What types of buildings need fire doors?

In an emergency you need all the help you can get when evacuating your building, and fire doors are just one part of a string of crucial elements of fire safety ensuring your escape route is both safe and secure.

Primarily, fire doors act as a compartmentalising tool to cordon off areas of a building in order to halt the progress of a fire from one area to another, helping also to create a route upon which evacuees can seek refuge and safely exit the building in the process. Fire doors do this by restricting the flow of oxygen to a fire and also by withstanding the heat of a fire for a set amount of time, with FD30 and FD60 doors offering 30 minutes and 60 minutes of fire protection respectively. Moreover, smoke seals that surround the door and cushion it in its frame expand under extreme heat and serve to trap smoke in the area of the fire.

There are stringent guidelines in place that detail what types of buildings require fire doors you need to be aware of to comply with the Buildings Regulations laid out by HM Government. These regulations exist in order to guarantee the safety of all persons no matter where they are in a building, so familiarity with them is essential.

However, you should always consult a professional and certified fire assessment surveyor to double-check that your property adheres to regulations and remains as safe as possible in the event of a fire outbreak.

Domestic Dwellings

Under regulations, landlords who rent property with two or more storeys are now required to ensure that all doors of a habitable room leading to a stairwell are fire doors, with the exception of toilets and bathrooms. Furthermore, where a building provides internal access to the garage another fire door must be installed.

Non-Domestic Buildings

As buildings vary massively in their size and requirements, you can’t paint all buildings with the same brush when it comes to fire door installation and regulations.

Guidance exists for how best to appropriately place fire doors based on both vertical and horizontal escape routes. Cheshire Fire offer a comprehensive site survey that can help you to effectively plan the placement of fire doors in your building that meets Building Regulations and maximises fire safety.

Mixed-Use Buildings

Where a building is split between habitual residences and businesses the rules vary slightly. All joining points where domestic areas cross into the non-domestic must be fitted with fire doors in order to compartmentalise the building and reduce the risk of a fire spreading before the building can be evacuated.

Again, there is no ‘one size fits all’ rule regarding this due to the variety of building sizes and layouts, therefore it is highly advised that you always seek consultation with a certified fire safety surveyor.

Cheshire Fire provide a range of fire safety services including fire alarm installations, fire safety training and free site surveys across the Cheshire area. For a specialised and detailed fire risk assessment of your premises, contact our friendly team today.