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A Guide to Fire Door Regulations in the UK

A legal part of all non-domestic properties is fire doors. All businesses, public buildings and commercial premises but have them. The requirements of each building are determined by a fire risk assessment – an in-depth review of the premises. This will highlight any potential fire risks within the building and provide any ways in which these can be eliminated. This will include the positioning and rating requirements of fire doors.

Fire doors are designed to contain fire in one part of the building limiting damage by reducing the spread of the flames as well as protecting escape routes keeping them as safe as possible. Fire doors are generally needed on all doorways that lead to a fire escape as well as on rooms that have a higher fire risk, for example, IT server rooms and boiler rooms.

The standards set in Building Regulations Approved Documents govern new buildings, ensuring that all new buildings in the UK meet the minimum standards of construction, emphasising that fire doors are necessary in all commercial and public buildings. It will also state which rating the fire doors need to be for the building type.

fire exit
fire exit

For existing buildings, the Regulatory Reform (Fire safety) Order 2005 applies, covering all public buildings such as placed of employment and entertainment or leisure venues. Article 17 of the Order places an obligation on the “Responsible Person” to ensure fire doors are “subject to a suitable system of maintenance and are maintained in an efficient state, in efficient working order and in good repair”. Given that the employer, building operator, building owner or possibly his agent has a legal duty to maintain fire doors in efficient working order, regular inspection will be necessary.

Fire door maintenance is an important part of the RRFSO 2005 and all fire doors must be in an efficient working order and in good repair. It is essential that fire doors are regularly inspected to ensure your doors are fit for purpose.

Does this apply to your building?

The RRFSO 2005 applies to the following:

  • Any business property
  • Charity or voluntary work places
  • Public buildings including but not limited too- schools, hospital, leisure centres and caravan sites
  • Accommodation with paying guests
  • Blocks of flats and maisonettes – plus communal areas of home with multiple occupancy

In additional to commercial properties fire doors can be used in domestic settings protecting your home against fire. Fire doors in the home are generally not a legal requirement however there are some exceptions to this. Any new build or home renovation that is over three or more floors must have fire doors fitted to every room that leads from a stairwell. This also applies to loft conversions if on the third floor or above. Any door leading from the home to an integral garage must also be fitted with a fire door with a FD30 rating.

Any flats and HMOs should also have a risk assessment carried out this is to ensure that the following are met:

  • Fire doors should be fitted to the entrance to all communal areas
  • Flats located on floors that are 4.5m above around level must have a fire rated door fitted between all habitable rooms as well as on the front door
  • The ground floor of the flats must have a fire door on the entrance if it opens onto a communal area including corridors
  • Ground floor flats do not generally need fire doors so long as there is an accessible way to escape

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