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Mastering Fire Door Regulations

Fire doors are essential to a building's passive fire protection system. They act as the first line of defence, minimising the spread of fire and smoke and protecting lives and property. Understanding fire door regulations is necessary for ensuring fire safety in buildings, but adhering to these compliances can be complex due to the varying requirements of different buildings. Join us as we strive to master fire door regulations, equipping you with the knowledge to ensure fire safety and compliance in your building.

What is a Fire Door?

Fire doors are designed to offer fire resistance in a fire. Fire doors are manufactured with specialist materials that can withstand a fire for a specified period. Most fire doors have a fire rating of FD30 or FD60, offering 30 and 60 minutes of fire protection, respectively. 

Importance of Fire Doors

Fire doors play a vital role in compartmentalising a fire, preventing the spread of fire and smoke and safeguarding escape routes, allowing occupants to evacuate safely. They are essential in all kinds of properties, from commercial buildings to residential apartments. Their importance is paramount for saving lives and protecting property integrity.

Fire Door Regulations

Whether you are a building owner, facilities manager, or contractor, understanding fire door regulations is crucial for ensuring you comply with legal requirements and maximise safety.

The Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005

The Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005 provides a framework for regulating fire safety in all commercial and some residential properties in the UK. The Fire Safety Act (2021) acts under the scope of The Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005, which states that fire doors are legally required on three-storey residential premises. 

The Order identifies the fire safety regulations that must be adhered to in commercial and apartment buildings to reduce the risk of a fire outbreak. The Order states that a Responsible Person, whether a landlord or a building manager, must be appointed to implement the fire-stopping measures in a building. 

A Responsible Person must:

  • Conduct regular fire risk assessments

  • Create a fire evacuation plan

  • Install necessary fire protection measures, such as fire doors

  • Carry out maintenance and repairs on fire equipment to maximise its effectiveness

  • Conduct training for any employees so they know how to proceed in the event of a fire

Fire Safety (England) Regulations 2022

After the Grenfell Tower incident, The Fire Safety (England) Regulations 2022 introduced regulations designed to enhance fire safety. These regulations introduce new duties for the Responsible Person under the Fire Safety Order.

Fire Safety Regulations apply to all buildings in England that comprise two or more domestic dwellings, typically above 11m in height. 

These regulations specifically apply to:

  • Communal areas in buildings, such as stairwells and corridors

  • Flat entrance doors

  • Non-domestic areas such as laundry rooms, offices and hallways

  • External doors, balcony doors and windows

In buildings above 11m, the Fire Doors (Regulations 10) states that responsible persons must inspect all fire doors at least every three months to ensure they are still working as they should to provide maximum protection.

The responsible person must provide occupants with information outlining UK fire door regulations, the importance of fire doors, how to use them effectively, for example, leaving them closed, and an evacuation plan.

The British Woodworking Federation (BWF)

Regular inspections and necessary maintenance and repairs are essential for determining whether current fire doors are compliant and functional. The British Woodworking Federation (BWF) encourages a six-month inspection of all fire doors, apart from those in residential buildings over 11m, where inspections should be carried out every 12 weeks. 

Essential fire door checks include:

  • Ensure that the doors are self-closing. Check this by opening the door fully and letting it go, then open it at 15 degrees and let it go again. In both cases, the door should fully close into the frame, overcoming the resistance of any latch or the floor.

  • Check that the door, frames and fire-glazed windows are undamaged.

  • Ensure the intumescent strips and smoke sealants are intact and also undamaged.

  • Verify that all components are correctly fitted and in good working condition.

The responsible person should keep a record documenting inspections, repairs, and replacements. If they are found to breach any compliance requirements, they could face significant fines.

Fire Door Specification

A compliant fire door must meet the British Standard BS 476-22 or the European Standard BS EN 1634-1. When designed and manufactured, fire doors must be made of specific materials that meet these specifications. These specifications ensure that the door has the necessary integrity and insulation capabilities, confirming that it can withstand a fire for a specified period. 

Fire doors can only provide their advertised fire rating if installed correctly. They must be fitted with the correct frame, intumescent strips, and fire-rated accessories to ensure all components resist fire. If a fire door is not aligned and installed correctly, it may not be able to provide the advertised fire rating. This emphasises the importance of having a fire door professionally installed.

Building Regulations for Fire Doors FAQs

What are the legal requirements for a fire door?

All fire doors must be equipped with a certification that shows the standard they have been designed to. Fire doors must be able to withstand a fire for at least 30 minutes without compromising their integrity. Ensure that all components have the same fire rating and have been fitted and aligned correctly to provide fire protection.

Are fire doors required in homes?

Homes with three or more stories must have a fire door between the stairwell and each habitable room. Any doors between an integral garage and a house must also be fire doors, as must any loft conversion doors. 

Can a fire door have a letterbox?

Fire doors can have a letterbox. However, it must be an intumescent letterbox. This means that it features an intumescent liner that will expand and seal off the letterbox in the event of a fire, preventing any smoke or fire from passing through it.

Master Fire Door Regulations with LFS

At LFS, our experienced team is well-versed in legal building fire safety regulations. We specialise in designing, manufacturing, installing, and testing fire doors to ensure they comply with laws and provide the necessary fire resistance level. Saving lives is at the heart of our business, so place your trust in us. We will go the extra mile to provide expert advice and fire equipment proven to provide exceptional fire protection, safeguarding occupants and properties. Contact us today to learn more about our services.

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