Fire Door Building Regulations
Whether you are the responsible person for a commercial premises or a block of flats, it’s crucial that you pay attention to, and abide by the law when it comes to fire doors. As a vital component for slowing the spread of a fire, fire doors give occupants time to safely evacuate and can provide the fire and rescue services with valuable time to get a blaze under control.
Given the essential role of fire doors in protecting the people on your premises, it’s worth familiarising yourself with the latest laws and regulations. That’s what we’re looking at this month here at Surrey Tech Services Ltd, giving you an updated overview on the topic.
What are the Fire Door Regulations?
While fire doors have long been part of fire safety considerations, the tragic loss of over 70 lives in the Grenfell Tower fire has prompted The Fire Safety Act 2021 and The Fire Safety (England) Regulations 2022 to force people to take a closer look at fire doors. The Fire Safety Act requires responsible persons for multi-occupied residential buildings with ‘two or more sets of domestic premises’ to have an updated fire risk assessment to include:
“an assessment of the building’s structure, external walls, and flat entrance doors”
Regulation 10 of the Fire Safety (England) Regulations 2022 made two requirements for the responsible person:
- To provide residents (tenants and leaseholders) with information about their flat entrance doors
- To conduct checks on fire doors in blocks of flats over 11m in height (usually four storeys or more). This consists of checking entrance doors at least once annually, as well as checking fire doors in all communal areas once every three months.
Of course, the overriding guidance on the topic is found in the Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005, which we’ll look at next.
The Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005
There are several aspects of this key legislation that relate to fire doors. Not only do you have a duty to ensure that fire escape routes can be used in the event of a fire – something fire doors are critical for – but a fire risk assessment should also be carried out and updated regularly, especially if anything significant with your building changes. A fire risk assessment will also recommend where fire doors should be and what rating is required based on what type of building you manage and its purpose.
Fire door regulations for domestic vs. commercial buildings
When it comes to fire door regulations for domestic properties, the building requires fire doors for each stairwell door that should lead to a safe room if the premises has more than two storeys.
For commercial buildings, the route of evacuation must be lined with fire doors in order to create a protected exit in emergencies, with other areas of the building also requiring consideration for fire doors. The route of evacuation can either be a vertical or horizontal route depending on the building.
What do the fire door ratings mean?
Fire doors are doors that have been tested to ensure they provide a minimum resistance time to protect vital escape routes and aid in compartmentation. This is indicated in the code given to each door. FD60 and FD90, for example, are doors that provide 60 minutes and 90 minutes of resistance time respectively. The minimum rating for fire doors is FD30, delivering at least 30 minutes of protection.
Is there a difference between a fire door and a fire exit door?
Yes, the main difference between fire doors and fire exit doors is that fire doors are designed to prevent the spread of fire and smoke, while a fire exit door is designed to give people an easy exit from the building. Fire doors still open and close, but when they close they should provide a barrier of fire resistance to protect an evacuation route or to compartmentalise part of a building.
Our fire door services
Because fire doors are such an important part of the fire safety provisions in any building, here at Surrey Tech Services Ltd, we have a range of services to help you comply with all the rules and regulations.
So whether you need a fire risk assessment to help establish where you need fire doors, a fire door inspection to check on the status of your existing doors, or fire door installation for brand new, fire-resistant doors, we’ve got you covered. Whether you have a commercial building or a block of flats in London and the Home Counties – including Maidenhead, Guildford and Slough – let us help you keep the people using your building safe.
Call today for a free site survey, expert advice or to order internal and external fire doors.