The new 2023 fire door inspection requirements explained

Fire Door Hallway

Fire doors play a huge role in fire safety and yet they are the most commonly overlooked aspect of buildings. The Grenfell Tower Inquiry in the Phase 1 report noted that “Fire doors play an essential role in preventing or inhibiting the spread of smoke and toxic gases and in preserving the effective compartmentation of buildings.” And yet, many buildings do not have fire doors that meet the required standard.

Subsequently, as of 23rd January 2023, the Fire Safety (England) Regulations 2022 mandate responsible persons for all multi-occupied residential buildings in England with storeys over 11 metres in height to adhere to certain requirements relating to fire doors.

The new requirements explained

So what’s included in the new requirements?

Firstly, the responsible persons must conduct quarterly checks of all fire doors (including self-closing devices) in the common areas.

Secondly, they must perform annual checks of all flat entrance doors (including self-closing devices) leading to a building’s common parts to the best of their ability.

And finally, the regulations require responsible persons to provide information to residents of all multi-occupied residential buildings with two or more sets of domestic premises (that have common parts) on the significance of fire doors to a building’s fire safety.

What about premises below 11 metres in height?

Residential buildings that are below 11 metres in height are exempt from these new regulations however they still require responsible persons to implement general fire precautions, inclusive of fire doors. According to the Fire Safety Act 2021, any residential building with at least two sets of domestic premises falls under the jurisdiction of the Fire Safety Order, regardless of its height. With that in mind, these types of premises will still need regular fire risk assessments including fire door inspection and fire door surveys.

The importance of fire door surveys

Fire doors are usually designed to withstand fire for a specific duration, typically 30, 60, or 120 minutes. However, changes in the building’s usage, alterations to the door or its surroundings, and normal wear and tear can all influence a fire door’s ability to meet its fire rating. By conducting regular inspections and maintenance on fire doors, they can continue to function as intended and provide the required protection during a fire.

Maintaining fire door compliance

It is essential to maintain and regularly inspect fire doors to ensure their safety. However, there is a real need for a balanced approach to ensure that any remedial repairs or actions required from the fire door surveys, actually provide a risk benefit.  Martyn Young Fireproofing Consultant offers practical risk-based fire door surveys to ensure that your doors remain functional in line with the new regulations, and continue to offer adequate protection should a fire occur. Contact us today to discuss your specific requirements.

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