The safety of occupants is of the utmost importance in the management of residential property, especially in buildings designated as Houses of Multiple Occupations (HMOs). HMOs constitute the second largest tenure of housing in England, providing accommodation for approximately 4.5 million households, including a significant number of vulnerable people. Special consideration is required to ensure the wellbeing of residents in the event of a fire in an HMO, with fire door installation and maintenance being a key factor.
As a registered fire door installer, we have a detailed understanding of HMO fire door regulations in England which, in this article, we’ll explore.
Fire Door Installation Requirements In HMOs
Fire doors are legally required in HMOs and play a crucial role in preventing the spread of fire and smoke, providing residents with sufficient time to evacuate the building safely. The Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005 sets out several mandatory steps with which landlords of HMOs must comply, including:
- A comprehensive fire risk assessment must be conducted by the landlord or appointed agent to identify potential risks and ensure that effective mitigating measures are implemented.
- Self-closing fire doors should be installed between individual living spaces or bedrooms and communal areas. Additionally, fire doors must be present in areas that lead to escape routes, such as staircases and corridors.
- High-risk areas like kitchens, boiler rooms, or utility rooms should also be separated from the rest of the property to reduce the likelihood of fire incidents.
- Fire doors must be clearly labelled and kept clear of obstructions.
- Fire doors must be FD30-rated as a minimum standard to provide at least 30 minutes of fire containment (FD60 or FD90 doors may be appropriate in certain situations).
- All internal fire doors must be fitted with intumescent seals to prevent smoke from seeping through gaps between the door and the frame.
Failure to comply with HMO fire regulations could result in prosecution, heavy fines, and even imprisonment. Additionally, a building designated as an HMO could lose its licence if fire regulations are not observed, resulting in a loss of income for the landlord.
The Importance Of Regular Inspection And Maintenance
Proper maintenance of fire doors is essential to ensure they operate effectively and offer the protection against fire that residents deserve. HMO landlords and property managers should conduct regular inspections to identify any damage or faults. This includes checking that self-closing devices function correctly and that intumescent seals and fire-rated glazing are intact.
It is crucial to promptly address any issues discovered during inspections. Damaged fire doors should be repaired or replaced immediately to maintain the safety of the HMO’s occupants. Neglecting maintenance and repairs can render fire doors ineffective, putting lives at risk and potentially violating legal obligations.
Contact Mila Maintenance To Find Out More
Making sure your HMO property rigorously meets all current fire safety standards is critical so, for expert advice and maintenance, please contact Mila Maintenance today or download our free guide for further information about Fire Door Safety and Regulations.
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