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Fire doors in a domestic 3 storey house


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Guest Vicky

We have bought a maisonette, the top two floors of a 3 storey house, the 3rd floor is a loft conversion. We’re getting the doors replaced and the bedroom, kitchen and living room doors were previously fire doors. We have taken the kitchen and living room doors off all together as there is not enough space for them when open. Firstly, do I need doors on these two rooms? Secondly, do the doors that I replace them with, need to be fire doors?

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I would think your proposals are a material alteration under the build regulations and therefore attract the need for building regulation approval. Consequently I would contact the local build control and obtain their advice.

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Guest Anne

Hello

I have just bought a 3 story victorian house. The downstairs is open plan and has been since the 70’s I would say. Am I under any legal obligation to install fire doors as the previous owners lived in the house for decades as it is. I bought it because I like the open plan design.

Regards

Anne

 

 

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I think when the previous owner carry out the alterations it would have been subject to the building regulations (BR) and when completed documentation would have been issued to indicate it was completed in accordance with the BR. If you do not have this documentation you could be living in dangerous conditions and I would employ the services of a professional to advise you if alterations are necessary.

I do not think you are legally required to carry out and alterations but you do need advice from the local building control.

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Guest Russ

Hi we have a 3 story house I understand that the doors adjoining the staircase on each floor must be a fire door (44mm thick) and also have fire strips in the door frames.

 

would the doors need to be self closing or not? 
 

Russ

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Guest Guest Gina

We have a 3 storey townhouse built 2012 with self-closing fire doors. My toddler kept catching his fingers so we disconnected the mechanisms on most doors. Would this still meet regulations or a fire related insurance claim? If we replace the doors, can we just replace with fire doors but no self closing? Many Thanks

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It does make a difference Scotland has its own building regulations and I am only familiar with the English and Welsh  version. A dwelling house in England do not require self closer on any doors except a fire door between the house and an integral garage, you need somebody who is familiar with the Scottish regulations to help you. 

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Scottish building regulation technical handbook (domestic) can be found here https://www2.gov.scot/Resource/0052/00521748.pdf

2.1 Compartmentation - on page 63 and 2.9.2 Escape within dwellings - on page 86, would appear most relevant.  In accordance with Tom, my advice is to consult a local building regulations professional to assist in correct interpretation and that reference is made to the current requirements.

An overview of Scottish requirements in terms of fire safety in buildings may be found here https://sp-bpr-en-prod-cdnep.azureedge.net/published/2017/11/3/Scottish-Building-Standards-and-Fire-Safety--A-Brief-Overview/SB 17-73.pdf

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Guest Jim

Hi, we've got a 3 storey house built in 2011. We've got all the correct fire doors etc but I want to change the lock for the front door. It's currently a thumb turn but my son is able to unlock it and I worry that he'd open it without us knowing.

Would I be able to change this for a traditional double lock? I vaguely remember something in the documentation when we bought the house mentioning we need a thumb turn lock due to it being 3 storey but I can't be sure. Any help would be appreciated. 

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Clearly, keyless egress is a useful life protection measure in an emergency scenario.  If you need to open the door in an emergency and the key is not to hand that could increase the risk to life safety.

However, my understanding is that in England & Wales, the Fire Safety Order 2005 does not apply inside your own private home.  Check at http://www.legislation.gov.uk/uksi/2005/1541/contents/made and you could check Building Regs at https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/fire-safety-approved-document-b

Or you could retain the keyless egress but use a security chain to help restrict the door being opened, when it shouldn't.  

 

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Guest stairs fire door

hi im fitting a fire door to a stairs door way to comply with fire regs do I need to put a fire frame in or can I simply use same door frame and fit a fire door with intermitted strips in for fire and smoke ?

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Guest Ryan

I'm wondering if anyone can help me. I've just bought a 2 bed maisonette in the UK. My private entrance is on the ground floor and then its two further floors. 1st floor kitchen and living room, 2nd floor 2 bedrooms and bathroom. I was told that I would need fire doors as its over 3 floors ? It was built in the 70s and the doors I have taken out were definitely not fire doors as they were just too light. If I was to put fire doors do they need the fire strips and door closers or would a fire door on its own be enough?

 

Thank

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Are you going to be the occupier? If so and you are not altering the layout you aren't required to change anything - it's a private dwelling and not subject to specific regulations unless you make a change that causes Building Regulations to kick in or you are going to rent it out.

If you are just changing the doors then you mustn't make the situation any more worse than it originally was so need to maintain the existing standard of door or better.

You would, if using current standards, need a 20 minute fire door (FD20/E20). These aren't usually manufactured anymore so common practice is to use a FD30 door and frame and ironmongery (hinges, handles, etc) but without intumescent strips. A closer isn't required.

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Guest Guest stuart

In a 3 storey house what are the regulations/compliance if you are replacing like for like fire doors..  do you need to have self closers either by means of fire rated spring hinges or concealed spring door closer. 

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The current building regulations (England & Wales) that apply to dwelling houses can be found here https://www.planningportal.co.uk/info/200135/approved_documents/63/part_b_-_fire_safety

Appendix C on page 134 deals with Fire Doors. Section C5 deals with self-closing requirements and Table C1 deals with positions of fire doors.

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Guest terry

Fire Door to Staircase leading from communal ground floor area up to 2 flats above. The property is a Victorian conversion into flats and all residents are tenants. There is a basement area but its not habitable its head room is far to low, its just rubble & dirt. The Main door opens to the 10ft sq communal area. Then facing you are 2 doors, one such door(FD30) is the main entrance to the ground floor flat and the other door(FD30) is the one which leads up the stairs to the above flats, the 2 doors are adjacent, side by side of each other. There is a modern smoke/fire alarm system throughout. The door to that staircase has a yale lock which the upper tenants have their keys for. Of course the upper tenants all have main flat doors as FD30's which run off the staircase.

Question: is that door from the communal area to the staircase a hazard/fire trap?. The reason i ask is all that previous converted properties that i have rented as a Grnd Floor tenant there has been NO door to a staircase from the communal area let alone having a yale lock fitted. I believe that door is dangerous and prevents evacuation. The walls to the communal area are brick and not partition thus, safe. The main risk to fire from the grnd floor flat would then be the hallway in the grnd floor flat which incorporates the wooden staircase to the above flats thus, fire could and probably would burn in the hallway and ignite wood staircase(which is enclosed in plaster board & victorian timber panelling)  before any fire made a route into the communal area. There is not much combustible material in the communal area as its encased with brick surround walls and a stone/ mosiac floor with only a few feet of timber floor joists/boards.

I believe the staircase should be free from obstruction and so the grnd floor staircase door removed forthwith thereby, allowing an immediate exit to the main front door.

please advise, terry (london)

 

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If you don't need a key on the inside to open the door, which with a Yale night latch you don't, and it can't be snibbed shut, then it's fine on an existing building. 
It's only an issue if you need a key to get out, not to get in.

If they wanted the upper floor to have extra privacy and security, then it's not an issue, the premises sound like they have gone through the s257 process by the fact of having the full communal alarm so were accepted as they are.

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Guest terry
17 hours ago, AnthonyB said:

If you don't need a key on the inside to open the door, which with a Yale night latch you don't, and it can't be snibbed shut, then it's fine on an existing building. 
It's only an issue if you need a key to get out, not to get in.

If they wanted the upper floor to have extra privacy and security, then it's not an issue, the premises sound like they have gone through the s257 process by the fact of having the full communal alarm so were accepted as they are.

Then it be that the stairway door(Fd30) serves no purpose other than as a security door. The Fd30 door can then be disposed of and either leave the staircase open access or fit a more suitably appeasing door which is not necessarily FD. regards, terry

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Guest Confused!

I have a three-storey townhouse and am having the internal doors replaced today, fire-doors where there were fire doors before and normal doors where they were before.  I have asked that all the old door furniture and hinges be used to ensure the correct ironmongery is in place.  I was under the impression that the closing chains could now be removed.  The carpenter has just told me that he would need to fit strips to the fire doors at a cost of £50 per door plus the cost of the strips as it is a lot of work.  I have told him to refit the chains instead.  Having done a bit of research I am still confused as my understanding is that chains no longer have to be used and I have no internal door to a garage to be concerned about.  Can the chains be removed or not?  The previous owner had released the majority of them.

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The chains are not required anymore and usually Building Regulations only require you to not make conditions worse than under the original Building Regulations approval so like for like would be OK - however the addition of the intumescent strips would be preferred as it vastly increases the efficacy of the door (assuming it's closed!)

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