Fire door regulations and fire safety compliance
If you’re developing a new building or are responsible for fire safety in an existing building, you’re in the right place.
This page will help you understand what you’re legally required to do, and how fire doors actually work.
We’ve provided first-rate fire security solutions for large housing developers, county councils, and consider ourselves among the most qualified and knowledge fire door installers in the country.
Which fire door regulations apply to you?
Different fire door regulations apply according to building type and geographical location.
Fire door regulations for new buildings in England and Wales
In England and Wales, building regulations applying to new builds are known as “approved documents”. Approved Document B covers fire safety.
Where are fire doors required?
Approved document B states that in the case of new domestic buildings higher than two levels, every door leading to the stairwell must be a fire door, where that door leads to a habitable room.
What’s an FD rating and what rating is legally required?
An FD rating corresponds to the amount of time a fire door can withstand heat and flame before losing its structural integrity and stability. The two most common ratings are FD30 and FD60 – meaning it takes 30 or 60 minutes for fire doors with these ratings to lose their respective integrity and stability in fire conditions.
Stability is said to be lost when the door specimen collapses; integrity is said to be lost when the door’s cracks are such as to admit the passage of flames and hot gasses.
FD60 doors are required in the case of compartment walls that separate buildings, in all other cases, FD30 doors are acceptable.
Is signage covered by Approved Document B?
Yes. Signage is covered by fire safety regulations. Approved Document B indicates that any fire door needs to be marked as such on the back on front. It must also feature signs giving instructions to keep doors closed or locked as is required.
What kinds of seals are required for fire doors?
The requirements of seal types will vary depending on a range of factors. For a clear answer, it is best to consort your fire safety report. However, you will likely t required to fit one or a combination of two types of seals
Cold smoke seals
A smoke seal is material placed in grooves machined into the top and edge section of the door’s frame. As smoke passes over them, these seals expand, thus creating an airtight barrier that blocks the passage of smoke.
Required in nearly every circumstance, a fire door’s intumescent seals react to heat. Like smoke seals, they expand, preventing flames from spreading throughout the building.
Fire door regulations for new buildings in Scotland and Northern Ireland
Fire door regulations in Scotland and Northern Ireland, as well as other types of building regulations, are contained in “technical handbooks”. For the most part, the regulations applying to fire doors are the same in these countries. Click here for more info on fire door regulations in Scotland and here for Northern Ireland.
Fire door regulations for existing buildings
Existing buildings are regulated by the FSO (Fire Safety Order) of 2005. This replaced over 70 pieces of fire legislation in 2006, when it brought into effect.
The FSO shifted responsibility for the proper upkeep of fire safety standards from the fire authorities to whomsoever has day-to-day control of the building. This may apply to many different people, and the law may apply to you if you are:
- responsible for the business premises
- an employer or self-employed person with a business premises
- responsible for a section of the building where that section is used for business purposes only
- a charity or voluntary organisation occupying the building
- providing accommodation at a charge
The FSO requires you to carry out a risk assessment. Many of the assessment criterion pertain to fire door specifications.
For example, you will need to ensure that:
- the door’s intumescent or smoke seals are in place
- the seals are free from damage and paint
- the door has at least three hinges
- each hinge is in a good condition
There are many other regulations applying to fire doors in existing buildings which can be found here. You can also read our article for further information on how to ensure your fire doors won’t fail a safety test.
Whatever your requirements, we’ll be able to provide. We have great links with top UK manufactures and wealth of experience installing in all types of properties. Get in touch with us today. More information on our fire door services can be found on our Fire Door Installation & Inspection page..