Flat Front Doors
Fire doors perform a vital role within flats by slowing the passage of fire to allow residents to evacuate by enabling 30 minutes of resistance to fire
The components of a fire door like the hinges, seals, handles and glazing are as important as the door itself. This is because in a fire doors can warp, move and allow smoke and fire through the opening. The seals and the gaps between the door frame and the wall are also vital as they stop smoke and fire spreading.
- Building Regulations state that the front door to a flat must be fire and smoke resistant. The minimum requirement is FD30S (FD = fire door, 30 = it provides 30 minutes fire and smoke resistance, and S = the door is also smoke sealed)
- They have self-closers which mean they automatically close behind you. This is really important if a fire were to break out as they hold the flames back and stop the fire and toxic smoke getting out into communal areas, escape routes and other flats in the block.
- Under the Fire Safety (England) Regulations 2022, we need to check all flat front doors and self-closers every year, whether you rent your home from us or are a shared owner or leaseholder.
- We’ll contact you to arrange a time that’s convenient for you. It won’t take long – just a few minutes - so please do make sure you give us access as properly functioning flat front doors play a vital role in keeping everyone safe in your building.
- If the self-closer on your front door doesn’t work every time, please let us know so we can make sure it’s fixed and provides you and your neighbours with protection if a fire were to break out
For learn about fire doors and the standards that must be met, please read guidance from the London Fire Brigade here.
Important Information on Upgrades and Adjustments
Replacing flat entrance fire doors is categorised as 'controlled works'. Therefore, if you want to change your flat door, you must obtain permission from the building control department and Gateway. This is to ensure that the new door meets current standards.
- If you are a leaseholder and do not obtain the necessary consents, you may find it difficult to sell your property in the future as solicitors now require more detailed information regarding fire protection within blocks of flats as part of the conveyancing process. Your building and contents insurance may also be void, and you should check with your insurance provider.
- If you are aware that your door does not meet the current regulations, we strongly advise you to take the necessary steps to replace it for the safety of all occupiers of the flat and the block. You must apply for building control approval and our consent before undertaking replacement.
- If you inherited your door from a previous owner, check with your legal services provider for the purchase of the property who should have confirmed if any alterations had been undertaken and attained copies of any works that required permission. This should include information on any replacement door.
- If you have changed your door, the supplier or the installer of the door (or company) should confirm whether the door is a fire door and provide a certificate confirming the door set and the installation conform to the current regulations.
- If you are unwilling to take remedial action to ensure the safety of other residents of the block, we are obligated to inform the relevant enforcement authority to consider formal legal action.
How to recognise a Fire Door is compliant
Fire doors must show tags or plugs that signal fire resistant ratings, and the hinges and door closing devices must show the correct markings as below:
- In some cases, the door may be adequate and require minor improvements like changing ironmongery or fitting the correct self-closing device. However, when upgrading an existing fire door, a valid fire test report or assessment report by a suitably qualified person must be provided by the lessee on completion.
- If this is not provided, Building Control and Gateway will not accept the door and may require it be replaced with a new door set.
- If you believe the door set meets the necessary standards, you can apply for retrospective consent for the alteration from Building Control and Gateway.
- Similarly, if you have made alterations to your flat without obtaining consent, you can also apply for retrospective approval for the alterations. However, you may be required to reinstate any materials, components, or designs that breach the regulatory requirements
If you are uncertain or require guidance, please contact us by email on email@example.com or phone on 020 8709 4300.