New Fire Safety Regulations are coming into effect in England from January 2023 which require residential buildings to update some of their fire safety equipment and procedures.
One key change to the Fire Safety Regulations 2022 is the new procedures around checking fire doors, including routine checks and inspections of fire doors.
What are fire doors?
Fire doors are constructed using specific materials and ironmongery that allow the door to prevent the spread of fire and smoke. Commonly, they suppress fire for 30-60 minutes and will have been through rigorous testing to gain certification for this.
They usually have a sticker on them saying ‘fire door keep shut’ but fire doors can also look like a standard front door. If you live in a block of flats or a HMO, your front door should be a fire-rated door.
What are the Fire Safety Regulations 2022 updates?
From the 23rd of January 2023, it’s a legal requirement for the Responsible Person for multi-occupied buildings over 11 metres to:
- Carry out quarterly checks of all fire doors in communal areas
- Carry out annual checks on all flat entrance doors
- Provide information to residents about the importance of fire doors
The Responsible Person should be able to check for and identify any obvious issues with fire doors, such as broken closers. Professional help should be acquired for a comprehensive inspection or a fire door replacement.
For more in-depth information about new fire door requirements, please refer to this Government factsheet.
Who is the Responsible Person?
The Responsible Person is ultimately the person who has legal responsibility for the fire safety in the building.
They are usually the person who owns or is in control of a building. In a property, it could be the landlord or the managing agent.
Why is it important for residents to know about fire doors?
The gov.uk website states “In all multi-occupied residential buildings, the regulations require responsible persons to provide residents with fire safety instructions and information on the importance of fire doors.”
It’s natural for a fire door to become damaged over time due to high use and general wear and tear. However, sometimes the damage is caused deliberately, for example breaking or disengaging door closers.
By sharing knowledge with residents on the importance of fire doors and why they need to be closed, it may prevent them from causing damage and also be able to identify if something is wrong with a door.
Where can people learn about fire doors?
It’s currently unclear what the primary source of information being given to residents is. However, there are some great sources within the fire industry such as the FIA, FPA, IFSEC and the BWF. As we’re in the business of offering fire door services here at Fireco, we also create plenty of reliable fire door content. Our blog section and webinar archive are great places to find more information.
This video is a good place to start, defining what a fire door is and how to know if a fire door is compliant.
What other changes are being made to the Fire Safety Regulations?
It’s not just changes to fire doors that are being introduced. There are a number of other elements that will need to be implemented by the Responsible Person, including:
- Provide the Fire Service with electronic and paper versions of the building plan
- Provide information about the materials used on the exterior of the building and the level of risk these materials have
- Regular checks on firefighting lifts and equipment within the building and resolve any issues
- Installation of an information box with documents of the Responsible Person and the building plan
- Installation of evacuation and wayfinding signage visible in low light or smoky environments
For more in-depth information about all of the new requirements, please refer to this Government factsheet.
All of these new requirements have come from the findings of the Grenfell Inquiry, which highlighted some major issues about how fire safety is handled in residential property. Hopefully, with the new elements being actioned, high-rise and HMO buildings will become safer places to live.
In a block of leased flats, who is liable to pay to make individual fire doors comply with the new regulations? The legal owner of the property? The management company? The builder to whom annual ground rent is paid?
Hello Shayne, thank you for the question. There are 2 types of internal fire door sets in a block of leased flats:
– Communal fire door sets. These are either singles or doubles.
– The front entrance doors (FEDs), which lead from the communal areas into each flat.
The cost of upgrading communal doors is the responsibility of either the freeholder or the freeholder & the leaseholders. The cost of upgrading each FED is the responsibility of the leaseholder of the flat.
We can supply & install (accredited by BM Trada) new FD30 & FD60 communal fire door sets, & FD30 FED fire door sets.
Hello if any changes need to be made to the flat who is responsible for it And how will this be fixed and how much it cost or is it free ?
I have been informed that the fire exits in my bar are now too far apart. The distance is too far from one to the other.
Please can you shed any light on this law?
Are there legal requirements of noise levels that aren’t exceptable. I live I a block of flats Both front door to block and fire doors are making my life hell is there anything that I can tell the landlord to do to help please I have slept of more than 2 hour straight. Mental is and medical condition is worsened by stress and lack of sleep
Hello Clare, thank you for reaching out. We would suggest speaking to your landlord. They may be able to adjust the door closers so they don’t slam. Other than that, you could contact environmental health at your local council to lodge a complaint, for this you would probably need to keep a diary of disturbances.
Hi do fire doors have to have 3 hinges
Hi Ann, fire doors should have at least 3 hinges and they should be CE Marked, approved to BS EN 1935 & be minimum Grade 11.
The fire door sets that we supply have 4 hinges, are CE Marked, and approved to BS EN 1935 & Grade 13! Even better than the required standard!
Where can I find the details of what fittings MUST be on a flat fire door? Web sites are vague.
Hello Bill, thanks for your question. Visit this document https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/937931/ADB_Vol1_Dwellings_2019_edition_inc_2020_amendments.pdf and go to page 135 ‘Appendix C: Fire doorsets.’ You should be able to find all the information there.
You may also find this webinar helpful https://www.fireco.uk/project/ironmongery-and-fire-doors-fire-testing-cpd.
If you still need further help, please reach out to us on firstname.lastname@example.org or 01273 320650 to speak to a member of our fire door team and they’d be happy to help!
Can you tell me if the front entrance door to a flat which is off of an internal corridor needs to have a self closing device? Tge corridor is only just wider than the doir and a door mounted cloer would hit the wall when opening the door.
Thanks very much
Hi Mark, thank you for your question. A flat front entrance door (FED) that opens onto a communal space should be a fire-resistant doorset and will require a self-closing device. The device can be fitted to the inside or the outside of the door, whichever has sufficient space to allow the FED to open at least 90°.
The Fire Safety Regulations coming into effect in England from January 2023.
If the quarterly/ annual fire door checks are found to be not done satisfactorily. What is the likely action/ punishment?
And who will be auditing the regular checks?
Hi Martin, thank you for the question. Please call and ask for a member of our fire door team on 01272 320650 to discuss it further.
Is it still the case that a ground floor structure (no upper levels) still does not need fire doors (conversion or new build) as per B2 of the Building Regs where there is direct access outside
Hi David, thanks for your question. The Building Regulations Approved Documents offer guidance on fire safety for single-storey buildings based on various scenarios. The most recent ‘updated’ version of Approved Document B is accessible on the government website. In general terms, one consideration in deciding whether the final exit door from the structure needs to be a fire door would be whether the area outside the door is part of any escape route from adjacent doors or buildings. If you still need further help, please reach out to us on email@example.com or 01273 320650 to speak to a member of our fire door team and they’d be happy to help!
Our garage was converted into a utility room some years ago, leaving 4ft at the front for storage. We are now replacing the storage area with a window and knocking through to make a normal room. I want a door from my hall to the room but builder says this must be fire door at £2000 ! as it’s going into a garage, but it’s no longer a garage? We are just in a standard 2 story residential home. This sounds odd to me. None of our other doors are fire doors…….
Do fire doors in hotel have to be painted with fire retardant paints
Hi, John, thank you for your question. Fire doors in hotels usually don’t need to be painted with fire retardant paint, but all doors should be fit for purpose and preferably a certified doorset. For more information, you can check your fire risk assessment or ask your fire risk assessor. Fireco offers a fire door inspection service give us a call for further information on how we could help.
In the case of Fire rated doors for escapae stairways, 2 Hr rating. What are the requirements of BS or NFPA for painting of the doors? Do they have to be repainted with an intumescent paint covering and re-certified following cosmetic only damages which have not affected structure or integrity.
Hi Mal, It sounds as though you have doors that have been painted with intumescent paint in an effort to ‘upgrade’ them. This does not allow the doorset to be ‘certified’ (or ‘re-certified’) as a fire doorset of a particular rating. If your Fire Risk Assessment requires 2h fire resistance then you need to ensure you have FD120 or FD120S fire doorsets. If you would like to discuss this further please call and ask for a member of our fire door team on 01272 320650.
I am required by the freeholder/managing agents of the block in which my flat is situated, to fit an FD30s front entrance door and have the installation inspected by the local authority building control officer If Fireco were to fit such a door, would I be required to have it inspected or is your certification sufficient.
Hi Nicholas, thank you for your question. Fireco holds third-party certification from BM TRADA for fire doorset installation. Some local authorities may accept this but some may not, We suggest you ask them. We can provide them with a copy of our BM TRADA certificate in advance if they wish. If you choose Fireco to replace your doorset, you will receive a number of documents to confirm that the fire doorset is certified to achieve FD30S performance and that the installation work is certified and has been completed correctly – and you could then provide copies of that information to the local authority. In my opinion, however, if they still insist on inspection then it is not worth fighting against it. If you would like to discuss this further please call and ask for a member of our fire door team on 01272 320650.
What additional, if any, requirements do Care Homes have to comply with under the new regulations?
I live in a 1bed council property and only have one external fire door. The door freezes and swells at the bottom in the Winter and takes some force to open. The door leads out to 5 concrete steps. Should I contact my local Council to have this seen to as a safety matter?
Should fire doors in long basement corridors be kept open so that they close automatically when the fire alarm goes off. What requirements should front doors have in large blocks of flats
Hi, please could you advise whether internal doors within a rented flat need to be fire doors? I understand flat entrance doors need to be fire doors but someone has told me all internal doors need to be fire doors.