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A simple guide to fire doors for Responsible Persons

Welcome to our blog, where we aim to provide a simple and comprehensive guide to fire doors for responsible persons. Fire safety is of utmost importance in any building, and fire doors play a crucial role in protecting lives and property during a fire emergency. As a responsible person, it is vital to understand the significance of fire doors and ensure their proper installation, maintenance, and use.

In this guide, we will take you through the key aspects of fire doors, including their purpose, components, and regulatory requirements. We will explore the importance of choosing the right fire door for different areas of a building and discuss the essential features that make a fire door effective. Additionally, we will delve into the maintenance and inspection procedures that responsible persons should follow to ensure the continued functionality of fire doors.

Whether you are a building owner, facilities manager, or someone responsible for fire safety in your organisation, this guide will equip you with the knowledge and practical tips needed to make informed decisions regarding fire doors. By understanding the role and importance of fire doors, you will be able to create a safer environment for occupants and comply with the necessary regulations.

Join us on this journey as we uncover the essentials of fire doors and empower responsible persons like you to take proactive steps towards fire safety. Let's ensure that every building is equipped with effective fire doors to protect lives and minimise the devastating impact of fire incidents.

Picture of a fire door

The Fire Safety (England) Regulations 2022

The Fire Safety England regulations of 2022, also known as the Fire Safety Bill, are a set of regulations aimed at improving fire safety standards in buildings across England. These regulations were introduced in response to the tragic Grenfell Tower fire in 2017 and are designed to address the shortcomings in fire safety measures identified during the investigation.

The key objective of the Fire Safety England regulations is to ensure that responsible persons, such as building owners, managers, and landlords, take appropriate measures to prevent fires, mitigate risks, and protect the safety of occupants. The regulations apply to all non-domestic premises and multi-occupied residential buildings, including flats, houses in multiple occupation (HMOs), and certain types of shared accommodation.

One of the main provisions of the regulations is the requirement for a comprehensive fire risk assessment. Responsible persons must conduct a thorough assessment of their premises to identify potential fire hazards, evaluate the level of risk, and implement appropriate measures to eliminate or minimise those risks. This includes assessing the effectiveness of fire doors, detection systems, emergency exits, evacuation procedures, and fire safety training.

The regulations also emphasise the importance of ensuring that fire safety measures are regularly inspected, maintained, and tested. This includes regular checks of fire alarms, emergency lighting, fire extinguishers, and other fire safety equipment. Responsible persons are required to keep records of all inspections and maintenance activities to demonstrate compliance with the regulations.

Furthermore, the Fire Safety England regulations introduce a new legal duty known as the "responsible person" duty. This duty assigns specific responsibilities to individuals with control over premises, making them accountable for fire safety. It is their responsibility to ensure that fire safety measures are in place, regularly maintained, and that all occupants receive appropriate fire safety information and training.

Non-compliance with the Fire Safety England regulations can result in severe penalties, including fines and potential imprisonment. The regulations empower fire and rescue authorities to take enforcement action against those who fail to meet their obligations.

Fire Doors For Responsible Persons: About this Blog: Regulation 10

This short guide is intended to assist those with duties under theFire Safety (England) Regulations to comply with Regulation 10, which makes requirements about fire doors in all buildings that contain two or more domestic premises and that contain common parts, through which residents would need to evacuate in a fire.

This means that Regulation 10 applies to all blocks of flats (or parts of such blocks) that incorporate common parts, regardless of whether the block is purpose-built or is a conversion – for the purpose of this legislation, flat entrance doors are included within the meaning of ‘common parts’.

Regulation 10 makes requirements in relation to two matters, namely:

•Information about flat entrance doors that the Responsible Person must give to all residents (whether tenants or leaseholders). This requirement relates to all blocks of flats; and

•Routine checks of fire doors that the Responsible Person must ensure are carried out. These checks are only required in blocks of flats in which the top storey is more than 11 metres above ground level (typically, a building of more than four storeys).

The role of fire doors

A fire door plays a crucial role in maintaining the safety of a building and its inhabitants during a fire. Here are its main functions:

1. Containment and Prevention: Fire doors are designed to resist the spread of fire, heat, and smoke by compartmentalising the building into separate zones. This containment function helps to prevent fire from spreading rapidly across a building, giving people more time to evacuate safely.

2. Providing an Escape Route: Fire doors also aid in providing a safe escape route for inhabitants of a building. They are typically installed in stairwells and corridors, allowing people to exit the building safely even if a fire breaks out.

3. Protection of Property: By limiting the spread of fire, a fire door can also help to protect property and assets within a building. This can be particularly important in commercial buildings where valuable equipment and data might be stored.

4. Legal Compliance: Many jurisdictions have laws and regulations that require the installation of fire doors in certain types of buildings. Ensuring that these doors are properly installed and maintained can help to ensure legal compliance and avoid fines or legal trouble.

Routine checking of fire doors:What you need to do.

Regulation 10 requires that, if the top storey of the building is above 11 metres in height (typically, a building of more than four storeys) the Responsible Person must:

•use best endeavours to check all flat entrance fire doors at least every 12 months.

•carry out checks of any fire doors in communal areas at least every three months.

Fire door check process.

The checking process for a fire door should be thorough and regular to ensure that it continues to function effectively. Here's a basic step-by-step guide:

1. Door Leaf: Check for any noticeable damage to the door leaf (the main part of the door). Ensure there are no holes or severe scratches that may compromise its integrity.

2. Door Frame: The frame should be firmly fixed with no deformations or cracks.

3. Intumescent Seals: These seals expand under heat and help to prevent the spread of fire. They should be intact and free from damage.

4. Smoke Seals: These are designed to prevent the spread of smoke and should also be checked for any signs of damage.

5. Door Closers: Fire doors should close fully and securely. Check that the door closer works properly, and the door fits well within its frame when closed.

6. Hinges: Make sure all hinges are firmly attached and not showing signs of wear or rust.

7. Glazing: If the door has any glass elements, they should be intact and well secured in the frame.

8. Gaps: Check for any gaps around the door. The top and sides should have a gap of less than 4mm when the door is closed.

9. Hold-Open Devices: If these are fitted, they should release the door to close fully as soon as the fire alarm sounds.

10. Signage: Ensure that the fire door sign is clearly visible and correctly positioned.

If any faults are found, they should be addressed immediately by qualified personnel. The frequency of these checks depends on the type of building and its usage, but typically they are done every 6-12 months. Always keep a record of these checks for future reference and legal compliance.

We would always recommend consulting a fire door professional.

In conclusion, fire doors are a critical component of building safety, and responsible persons must understand their significance and comply with legal requirements. By partnering with experts like 225 Fire Solutions, responsible persons can ensure their fire doors are well-maintained, effective, and compliant. Remember, prioritising fire door safety is a crucial step in safeguarding lives and property during fire incidents.

We recommend taking a further look at the new government guide, covering Fire Doors and regulation 10 and other areas within this blog, the guide also has a fire door checklist at the end of the document.

Please click here to view the document.

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