Ensuring the safety of residents in multi-occupancy buildings is a top priority. If you own or manage flats, you may wonder whether fire doors are legally required.
In this guide, we’ll dive into the legal aspects surrounding fire doors in flats, providing you with the information you need to comply with fire door regulations in the UK.
Table of Contents
What is a fire door?
Fire doors help contain and prevent a fire from spreading to other areas. Doing this allows people more time to evacuate, which helps protect their safety and minimise damage to the building and its contents.
A fire door is designed to resist fire for a specific length of time, typically 30 to 120 minutes.
Intumescent strips are installed around the door frame or leaf to contain smoke and fire. These intumescent strips expand during a fire to seal the gap between the door and frame, which stops smoke and fire from spreading.
A fire door fitted with smoke seals prevents smoke from spreading before the intumescent strip expands.
The door must be properly installed with fire-resistant hardware, including hinges and door closers, to ensure proper function during a fire.
Read more: What is a fire door?
Are fire doors a legal requirement in flats?
Do flats need fire doors? The answer is yes.
Fire doors are required by law in blocks of flats and houses of multiple occupancy. The building regulations for fire doors in flats are outlined below.
Rules for flats and houses of multiple occupancy (HMO)
Under the current building regulations, fire doors are mandatory at the entrance to communal areas or an external lobby in all flats or HMOs. Every entrance needs a fire-resistant door, either FD30 or FD60.
For each residential flat, the front doors must also be a self-closing fire door that provides at least 30 minutes of fire resistance.
Do you need internal fire doors in flats?
Rules for upper-floor flats
Flats 4.5 metres above ground level must have fire doors between all the habitable rooms and the hallway or stairwell.
Rules for ground floor flats
While a fire-rated entrance door is required, ground-floor flats typically do not require internal doors, provided each room has a means of escape.
Rules in Scotland
In Scotland, all developments require a fire door to the main flat entrances and the communal stairwells. Due to the introduction of sprinklers in new flatted developments, internal fire doors are not always required.
If you need further information about fire-rated and non-fire-rated doors for your project, contact our team, who can assist you further.
Fire safety checks by a responsible person
In a block of flats, a ‘responsible person’ must carry out necessary safety precautions to ensure people can escape in case of a fire.
You are responsible for fire safety if you control the premises. Examples include the building owner, landlord or building manager.
A fire risk assessment must be carried out to assess a building’s fire risk and recommend safety measures, including whether you need to install fire doors and guidance for a door’s fire rating and placement.
If any existing doors are inadequate or need maintenance, they must be replaced or repaired by a competent person.
All residents of a multi-occupied residential building must be provided with fire safety instructions and information on the importance of fire doors.
For larger buildings that are 11 meters or taller, flat entrance doors must be inspected yearly, and communal area fire doors must be checked every three months.
Fire safety for tenants
If you are a tenant, keep the fire doors of your flat shut when not in use and do not tamper with self-closing devices. Wedging open fire doors is dangerous and should be avoided. Report faults or damage to the person responsible for your tenancy.
To modify their front door, residents need consent from the responsible person to ensure it won’t negatively impact the fire risk assessment.
Fire door installation in flats
Fire doors will fail in a fire when the door is not fitted correctly and there are gaps between the frame and the wall.
For maximum safety during a fire, fire doors must be equipped with strong, CE-marked, stainless steel hinges that are fire-rated.
Do fire doors in flats need to be self-closing?
Doors must also have a self-closing mechanism. To ensure a fire door functions properly, install an automatic door closer or door retainer to keep it closed during a fire.
Fire doors are a legal requirement
Fire doors are a legal requirement in blocks of flats and houses of multiple occupancy in the UK.
We’re reputable fire door manufacturers, supplying a vast range of bespoke timber fire doors and certified doorsets tailored to meet the specific needs of the construction industry.
Fire door certifications and standards
By choosing Traynor Williams, you are selecting a fire door manufacturer dedicated to meeting and exceeding industry standards, providing you with high-performance doors that guarantee the highest level of fire protection.
BM TRADA Q-Mark
Traynor Williams is proud to hold third-party fire door manufacturer certification under the BM TRADA Q-Mark.
BM TRADA is a UKAS-accredited certification body that provides independent third-party certification for our fire doors to ensure safety.
This certification ensures doors have optimal fire resistance with fire-resistant hinges, handles, windows and other hardware.