Fire doors are the unsung heroes of firefighting. As soon as a blaze breaks out and the occupants of the building make their way to the emergency exits, fire doors hold back both smoke and flames, keeping evacuation routes clear and safe. By effectively containing the blaze and preventing it from engulfing the building, fire doors can be the difference between life and death.
Fire doors are an essential part of a building’s passive fire protection system. If a fire breaks out, the doors will close automatically (or will already be closed with self-closing mechanisms), blocking the passage of smoke, heat, and flames through corridors, stairways, or different sections of the property. Designed to withstand fire for 30 or 60 minutes, fire doors also prevent the flow of oxygen towards the fire that will enable it to burn with greater fury.
What Are The Fire Door Requirements UK?
At present, in residential buildings, fire doors are only a legal requirement in houses of multiple occupation (HMOs). This includes rental properties and student accommodation. They are also a legal requirement in all non-domestic properties, including public buildings, commercial premises, and businesses, who must have an appointed Responsible Person to manage the fire safety and prevention policies.
- According to regulations, fire doors must:
- Be installed by a Competent Person (defined by the Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005 as ‘someone with sufficient training and experience, qualifications and knowledge to be able to implement fire safety measures (some or all) in a building.
- Be FD-rated to show how many minutes it can withstand fire (either FD30 or FD60).
- Have an appropriate seal around the edge that expands when heated to seal the gap between the door and the doorframe.
- Be fitted into a doorframe that is fire-rated to prevent it from burning away more quickly than the door.
- Be fitted with a working self-closing mechanism so that it shuts by itself.
- Have a minimum or three hinges and appropriate handles or locks.
What Are The Fire Door Installation Requirements?
According to regulations, all doors that lead to an escape route must be fire-resistant. They should also close automatically. In all residential properties more than two storeys high, fire doors should also separate the stairway and every habitable room, as well as in loft conversions and between the main part of the house and an integral garage.
However, it is also advisable that fire doors are installed in high-risk areas of a property where there is an increased risk of a blaze breaking out, such as the kitchen.
If property owners or premises managers are unsure about the positioning of a fire door, they should consult an expert fire door installer who can provide up-to-date advice about their legal obligations.
Contact Mila Maintenance For Professional Advice
To find out more about our fire door installation and maintenance service, please get in touch with Mila Maintenance today.
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