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Phill Nevard

When and where are fire doors required in office building?

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I am working in an old listed building, previously used as a GP surgery, that is now being renovated into an office building. The building has two floors and a basement. There are three fire exits on the ground floor and an external wooden staircase from the first floor. As the building is listed the council are requesting to keep the internal doors as they are, however I feel FD30(S) fire doors should be considered. However, I cannot find any legislation that provides a detailed explanation of when and where fire doors are required. The building is medium sized with 4 offices on the ground floor and four offices and a kitchen on the first floor. It seems excessive to request fire doors on every room as there is there is an L1 fire detection system throughout the building and alternative means of escape. I've suggested installing five fire doors, covering the kitchen, an inner room and distances created than 18 metres. Is anyone able to help me with this?

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To design a means of escape from fire you need access to the premises and/or detailed plan of the premises.

Section 4 of https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/422175/9449_Offices_and_Shops_v2.pdf will give you guidance how a satisfactory means of escape can be acheived, trying to do it by remote control is not possible, but you could employ a fire risk assessor.

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Thanks for your reply Tom. And for the link. It's actually myself thats been tasked with the job of carrying out a fire risk assessment, but my experience is quite limited so i'm trying to gather as much information regarding the legislation as possible. With regards to the government guidance attached in your response, it seems to suggest that as long as the fire risk is normal i.e. offices with small numbers of people, that predominantly employees use the building, that there are alternative means of escape and that travel distances are within the suggested distance described in Table B, Page 68; then fire doors may not be deemed a requirement? The building is of typical layout, although the stairs are not protected, the travel distances are well within the recommendations in the above mentioned table and most if not all persons in the building will know the layout. There is L1 fire alarm coverage as well. I'm thinking the inner room, kitchen and head of the stairs are the only rooms that require fire doors?

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You can upgrade heritage doors to 30 minutes performance using a variety of methods that are usually compatible with their listing. English Heritage provide guidance and Envirograf many suitable products

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