June 18, 2024

Do fire door regulations apply to all buildings?

In this insight we detail the different types of fire doors, what buildings they are required in, and what you must do to ensure you are compliant with regulations.
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Fire doors are an important tool in reducing the spread of fires in a property and help to ensure escape routes are protected if needed for evacuation. Fire doors are a legal requirement in various buildings, depending on their size and usage, under the Fire Safety (England) Regulations 2022. In this insight we detail the different types of fire doors, what buildings they are required in, and what you must do to ensure you are compliant with regulations.

Fire doors are part of a building’s passive fire protection system and allow for compartmentalisation. Regulations on fire doors depend on factors such as where you are located in the UK, the size/use of your building and whether it is anew build, extension or an existing building.

Types of fire doors

There are different classifications for fire doors as there are a number of types. The number in the certification denotes how many minutes the door can withstand the fire for, with the most common being theFD30, which can withstand a fire for 30 minutes. As well as FD30 doors, for larger buildings or where higher protection levels are needed, the doors also come in FD60, FD90 and FD120.

The features of a fire door include:

-       Automatic closing mechanism

-       Specially tempered fire-resistant glazing

-       At least three heat resistant commercial grade hinges

-       Intumescent seals

-       Fire door sign

Fire safety standards

All fire doors must meet these essential standards:

-       The door must be FD30 type, if not FD60+, offering at least 30 minutes of fire resistance

-       The door must be tested in accordance with BS476: Part 221987 (British Standard) or BS EN 1634-1 2000 (UK adoption of European standards)

-       Certification from the door’s supplier confirming it meets the specifications, which includes any accessories such as a letterbox, hinges etc

What buildings require fire doors?

The regulations across England and Wales vary depending upon the type of building and its use.

1.       Commercial buildings

New buildings/change in use:

Under Approved Document B, fire doors must meet BS476-22:1987or BS EN1634-1:2014 and the local authority’s building inspector can ask for evidence of compliance.

Existing buildings:

For all buildings, aside from people’s private homes, you must comply with Regulatory Reform (Fire safety) Order 2005, which applies to:

-       All business premises, including those that are part of a domestic dwelling

-       Charity or voluntary work premises

-       Public buildings, for example: schools, leisure centres, transport stations, entertainment venues, hospitals

-       Paid for accommodation, such as B&Bs, camping/caravan sites, self-catering units

-       Communal areas of blocks of flats, maisonettes and HMOs


2.      Residential buildings

Multi-occupied residential buildings:

In compliance with the Fire Safety (England) Regulations 2022, buildings over 11m high must have fire doors in communal areas which are checked quarterly, with fire doors (flat entrance doors) inspected annually.

New buildings and conversions, must comply with the standards of Building regulations Approved Document B2:

-       All flats within an HMO or block of flats must have afire door fitted at the entrance of communal areas

-       Flats which are on floors 4.5m above ground level must have fire doors fitted between all habitable rooms, in addition to the front door

-       FD30 fire doors should be used in flats

Homes and bungalows

Homes are not required in most cases to have fire doors although there are a few exceptions:

-       New builds or renovations which have three or more floors are required to have fire doors in every habitable room leading from a stairwell (which includes where loft conversions are added to two-storey homes)

-       Any door leading to an integral garage from your home must have a fire door

-      FD30 doors are sufficient


Who is responsible for fire doors?

Fire doors must be regularly inspected and maintained. According to the Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005, building operators must appoint a “Responsible Person” who will manage all fire safety related precautions. This person could be the owner, employer, managing agent or another appointed person.


If you are responsible for ensuring fire doors meet the current standards, or are unsure if your building needs fire doors, please get in touch, we would be happy to help.

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