The Crest of the Commonwealth of Australia Treasury Portfolio Ministers
Picture of Joe Hockey

Joe Hockey

The Minister for Financial Services and Regulation

21 October 1998 - 26 November 2001

Media Release of 12/03/1999

NO. FSR/010

URGENT INVESTIGATION INTO FIRE SAFETY DOORS

The Minister for Financial Services and Regulation, Joe Hockey, today requested an urgent investigation into certain type of fire doors in response to concerns about the safety of consumers in high-occupancy buildings.

The Minister had received evidence that fire doors made with a pyrokor core may not meet the minimum safety requirements of the Building Code of Australia.

"Fire doors must be made to impede the passage of fire in a building and the information I have before me suggests that pyrokor core fire doors manufactured between 1993 and 3 September 1998 may not meet the minimum safety performance requirements of the Building Code.

"Fire doors must be fire rated in accordance with the Building Code Requirements to contain fire for a specified period of time. For example, a one-hour rated fire door must withstand the passage of fire for at least one hour. This would allow the occupants of a building time to evacuate in the event of a fire and also protect firefighters.

"As the fire doors in question are installed in many buildings it is essential that, in the event of a fire, they fulfill their proper function of impeding fire until young, elderly or infirm occupants are evacuated," the Minister said.

"The evidence before me suggests that the fire doors may not contain fire in accordance with the safety requirements, thus putting the safety of consumers at risk.

"I am not prepared to take any chances with the lives of consumers and I have, therefore, ordered an urgent investigation, under Section 65B of the Trade Practices Act 1974, into the safety of these fire doors," Mr Hockey said.

12 March 1999

Further information: Matthew Abbott, Minister’s office 0413 076213, Raphael Cicchini,
02 6263 3983