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Apartment Entrance Fire Doors
The fire safety law has changed for Apartment and Flat owners across the UK in High Rise Buildings.
In 2021 the Government introduced the Fire Safety Act 2021, in which, after many months of being passed between the House of Lords and the House of Commons, became law, which has affected millions of flat and apartment owners and tenants, who live in multi storey high rise buildings throughout the UK.
The previously introduced and remaining Regulatory Reform (fire safety) Order 2005, did not make it clear who was responsible for any apartment or flat main entrance door, that leads directly onto a common escape route of a high-rise building, was to be a certified fire rated door, that would need to meet BS 476 Pt 22 standards of construction to protected that escape route from fire.
Since the tragedy of the Grenfell Tower fire in London in 2017, when 72 people lost their lives, all investigations and subsequent reports have raised the same issue, as to who would be held responsible for these doors, and their maintenance in a suitable and sufficient manner, and that they would, as a minimum, provide 30 minutes fire resistance and protection to all common escape routes above the ground floor.
The arguments between the two houses of parliament were the difference between the tenant or owner, and the landlord, being held responsible for maintaining and ensure these doors meet all current fire safety standards identified in codes of practices and guidance documents issued by HM Government.
In the end the decision was made, and the Fire Safety Act of 2021 passed, that clearly states that tenants and or owner are now responsible, at a cost of hundreds if not thousands of pounds, where these doors had defects or lacked heat and smoke seals or were not of an acceptable fire rating standard and ‘fit for purpose.
The problem with all the current fire legislation, is that it is ‘self-regulating’ and the organisation that police’s these standards, the Fire Service, do not have enough officers, or in a number of case knowledge and experienced personnel, to enforce these standards to help prevent another fire tragedy.
In addition, the majority of apartment and flat owners do not understand the fire door regulations and in fact the type of suitable installation of any replacement doors and frames as door sets. This has led since the Grenfell Tower fire, to a proliferation in companies claiming to be experts in this field and then fitting sub-standard products and with little or no skill to carry this work out.
So, the situation at present, has apartment and flat owners and tenants clamouring for fire door suppliers and installers, to assess their needs and offer a solution at a reasonable cost with full certification. The problem is that many of these companies do not possess either the knowledge, training or experience in these matters, and so offer usually a very expensive solution that on many occasions is not either suitable as a product, or are unable to install fire doors sets that meet very stringent fire regulation standards. Not only that, but it’s become a nightmare to sell an apartment or flat without the appropriate certified entrance fire doors in place, with full certification for both the door set and the installation, including all the fire door furniture, such as fire rated letter boxes etc.
We have been absolutely appalled at the standard of installations we have been asked to inspect and the poor quality of the fire doors and frames installed putting peoples live at an increased risk.
Owners and tenants deserve peace of mind, that if there was a fire in their building and a ‘stay put’ policy is in force, that their entrance fire door would keep them safe for at least 30 minutes.
It is very concerning to know that thousands of lives are still being put at risk because of a lack of knowledge, understand, and the opportunity to find a responsible and experienced provider, that can guarantee their work, and that not only is it fully certified, but also the products and installation meet all current fire safety standards.
Let’s hope the fire door industry gets their act together to produce better fire door sets and, as important, installation teams learn their skills fully, before another tragedy unfolds.
If you would like more practical or technical advice, please get in touch either via our contact form on the web site or call 01332 498894 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
We are the experts when it comes down to fire doors and their installation requirements.