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Fire doors in single occupancy house


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I am currently refurbishing a house after the previous tenants left, and I am looking for some advice regarding fire doors. It is a 3 story Georgian townhouse and will be let as a family house therefore NOT an HMO. There is an enclosed staircase running from the entrance all the way up the house. We will have smoke detectors on every landing as well as a heat detector in the kitchen (i'd rather not fit detectors in bedrooms as it just annoys everyone and leads to them being tampered with).

From a purely legal point of view, my understanding of Part B is that were this a new build it would be required to have a protected stair as it is 3 stories high, and that would mean fitting fire doors to every room off the stair. However, as we are just redecorating and adding an en-suite to one of the existing bedrooms, am I correct that we are not legally obliged to meet the full requirement? Is there a consensus as to what applies to a refurb?

Obviously, as a responsible landlord we would like to get as close as possible and do our best to ensure it is safe, however the existing doors are original, full of character and all of slightly odd sizes !

My first thought was that fitting fire doors to the kitchen and front room (as the two are connected) would, combined with smoke and heat detection, be sufficient to ensure the hallway remains safe. But given the odd dimensions of the door frames it would require having the leafs made to measure (as trim tolerances of fire doors are very small), and even then these would only ever be "nominal" fire doors as they would be fitted within the existing frames. 

So this brings me to consider whether, as the original doors are solid hardwood and quite thick (45mm, no glazed elements), it may be possible to retrofit them with fire seals and appropriate ironmongery. In which case, we may be able to do this for all the doors. We would not achieve certification of course, but would this approach be seen as sensible?

Do you have any comments or advice regarding this idea or how best to implement it?

Thanks a lot,





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From what you have described it looks like you will be subject to the buildings regulations and fire safety is covered by Approved Document B (fire safety) volume 1: Dwellinghousesyou need to speak to building control.

Your proposals, providing the ensuite conforms to ADB you will not have worsened the means of escape  so I think you will not need to carry out any work on the fire doors other than to ensure they are substantial well fitted and maintained.

In accordance with ADB all the fire doors need to be FD20 doors, not fitted with a self closer  and if you have a door between the house and an integrated garage it needs to be a FD30s fitted with a self closer, also fitting intumescent seals will improve the situation.

The building control is the enforcing authority and it is up to them to decide how far you need to go.

This guidance document may help FIRE SAFETY Guidance on fire safety provisions for certain types of existing housing. 

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