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Fire Doors in Heritage Buildings


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Hi All,

I recently stayed at a hotel in a Grade II Listed building. Unfortunately, during our stay we had an incident with an intruder entering our room because the door was not fully closed and latched. When we raised this as a security issue to the hotel, they said that we were at fault for not closing the door properly. However, it is my impression that all of the doors to the hotel suites (our room also included a kitchenette) should be fire doors and therefore should close fully. Are there exceptions made for doors in listed buildings? I noted the doors seemed to be the existing and upgraded.

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IF IT IS a fire door then it is required to self-close fully to the rebate stop of the door frame. The self-closing action must overcome any resistance from the latch bolt, the latch keep or strike, the smoke seals and any floor covering. Failure to do so is clearly a breach of the Regulatory Reform (fire safety) Order 2005. 

The fact that the building is Grade II listed makes no difference. There should be a fire risk assessment and a fire strategy. If, as part of the fire strategy, that door is intended to be a fire door then it must self-close correctly.

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Heritage doors are normally allowed to be upgraded in situ to increase fire resistance and sealing with various papers, paints, varnishes and surface seals where in other buildings new FD30S doors would be used.This is of course after risk assessment and usually coupled with other mitigation such as automatic detection.

However a door needs to shut flush in frame to be effective and so unless there was suitable mitigation you would expect the doors to be positively self closing and latching

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  • 4 years later...


I'm currently trying to work out what to do about fire doors in a village hall built in 1913.  The doors are substantial and made from heavy timber with panels (also thick), but are obviously not fire rated.  The doors close into the rebate tightly.

Is it sufficient just to fit a self closing device and made to latch, or does other work need to be done such as fitting an intumescent strip?

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  • 3 weeks later...

That would be based on your fire risk assessment which would consider:

  •  Persons at risk - able bodied, quick to evacuate, numbers involved, etc
  • Provision of automatic detection & warning - to minimum requirements or exceeding
  • Areas being protected by the doors (protected route, cross corridor, area of special fire risk) & do they even need to be fire doors
  • Overall means of escape provision & layout, including travel distances 
  • Any listing requirements that may affect alteration or replacement of the doors

Good close fitting doors will still provide a degree of fire resistance and the assessment will determine if this is enough or certified doorsets are required. Lack of cold smoke seals are the first issue, followed by intumescent strips, but there are retrofit solutions for both of these. 

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