What regulations affect the use of fire doors?
There are a number of regulations which apply to both new and existing buildings across the UK.
In the case of new buildings, or those which include alterations, extensions or change of use, the appropriate Building Regulations apply.
Existing buildings, other than domestic properties, are governed by the requirements of the Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order: 2005 – otherwise known as the RRO or FSO
You should also be take note of Regulation 38 of the Building Regulations (England and Wales)which links the Building Regulations to the RRO for those buildings to which the RRO applies.
The Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005 or FSO, replaced over 70 pieces of fire safety law and came into force in 2006.
The responsibility for fire risk assessment in all non-domestic buildings, including the common parts of flats and houses of multiple occupation, falls to the so-called ‘responsible person’.
Under the FSO, the responsible person must carry out a fire safety risk assessment and implement and maintain a fire management plan. Further information on what you need to do when carrying out a risk assessment is available here.
The law applies to you if you are:
- responsible for business premises
- an employer or self-employed with business premises
- responsible for a part of a dwelling where that part is solelyused for business purposes
- a charity or voluntary organisation
- a contractor with a degree of control over any premises
- providing accommodation for paying guests
Fire doors play a major role in the fire safety and protection of ALL buildings covered by the FSO and it is important that fire doors are inspected correctly and maintained in order to ensure compliance.
Failure to do so can place property and lives at risk and is likely to result in criminal prosecution.
Do fire doors need maintenance? If so, how often should they be checked?
As with any other life-saving product, a fire door should be checked regularly to ensure it functions correctly and is ready to use. It should be considered in exactly the same way as testing a smoke alarm or a fire extinguisher.
Any slight alteration to the door or its surroundings can affect the performance of a door. Periodic checks should be carried out at least every 6 months, or more regularly depending on the traffic using the door.
A maintenance checklist is available to ensure you check all of the items correctly.
Remember, you must maintain doors correctly and can be prosecuted under the Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order if you fail to do so.