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Navigating Domestic Fire Door Regulations: What Every Homeowner Should Know

As a homeowner, ensuring household safety is paramount. Fire doors are an essential aspect of home safety. Understanding fire door regulations is crucial for protecting your loved ones and home from a fire outbreak. Whether you are renovating your current home or purchasing a new build, compliance with fire door regulations is vital. Dive into our comprehensive blog and allow us to equip you with the knowledge and confidence to ensure your home is safeguarded against the threat of fire.



What is a Fire Door?

A fire door is specially designed and manufactured to help slow the spread of a fire by preventing the transmission of heat, oxygen and smoke between rooms. Fire doors compartmentalise a fire to one room, providing precious time for occupants to evacuate the building safely. 


Fire doors are designed with a fire-resistance rating. Each rating has an estimated lifespan ranging from 30 minutes to 4 hours. Domestic fire doors are usually FD30 or FD60, offering 30 and 60 minutes of fire protection, respectively. 


Each fire door component will be specifically manufactured using certified materials to meet fire-rating requirements. Intumescent sealant, door hinges, fire-rated glass and automatic closing mechanisms should be included with your fire door to maximise survivability.


Domestic Fire Door Regulations

Fire doors are essential in domestic dwellings with at least three storeys as per The Fire Safety Act (2021). This acts under the scope of The Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005, which identifies the fire safety precautions that must be implemented in domestic properties.


As per the order, it is a legal requirement for all buildings to assign a ‘Responsible Person’, whether a landlord or building manager, to navigate the fire safety regulations for the building. 


A Responsible Person must:


Inspections should be carried out by a certified fire door inspector at least twice a year for most fire doors. For domestic dwellings above 11m in height, fire doors must be inspected quarterly following the Grenfell Tower incident.


Do I Need Fire Doors in My Home?

Fire doors are legally required in all non-domestic properties, such as businesses and public buildings. However, to many homeowners' surprise, they are also necessary in a handful of domestic dwellings: 


Flats

In the UK, fire doors are essential in flats with a minimum of three floors. Fire doors must be installed strategically from each flat to the designated exit, providing a secure evacuation path for residents. According to the British Woodworking Federation (BWF), flats on the ground floor do not require fire doors as long as the residents have a window or door from which they can immediately exit the building.


Flats Above 4.5m

For flats above 4.5m, fire doors must be installed onto individual flats, separating them from hallways, stairwells and communal areas according to Approved Document B within the Fire Order. FD30 doors are commonly used for flats above this height, providing residents with 30 minutes of fire protection.


Flats Above 11m

Following the Grenfell Tower Incident, it is recommended that each habitable room in a flat above 11m is fitted with an FD60 door to provide 60 minutes of fire resistance. As per the Fire Doors (Regulation 10), Responsible Persons must conduct quarterly checks on these doors and provide residents with information regarding the importance of fire doors for improved safety.


New Builds

Any newly built home with three or more floors must have fire doors to every habitable room leading from a stairwell. Any door leading from your home into an integral garage must also be a fire door. For the majority of new builds, FD30 doors are the ideal solution.


House of Multiple Occupancy (HMOs)

In January 2023, the Fire Safety (England) Regulations 2022 came into effect, outlining the requirement for fire doors in domestic dwellings with multiple occupancies. As a landlord of an HMO, all doors leading to an escape route must be fire doors. 


Fire doors must be installed in all bedrooms and living areas, and one must be installed at each kitchen entry point. HMO fire doors must have self-closing mechanisms with visible notices highlighting the necessity to keep fire doors closed, as open fire doors cannot compartmentalise a fire. 


Renovation Projects

If you are renovating your home with three or more storeys or introducing a loft conversion, installing fire doors to every habitable room, internal garage, and converted loft is legally required. 


If you are replacing your existing interior doors and do not have fire doors, it is acceptable to fit standard doors. However, fire doors are designed to improve home safety, so it is crucial to consider replacing your existing doors with them. 


Domestic Fire Doors FAQs


Can I install a domestic fire door?

It is recommended that only a certified fire door inspector should install your fire door. A fire door can only provide its advertised rating if aligned and installed correctly. To avoid the risk of diminished fire protection, hire a professional to install your fire door and boost fire safety.


How do I know if my residential door is fire-rated?

If your door is a fire door, there will be a label on the top edge that details the door's fire safety rating, the manufacturer name and contact details, the installation date and other relevant information.


Do you need a fire door between the kitchen and hallway?

Fitting a fire door on all entry points into a kitchen is recommended. A kitchen is a high-risk area for the origination of a fire. Prevent the spread of fire by installing a fire door between your kitchen and hallway to protect your residents and the rest of your property. 


Install Your Domestic Fire Doors with LFS

As a landlord or homeowner, navigating the world of fire safety for your domestic dwelling can be overwhelming. At LFS, our expert team have decades of knowledge and experience regarding fire doors and legal regulations. We are dedicated to designing, manufacturing, testing and installing only the best fire doors to provide your home with the utmost protection. Fire safety is at the core of our business, so place your trust in our specialised team, and we will advise you on the fire door requirements for your property. Contact us today; we will be happy to assist you.


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