a self-closing door?
      ; or
    3. for a door discharging from a fire-isolated exit?

Maintenance Essentials can provide a range of signs to meet these purposes and can also provide technical support to identify the appropriate signe for each type of door.

For more information contact Maintenance Essentials on 1300 30 88 22 or email

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D2.23 signs on doors
Submitted by David Swinson (not verified) on November 18, 2008 - 20:56.

This amendment should be an improvement simplifying the requirements for signs. Aged Care and Health Care facilities often seem to struggle with the distinction. This results in confusion for staff and service providers alike.

This amendment reduces and simplifies even more the criteria for distinguishing a fire door from a smoke door. Its all about the "tags" (a permanently affixed label referencing the installation standard AS1905.1 and the other mandatory information). In addition the 25mm deep stop in the frame (that's the part of the frame the door closes against) will still be a give away for most of us even before we open the door and look at the frame and the edge of the door leaf on the hinge side for the tags.

Whilst it's an opportunity to standardise labels on our smoke and fire doors the new BCA requirement's are not retrospective in existing buildings except when you are changing the use of the building, doing a major upgrade or altering the actual door.

David Swinson
Fire Safety Consulting Pty Ltd