Fire door requirements advice from Innovus

Fire Door Regulations: Is Your Building Compliant?

24 May 2024 | Written by Innovus

Building Solutions

As a building owner or manager, you know that fire safety is paramount. Protecting lives and minimising property damage in the event of a fire should be a top priority. That’s why properly specifying, installing, and maintaining fire doors in your building is so critical.

Fire doors play a vital role in a building’s compartmentation, helping to contain the spread of flames and smoke. This buys crucial time for occupants to evacuate and for the fire service to extinguish the blaze. But in order to perform this life-saving function, fire doors must be compliant with UK regulations and standards.

Who is responsible for fire doors?

Under the Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005, the “Responsible Person” for a building must ensure that all fire safety measures, including fire doors, are properly maintained. This duty typically falls on the employer, owner, or managing agent. Failure to comply can lead to hefty fines and even imprisonment.

The recently updated Fire Safety (England) Regulations 2022 also introduced new requirements for multi-occupied residential buildings over 11 metres. Fire doors in communal areas must now be inspected every 3 months, and flat entrance doors checked annually. Residents must also be provided with fire door safety information.

Do the regulations apply to your building?

If you manage a business, commercial property, public building, block of flats, or HMO, you almost certainly have legal obligations around fire doors. This is true for both new and existing buildings. Even some domestic residences, like homes with 3+ stories or integral garages, must have fire doors as specified in building regulations.

But it’s not enough to simply have fire doors installed. You must ensure they are the correct specification for the building, fitted with appropriate hardware, and properly maintained. Regular inspections by a competent person are essential for identifying any damage or non-compliant doors.

Why fire door compliance is critical

The risks of getting it wrong on fire doors are severe. In the worst case, non-compliant doors could lead to injury or loss of life, exposing you to both criminal prosecution and civil litigation. Even without an incident, you could face enforcement action from the fire service if your doors are found to be defective.

Insurance companies are also paying increasing attention to fire door compliance. Failure to meet your obligations could invalidate your property insurance, leaving you financially exposed in the event of a fire.

How to ensure your fire doors comply

The specific fire door requirements for your building should be determined by a thorough fire risk assessment conducted by a competent assessor. This will identify the rating of door needed (e.g. FD30, FD60) based on the fire hazards and occupancy of the building.

Your doors should be sourced from a reputable, third-party certified manufacturer and include the appropriate intumescent strips, smoke seals, hinges, and closing devices. When installing the doors, pay close attention to the gaps around the frame, which should be no larger than 4mm.

To keep your doors in good condition, implement a regular inspection and maintenance regime. Train staff to identify any damage and keep detailed records of your checks and repairs. Remember, under the RRO, your fire doors must be kept in “efficient working order”.

Need help with fire door compliance?

Navigating the complex web of fire door regulations and standards can be challenging, especially for building operators juggling multiple maintenance and safety priorities. That’s where Innovus can help.

As experts in fire door compliance, we offer specialist inspection services to ensure your building meets all legal requirements. Our experienced assessors will methodically check every fire door in your property and provide a detailed report of any remedial actions required.

We can also provide expert consultancy on specifying fire doors for new build or refurbishment projects, ensuring you get the right product for your building’s needs. And our tailored maintenance packages help you stay on top of your ongoing fire door obligations, giving you peace of mind.

Don’t let fire door non-compliance put your building and occupants at risk. Contact Innovus today to learn how we can keep your doors safe and legally sound.

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