AUST  – Essential Property Services advises that the Building Code of Australia to ensure the protection of occupants in a building using a fire-isolated stairway during a fire, requires the installation of a smoke lobby (known as essential safety measures) between the general floor area of the storey and the entry door to the stair. A smoke lobby would be nominated in the building surveyor’s/ certifier’s essential safety measures determination/ schedule before occupancy occurs. 

Building Code of Australia

Part D1 Provision for escape, clause D1.7 Travel via fire isolated exists, specifies when a smoke lobby is required. A smoke lobby must be constructed in accordance with Part D2 Construction of Exits, clause D2.6 Smoke lobbies. A smoke lobby/ smoke lobbies requires its doors to be smoke doors that are either self closing or are fitted with automatic closing facilities linked to the building’s detection system.

The following extract of clause I1.1 Safety Measures covers smoke lobby/ smoke lobbies:

Table I1.1 SAFETY MEASURES – BUILDING FIRE INTEGRITY

Safety measure BCA provisions for determining standard of performance
Elements required to be non-combustible, provide fire protection, compartmentation or separation D1.7
Smoke doors and associated self-closing, automatic closing and latching mechanisms D2.6

Essential Safety Measures Audit

Most building surveyors will nominate smoke lobby/ smoke lobbies as an essential safety measure and will more than likely nominate a 12 month inspection routine. The essential safety measures auditor must check the overall integrity of the smoke lobby, this includes walls, doors and ceilings where necessary. Any deficiencies noted during an inspection should be recorded in the building’s essential safety measures logbook.