AUST – Hendry advises that the Building Code of Australia Part C3 ‘Protection of Openings: Doorways in Fire Walls’ outlines the circumstances under which fire shutters should be activated. The following information will help clients understand the circumstances applicable for fire shutter activation.

Building Code of Australia: Clause – Issue

How should fire shutters be automatically closed under Part C3 of the Building Code Australia?

Building Code of Australia: Clause – Explanation

Under the Building Code Australia a fire shutter must be either self closing or automatic. When automatic operation is adopted, activation must be via smoke detectors and any other active fire system installation such as sprinklers (automatic is defined as being designed to operate when activated by the smoke detector or sprinkler system). AS 1905.2 specifies automatic operation to occur by a thermal link but this is contrary to the Building Code Australia requirement which takes precedence. The controls and cabling to the shutter must be fire rated but the automatic operation does not extend to include apparatus or systems that rely on mains power such that in the event of a power failure, the closure of the shutter still occurs. A standby power system is required for this type of installation and this is not mandated in the Building Code Australia.

The following illustration from BCA Illustrated depicts an exit stair configuration in a Class 2 building under Building Code Australia Part C3.

C3.5 Automatic closing of fire shutters