If you are a landlord of a flat, or are a builder contracted for a residential development, then you will need to install fire doors at the main entrance to the flat and (depending on how much of the building you are responsible for) the communal areas within the property. Fire doors are an integral part of fire protection systems and strategies for modern flats, and are essential to containing fires and preventing their spread into communal areas. As well as enhancing the fire safety qualities of a building, they help with soundproofing, accessibility, ventilation and thermal efficiency. Here’s why fire doors are important for communal areas.
Fire doors are required by law
Approved Document B of the 2010 Building Regulations states that, if a main door to a flat opens onto a communal area, it should be a fire door that is self-closing, has smoke seals and can resist fire for half an hour. This changes depending on the location of the flat in terms of which storey it’s on – for example, ground-floor flats do not require fire doors if there is a means of escape within the habitable rooms, while third- and fourth-storey flats are more likely to need them. Often, if an entire building is managed by a single entity, fire doors will be fitted throughout the residential block for convenience and consistency.
Stopping the spread of fire
Fire doors go hand in hand with the fire-safe designs of modern, purpose-built flats. Each flat is specially designed to be a self-contained, fire-resisting ‘box’; and, as such, there is a high level of compartmentation between the individual dwellings – ensuring that, if a fire were to break out, it would be contained within one flat for long enough for the emergency services to arrive. With fire doors in place, this compartmentation is enhanced even further, reducing the chances of any fires spreading into the communal areas. There are two types of fire door outlined in the Building Regulations – doors with a fire resistance period of 20 minutes (FD20s) and those with a fire resistance period of 30 minutes (FD30s) – and it is the responsibility of the landlord to ensure that the right one is being used in each instance.
Keep fire doors closed at all times
The whole point of a fire door is to create a barrier between a communal area and the location of a fire. It is designed to create a firm seal when closed. As such, it is essential that fire doors are not propped open, as this would render them useless in the event of a fire.
Here at Your Price Windows, we can supply you with a wide range of FD20 and FD30 fire doors that comply with the Building Regulations. If you’re based in Guildford, Horsham, Chiswick, Worthing or Chelsea, contact us today to find out more and for a free, no-obligation quotation.