Below is information to guide residents and owners on Fire Door Safety Guidance in line with the Fire Safety Act:
What is a fire door and what are they designed to do?
Fire doors are specialist doors that have been tested against the elements and are purpose-built to withstand roaring fires for as long as possible. They enable buildings to compartmentalise and delay the spread of fire from one area to another and form a crucial part of a passive fire protection strategy.
Certified fire doors will be given a fire-resistance rating, which details the length of time the door set and its materials will be able to withstand smoke and fire – either 30 or 60 minutes, depending on the rating. They are fitted with intumescent strips (or seals) that expand to fill the gap between the door and the frame.
Fire doors have a few vital safety features and really can be the difference between life and death. Two of the most important functions fire doors have are:
• When closed, they form a barrier to stop the spread of fire.
• When opened, they provide a means of escape.
What is the legal requirement for the checking of fire doors?
Under the Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005 (FSO), persons in control of the premises have a responsibility to ensure their properties and tenants are safe. In the first instance, the Responsible Person will arrange for a Fire Risk Assessment to be undertaken which will look closely at the fire safety arrangements as a whole, however, the responsibility extends to the arrangements for periodically checking the fire doors in blocks of flats and this includes wherever possible the entrance door to the individual flats.
In addition to the FSO, further legislation was introduced in 2023 that makes a requirement for additional fire door safety checks in blocks of flats that are greater than 11m or 5 floors in height (including ground floor). The additional provisions require communal fire doors to be checked quarterly and flat entrance doors to be checked (best endeavors) annually.
Features of fire doors
Fire doors are made up of various components. The door itself is usually made from a solid timber frame, but they can sometimes be covered again in fire-resistant glass. This glass should be able to withstand exposure to the heat condition in a fire test for at least 30 minutes before it reaches a temperature high enough to soften it.
Around the edges of the door will be the intumescent seal or intumescent strip. An intumescent seal is chemically designed to expand when temperatures reach above 100 °C to seal the gaps between the door and frame and the strip can swell up to 10 times it’s width to seal the frame. Additionally, some doors, including your flat entrance door will contain seals that have an integrated brush to stop the spread of smoke which is often prevalent in the early stages of a fire.
Fire door hinges are specially fire rated and the screws are an important part of the door set and most doors are fitted with an overhead positive self-closing device. This image demonstrates the different elements of fire safety on a door:
Fire Door Safety Do’s & Dont’s
• Do close all doors before retiring to bed, especially any door between the lounge/kitchen and circulation hallway.
• Do check that your flat entrance door fully closes flush into the door frame under its own weight.
• Do report any damage to flat entrance or communal fire doors to RMG as soon as possible.
• Don’t replace and door with a non-fire rated door. Certification should always be provided that the door and assembly are tested to approved standards.
• Don’t paint over intumescent strips or smoke seals.
• Don’t wedge open doors.
• Don’t fit noise quietening pads to door frames. If the doors close too quickly or bang then the self-closer maybe adjusted.
How do I book an appointment?
In order to schedule your visit, you will need to contact email@example.com where applicable or by calling 01992 801 036 between the hours of 9 a.m. – 5.30 p.m.
What do I do if I need to re-arrange my appointment?
Should you need to rearrange your appointment please contact firstname.lastname@example.org or call 01992 801 036 and the team will be happy to make any changes to your appointment.
If I miss my visit, what should I do?
If you happen to miss your visit please don’t worry. The surveyor will complete an external door check and we will contact you within 6 months to rearrange.
What will the surveyor do inside my apartment?
Our surveyor will just need to check the inside of your door to ensure that self-closing devices are working, and the doors are in efficient working order and good repair.
How long will the visit take?
All of our appointment should take a maximum of 20 minutes.
If there is a problem with my door what will happen?
The owner of the property is responsible to ensure that your door meets the requirements set out under the Fire safe Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005 (FSO). – We will contact you within 14 working days if there is a problem with your door to advise what will need rectifying.