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What the "Fire Door" is this about?

Regulations that impact Fire Doors

Several regulations and standards govern the use and maintenance of fire doors in commercial buildings, flats, and HMOs:

  1. Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Or der 2005 (RRFSO): This is the principal piece of legislation governing fire safety in non-domestic premises in England and Wales. It requires the responsible person (typically the building owner or manager) to carry out fire risk assessments and ensure that fire safety measures, including fire doors, are adequate and maintained.

  2. Building Regulations 2010 (Approved Document B): This provides detailed guidance on fire safety for new buildings and significant alterations, including specifications for fire doors regarding their resistance to fire and smoke, self-closing mechanisms, and installation.

  3. BS 9999: Code of Practice for Fire Safety in the Design, Management, and Use of Buildings: This British Standard offers a framework for fire safety management and design, emphasizing the importance of fire door integrity.

  4. Housing Act 2004 and HMO Licensing: For HMOs, additional regulations under the Housing Act 2004 impose stricter fire safety standards, including the use of fire doors to protect escape routes.

Key Components of a Fire Door Survey

A comprehensive fire door survey involves several critical steps:

  1. Inspection of Door Leaf and Frame: The survey examines the condition of the door leaf and frame, checking for any warping, damage, or signs of wear that could compromise the door's integrity.

  2. Assessment of Gaps and Seals: Proper gaps (usually no more than 3mm along the top and sides) and intumescent and smoke seals are crucial. The survey ensures these components are intact and effective.

  3. Hinges and Closers: Fire doors should have at least three hinges, and self-closing devices must be fitted and functional to ensure the door closes automatically. The survey checks these fittings for compliance and operation.

  4. Certification and Compliance: The survey verifies that fire doors are certified and meet the relevant fire resistance standards (e.g., FD30 or FD60).

  5. Signage and Accessibility: Fire doors should be clearly marked, and their operation should be unimpeded. Surveys also ensure that fire doors are not wedged open and that accessibility for all users, including those with disabilities, is considered.

Best Practices for Fire Door Surveys

  1. Regular Inspections: Conduct fire door surveys at least every six months, or more frequently in high-risk buildings or areas with heavy use. Don't forget that blocks of flats and HMOs, with non-domestic communal areas, require all Flat Entrance Doors to be inspect annually and communal areas every quarter.

  2. Professional Assessments: Engage qualified fire safety professionals to carry out surveys, ensuring a thorough and accurate assessment.

  3. Documentation and Reporting: Maintain detailed records of all surveys, including identified issues, remedial actions taken, and compliance status.

  4. Training and Awareness: Educate building occupants and staff about the importance of fire doors and the necessity of keeping them unobstructed and in good repair.

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