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Sam

Smoke seals on lift doors

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It's not normal to do this, usually lift doors are only FD30 - lifts usually open into lobbies with FD30S doors to provide the smoke protection or a self closing fire door used to be put across the lift opening in the past under old legislation as a lot of older buildings couldn't lobby the lifts and/or had lift doors that were not fire resisting or even open in nature.

 

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Thanks for your reply.  I should have said its not actually for the doors but the gap around the doors.  We are a small residential block with one flat on each floor and a basement.  The flats open onto the stairwell and in the middle of the stairwell is the lift shaft.  The stair well is fire resisting and the flats each have a small lobby area with FD30 doors on each side of it.  We had a fire risk assessment done and the assessor said that we had to put smoke seals around the edge of the lift doors at basement level because if there was a fire at basement level the smoke could travel up the lift shaft into the means of escape.  The block has a video entry system so it is low risk for arson in the basement.  There a bin store which is kept very tidy and has no source of ignition, it has brick walls and a fire door, a pump room which does have electric pumps that could catch fire, but no fuel if they did, and again a fire door, each flat has a store room down there that could potentially hold flammable items but again no source of ignition.  There are also the electricity and gas meters.  I don't believe there is a high risk of fire starting in the basement so I'm not sure if this is necessary but the alternative he was proposing was a shutter that closed in the event of a fire and that would cost a lot more than smoke seals.  We also have an extractor fan that is activated by the smoke detectors that would suck air up the lift shaft, so wouldn't that prevent smoke coming out at ground level or above?  Wouldn't it all be sucked up and out of the roof.  I have been trying to get impartial advice but have been frustrated by a series of overzealous risk assessors who are more used to commercial properties and apply the regulations for them.  Our building was converted in 2001 so as far as I am aware this would mean that is meets 'modern' (ie after 1991) building regulations.  I was under the impression that there should be little in the way of modifications necessary, but maybe I'm wrong?  Anyway, to be safe, if there were suitable seals that I could have fitted around the edge that would keep everyone happy but I would need to be sure they wouldn't interfere with the opening of the lift doors.  Thanks

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I think, that based on layout, all this may be unnecessary, however without seeing the premises (or accurate plans) I can't be sure. The date of build makes me think it's going to be fine as it is, builds of this era do not usually have non compliant layouts, just service penetration fire stopping/door issues.

Due to the age there should be a design fire strategy that formed part of the mandatory building information that should have been handed down on completion to whoever is responsible for the common parts, it's worth getting hold of.

Sadly there are a lot of FRA assessors that don't understand the differences between commercial & residential.

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