Jump to content

Is there ever such a things as an exemption for automatic closers on fire doors?


Recommended Posts


I'm a leaseholder in a terraced building with 2 flats - ground floor and first floor. I have a fire door inspection next month and wanted some advice in advance.

Because there is a very small "communual area" entrance hall (1.5m x 1m) and a shared front door, both flats need to have fire doors. Both flats do already have rated fire doors. The ground floor flat has a door that opens inwards with an automatic closer.

My flat is the first floor flat, where the door to the flat opens directly onto a staircase, and so this door opens outwards. This, to me, poses an issue for my door having an automatic closer. There cannot be one on the inside as it would pose an injury hazard - coming down the stairs to exit the door, your head is positioned exactly where a closer would need to go. On the outside of the door however, my door needs to swing out pretty much completely open for the front building door to be free to swing open the other way. There is no gap between the door frame and the wall. As such, it looks likely to me that even the slimmest models of automatic closer could interfere with or slow down my exit of the building in an emergency. 

Ultimately my question is, are there any common-sense examptions to these regulations in circumstances like this involving older buildings, where a risk assessment might suggest that a common safety measure actually makes the situation worse? Or are fire door regulations completely immutable, no matter the situation? This is the kind of issue I would only want to point out if there's any chance of it helping me by keeping my front door as less of an obstruction. On the other hand, if things like automatic door closers are completely non-negatiable in any circumstance, I'd rather not point out any potetial problems to anyone - as I would never want it to lead to expensive building altertions beng proposed and then imposed upon us as as leaseholders.

If it makes any difference both flats have independent rear access, and so both already have multiple escape routes available in an emergency.






Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 3 weeks later...

The s/c device is to shut your door if you run out from a fire in your flat, and stop the fire and smoke spreading into your neighbour's escape route. There are "perco" type s/c devices which go at the edge like the hinges do. , but they are difficult to adjust. Generally the fire service aren't keen on them because they rarely pull the door back into the frame, unless they have been properly set up, and they are difficult to adjust and landlords often can't be bothered to keep going back to adjust them. If you are an owner occupier then the FRA may be able to argue they are suitable if you are deemed responsible enough to ensure they work. One reason the overhead ones are preferred is because they are easier to adjust.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You are posting as a guest. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.
Note: Your post will require moderator approval before it will be visible.

Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

  • Create New...