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Guest LauraGibs

Do flat owners under their own management need fire risk assessment?

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Unfortunately Building Control, private and public, have a habit of passing unsatisfactory premises, after all there is no real sanction against them (unlike for the duty holder and their competent person under the Fire Safety Order).

A piece of paper doesn't change the fact that physically the doors are wrong - it's how they are mitigated is the issue. Now technically they should have been FD30S doors and the aspiration should be to make them so. However the guidance (linked by Tom above) allows a sympathetic approach for existing situations and from the number of flats I'm guessing that they are only a couple of storeys high. The guidance in this case would allow notional fire doors, but this refers to 1960's/70's style fire doors that are of a suitable material and thickness but use 25mm stops instead of intumescent seals and smoke brushes - your doors sound like they are not even notional doors.

The next step up from this is 'upgraded' FD30S doors. This usually means adding appropriate seals and closers to notional FD30 doors, but in your case it would be more akin to the 'Acts' upgrades of non fire doors in the 60's and 70's where the door leaf itself needs uprating - this was usually done with Asbestolux or Superlux boards affixed to the risk side - in heritage premises a similar upgrade is done with intumescent paints and papers.

You need to cost both upgrade and replacement and weigh up the pros and cons. Upgrading may be cheaper (but not always by a lot depending on the amount of works required) but depending on the method used may not be aesthetic and is not going to offer the same assurance as a factory built third party accredited new door set. Replacement will be costly, but aesthetic (there are some very decorative looking fire doors these days) and guaranteed to perform (if correctly installed)

 

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Further to what AB has said intumescent paints and papers are very susceptible to damage, especially in the domestic situation, consequently they would need checking more frequently than full FD30s doors, access to flats would not be easy and an addition cost.

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