New Fire Door Check Regulations | Your Guide

15 March 2023

fire door

A Guide for Owners and Operators of Residential Buildings...

We at A Plus Security are experienced in the checking of timber-based fire doors and fire safety regulations. We prioritise the safety of your building and occupants and that your fire doors meet UK regulatory standards. As of January 2023, the new Fire Safety Regulations 2022 have become a legal requirement so we have created an easy guide for owners and operators of residential buildings to use to ensure that they can comply with the necessary standards.

We have outlined below what this means for property owners and what is required to meet the new requirements.

What do the new fire safety regulations in 2022 mean for building owners?

New regulations

The new fire safety regulations cover social landlords’ responsibilities for fire safety in residential premises, including purpose-built blocks of flats, individual homes and sheltered housing. Property owners will be responsible for all multi-occupied residential buildings in England with storeys over 11 metres in height.

The new fire regulations, have become a legal requirement in January 2023 and insist on the following:

  • Property owners need to undertake quarterly checks of all fire doors, including self-closing devices in the common areas of the building.
  • Property owners must undertake on a best endeavour basis to carry out yearly checks of all flat entrance doors, including any self-closing devices that lead onto a building’s common parts.

The fire regulations will also require the responsible persons to provide information to all residents of all multi-occupied residential buildings. If a property has two or more domestic premises and has common parts, you must give information about the importance of fire doors to comply with the building’s fire safety.

What is meant by 'endeavours' within the new fire safety regulations?

This term means that the responsible persons of the building need to determine the best approach to engage and liaise with residents to get access to their flats and undertake the annual fire door safety checks. For example, the responsible person agrees with the residents on a date and then access can be given to perform the required safety checks.

In legal terms, best endeavours mean that the building owner or operator should do everything that a reasonable person would be able to do in the given circumstances and you must put your best efforts forward to satisfy your obligation to the fire safety regulations. A lack of effort in your best endeavours could result in legal action against you as a property owner.

Problems with access and the new fire safety regulations?

Who it applies to

The biggest issue with complying with fire safety regulations is the unavailability of access to carry out the required door checks.  A lack of access raises the rate of inconsistencies and performance of the active and passive protection systems on the doors where they are unable to be checked regularly, this in turn can cause failures to perform under fire safety standards. Residents in properties should be encouraged to allow responsible persons access to their flat entrance doors. Offering information to residents is needed by these regulations to assist and educate residents to understand the importance of fire regulations and their safety.

If access cannot be achieved, the designated person should document and gather evidence showing the steps that were taken to attempt to gain access to carry out the fire door checks. Evidence could include correspondence between the responsible fire safety person and the resident asking for permission to gain access.

What are the minimum requirements for the new fire safety inspections?

How to comply

The minimum requirement is for the responsible fire safety person to inspect the doors to identify any apparent damage or issues. A designated fire safety person should consider:

  • Any alterations or damage to a door’s glazing or air transfer grille
  • Any gaps around the door frame, seals, and hinges
  • You must check they are all fitted correctly
  • That the door closer shuts the door
  • That the door closes correctly around the whole frame
  • That there is no visible damage, either deliberate or from wear and tear to the door or door closer

If problems are identified from any checks, it could be appropriate to conduct more detailed assessments of doors and any self-closing device. Any damage identified from the initial inspection could include engaging a specialist like A Plus Security Ltd to complete the fire door checks to ensure that compliance is met.

What are the fire regulations for buildings below 11 meters?

Building owners still need to put general fire precautions in any premises covered by the Fire Safety Order regardless of the building’s height.

The Fire Safety Act 2021 explains that any residential building comprising of two or more sets of domestic premises is in the scope of the Fire Safety Order. The responsible persons for residential buildings below 11 metres in height must put in place general fire precautions in these properties. This includes ensuring that all fire doors, including flat entrance doors, must provide adequate fire protection.

At buildings with two or more sets of domestic premises, the responsible fire safety persons will need to provide all residents with information on fire doors to comply with current regulations.

For further advice, or to check that your fire doors meet UK regulatory standards, get in contact with us here. 

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