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Fire Door in the middle of a long corridor

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Hi, I live in a three storey building in HAckney. My landlord is a housing association. We had the building painted about 9 months ago and the painters removed signs on the doors in the middle of the long corridors on each floor that read "fire doors". These doors have magnetic attachments to close them. The painters did not reattach the "fire door" signs on these doors; the are half way down the corridor and lead to the fire exit at the rear of the building; I have complained to the property manager that these were previously marked as fire doors and need to be closed to comparmentalise a fire, if one happens and protect access to the fire exit. She is now saying that it was a mistake to call these fire doors previously and as the doors are opened and held by magnets; they would automatically close if there is a fire. I am not sure if this would happen or that the magnets are psychic. I have been told that the doors should have some marking to say whether or not they are fire doors. I have not looked for these yet. The property manager is saying that these doors should be locked; but I said if they were locked, residents would not have access to the fire escape. Can anyone clarify whether these doors would be fire doors and whether they should be left open or closed. I feel that they should be left closed and are fire doors. I have asked the property manager for the fire assessment plan for the building but she has not got back to me. 

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Hi Manuela, You are correct to take this up with the housing association.  Cross-corridor Fire Doors are commonly held-open by magnets to save wear and tear and allow residents to move around and move items around the building without hindrance of having to open a self-closing fire door.   

From what you say above I would suspect that these doors are fire resisting doors that release to self-close automatically when the alarm sounds. In which case they are fire safety devices and are subject to a suitable maintenance regime under Article 17 of the Fire safety Order. If so, they are required to have conspicuous blue/white circular signs on both faces of each leaf that say "AUTOMATIC FIRE DOOR KEEP CLEAR" and should be checked for correct releasing and self-closing at the same time as the weekly fire alarm check. 

Keep up the pressure on the housing association to advise whether these doors are Fire Doors. Let us know when you get the answer.

Edited by Neil Ashdown CertFDI
Typing error corrected
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