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1970s pb block fire door legislation


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Hi, apologies if I've already posted this topic, but my draft appears to have been wiped somehow.

1970s PB block of flats with two entrances to the outside street and rear. Approx 3 Flats on each floor to a communal landing and one exit staircase, no balconies nor second stairs or fire escapes. 3 storey but height difference due to unusual site. Flat roof.

Managed block for owners but some flats are rented out.  Plenty of fire notices on ground floor communal entrance which is a key lock (same lock for rear as well).

However, what is a major concern for a rental is that the flat in question appears to flout all regs. I can't find specific absolute definitive up to date advice as most people send me to LACORS but say it is old. Hopefully someone expert here can help.

1. The flat door doesn't have a Yale or similar nor even a latch. To close the door you have to lock it from inside the flat otherwise the door swings open, doesn't even shut. This is not only a security issue but also a potential fire trap re escaping and spreading. Not to mention strange for a front door.  All other flats have yales. However we weren't sure at the time whether this was just weird or actually broke rules/legislation, especially as it is a rental.

2. There is an inner door which also doesn't have a latch or even a plate - just a handle. We think this may have been the original flat front door, but somehow the flat got expanded so the door seems redundant.

3. The main flat front door is made of brown wood with safety glass (wired old style) and what look like wooden panelled partition next to it which may be glazing as well covered with wood, not sure.  It reminds me of a door/partition to another office from the 70s or a door in a corridor of a school from back then.  It isn't your usual front door.


So -

1. is it the law that individual flat front doors in PB blocks pre 1990s must have fire-rated doors and glass? FD30S?

2. Do Landlords have to do FRA on flats they are renting out? And does a FRA include means of escape, and risk of fire spreading to the communal parts and therefore to the other two flats on the 3rd floor?


Any comments are much appreciated as well as pointers to specific (easy to understand) legislation covering this.



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1. Yes - notwithstanding the fact they were already a requirement even back when the block was built, self closing flat front fire doors are a requirement now for all ages of block. The only difference is what standard of door is accepted based on age, number of storeys and layout of the block. See:

2. No, but they have legal duties under the Housing Act (& several subsidiary regulations) regarding the minimum condition & fitness of rented properties which includes fire safety, whilst a bit dated (& under revision) the guidance used by Council EHO's is:


The common areas FRA should always have considered flat front doors and spread between flats, but was so ignored by freeholders and risk assessors further legislation and guidance was introduced in the last couple of years to leave no doubt as to the requirement.


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Thank you AnthonyB for these comprehensive links - I'm very grateful.

The 'small block' apparently doesn't apply scope-wise wise as the block in question has about 18 flats but the second link definitely does.  I've read through what I can and it does seem pretty obvious to me, that some form of self-closing fire door should be in place.  And certainly, the bizarre lock situation is also confirmed as against guidelines. 

There is also an inner door before reaching the main part/living area of flat.  That door also doesn't close. I can't work out from the guidelines if this inner door should also be fire rated or at the very least be self-closing.

I note reference to flats on more than one level and with entrance halls. There is a flight of stairs within the flat after the main flat front door and square hall. However, the living space of the flat is on one level (3rd floor).This may be pertinent with regard to smoke alarms as there is only one in the whole flat. I'm unsure as to whether it is mains or battery, but from what I understand it should be mains or have at least 5 years battery life.  





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Hello again,

I've discovered additional information. There are Perco? chains in hinges for both the front door and inner door NEITHER  of which actually shut onto a latch. So once upon a time they both partially followed some kind of fire door regs I suppose? Also discovered that the partition wall next to the main flat front door is floor-to-ceiling wired safety glass covered with timber panel over the glass on one side. So, not a solid wall. In the attached picture the glass extends above the door to the ceiling.

Is this a breach of fire regs as well?

I also contacted the block management company and they said that the flat doors were not due for inspection until 2025!  This also doesn't seem right. They said I could ask for a surveyor to go out but they would charge for that. They couldn't/wouldn't be clear on the extent of their 'duties' with regard to flat doors in the block.

Expert comments gratefully received as this is a very peculiar set up and nothing like the rest of the block.









front door partition.jpg

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