At present, only Houses in Multiple Occupation (HMOs) are legally required to have fire doors. All doors that lead to escape routes must be fire resistant and must close automatically. Fire doors are especially recommended for high-risk rooms such as kitchens.
You can fit fire doors in single-let properties as well if you want to be particularly fire safe. However because it’s not always convenient for doors to have automatic closers, you can fit for retainers. These retainers hold doors open but release the door if a fire alarm sounds.
Properly-installed fire doors should:
- Be made from solid timber – you should see a label confirming the door has been certified as a fire door. The label will show an FD rating, which tells you how many minutes of fire the door can withstand without failing. The most common rating is FD30, which is 30 minutes
- Feature intumescent seals around the edges of the doors and, in the best scenarios, have cold smoke seals. Intumescent strips are designed to expand due to the heat of the fire, providing a better seal against toxic smoke and fumes
- Have frames that are manufactured to the same standard as the door so they don’t burn away faster than the door
- Have a closer attached to the door and frame, so that the door shuts fully on its own
- Feature at least three firmly-fixed and secure hinges and suitable handles and locks
All lockable doors on escape routes should have a thumb-turn lock mechanism on the inside so that people can open them easily without keys.
Fire doors are very durable
Fire doors should last for at least 20 years, as long as there’s no damage or excessive wear and tear.
During annual inspections, you should make sure that closers and hinges work properly and that the intumescent strips are in good condition. You should also test your smoke and fire alarms to make sure any door retainers are working properly.
How much do fire doors cost?
A single fire door should cost around £70, although if you buy in bulk with a trade account you can probably get a better price. For a fire door with an overhead closer, frame and hinges, you’ll pay at least £250.
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