Commonly building certifiers nominate fire-rated access panels to be part of the essential safety measures listed in the yearly essential services schedule (Source: The Building Code of Australia). Under AS 1668.1, specifiers require access panels to be installed in smoke /air exhaust systems and typically one access panel is required every 3 m along a duct with extra ones required at every change in direction. Generally in smoke extract, return air or car park exhaust systems the access panel should be recessed into the duct.
Kitchen exhaust duct access panels shall be fitted proud of the air stream to prevent grease traps. Any access panel must have been tested by the manufacturer as an integral part of the fire protective system in which it will be installed and must conform to the relevant codes and regulations. Access panels should be tested in both the horizontal and vertical plane and any accessories /hardware components should have been tested to AS 1530 Part 1 and be classified non-combustible.
It is important to keep in mind that fire-rated access panels are not fire doors, and are tested differently. Access into the ductwork through the access panel must be “fire-fighter friendly” and therefore gained with the access panel cover being removed and replaced without the aid of tools.
LAF’s Igniseal® solution offers Access /Inspection Panels designed and tested in combination with our composite or stand-alone systems, and which negate the need for a primary access panel, the majority of which have combustible rubber gaskets (i.e. a fire risk) to maintain the air tightness, and a further supplementary access panel to maintain the fire isolation function.
Igniseal® includes non-combustible door panel, frame, handles, sash fasteners and woven fiberglass tape and designed to prevent smoke, air and fire passage on air/smoke duct access openings. It allows easy entry to inspect air and smoke handling ducts (Kitchen Exhaust included) and once filled with Vermiduct®, it will provide up to 4 hours FRL; Tested to Australian Standard AS-1530:4 and British Standard BS-476:24.