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I have read through the approved Fire Safety guideline documents, but had some further questions. 

I want to acquire a fire door (FD30) to meet the 30 minutes fire resistance based on the existing guidelines, but I would like to ensure that I have understood the guidelines properly. 

The guidelines appear to suggest that: -

  • Flats on the ground floor do not require fire doors. 
  • Flats that are on an upper floor that is below 4.5 m do not need fire doors, if the habitable rooms have a means of escape through an external door or escape window. 
  • Flats located on an upper floor above 4.5 m will need fire doors between the habitable rooms and the hall leading to the entrance.

 Happy to be corrected if the summaries above do not reflect the guidelines. 

 Can someone please help with the questions below?

  1.  What is the correct way to measure 4.5 m above the ground level? 

            a.Is that from the bottom of the ground floor to the top of the first floor?

            b.Is that taken from the top of the ground floor to the top of the first floor?

            c.Is there another way the measures can be taken? If so, what would that be?   

  1. Looking at the guidelines above, can it be taken to mean that flats on the first floor do not need fire doors? 
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  • 5 months later...
Guest DavidW

I don't understand why there has been no reply so far, so I'll attempt an answer, hopefully any glaring errors will be taken out in moderation or by follow ups.

I believe the rationale behind the height specifications is based on how many bones you would break if you had to jump, and the answer is (c), specifically the inside floor level of the your flat, down to where you would hit the ground when jumping.  It would be typically met by a British first floor and typically not met by a British second floor (second and third floor, respectively, in the US, and, I believe, the EU).  Some higher limits are based on the length of fire brigade equipment.

You are not clear as to which regulations you are referring, but they seem to be relating to the inside of the flat.  Special rules apply to the entrance door, which must be a self closing fire door, if it opens onto an internal communal area.  The difference is that the law for internal doors is to protect you, but that for the entrance door is to protect your neighbours.

Generally builders don't fit fire doors unless they need to, and fire door rules tend to get stricter with time (the exception being closers).  You will generally need building control approval if you want to replace an internal fire door with one of lesser specification than the lower of what was required when originally built or refurbished, and what is currently required.  This does not apply to flat entrance doors, which may have to meet a higher standard than the original build, and should be brought up to the full current standard if replaced.

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  • 4 months later...
Guest Nigel D

I finally found someone that had the same query as me, Sam. I couldn't find anywhere online that gave a definitive answer to this, but I think I have finally found the answer on page 5 of the Building Control documents on the government website, which seems to suggest it would be "c" out of your options - i.e. measured from the ground level outside to the floor of your flat. Happy to be corrected by anyone in case I have misunderstood this.

P.S. The Google re-captcha asks me to verify which pictures contain a picture of a fire hydrant - how apt!

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Guest Nigel D

Following on from my other reply, I found some more useful information in the same Building Control document as in my previous link. However, this time it is worth referring to the definition of "Height" in the glossary on page 117. This will refer you to Diagram D6 of Page 145 which confirms my previous answer. It's also worth mentioning that in case your building is on a slope, it is measured from the lowest point of the ground outside. In addition, it is measured to the highest point of your finished floor inside (i.e. the top surface of any carpet, etc). This should help to clarify this.

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