Fire door demand but not for everyone?

by Readers Question

8:47 AM, 20th November 2018
About 3 weeks ago

Fire door demand but not for everyone?

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Fire door demand but not for everyone?

We are a share of freehold flat in a block of 6 with a management company. We have had a demand letter from them to replace the front door to our flat with a threat of legal action if this is not completed by December 17th. We need some help and advice as I’m not sure we’ll be able to comply. We do not have the finances or the time within that time frame.

When we purchased the property 8 years ago, the door did not match the other 5 doors in the building. I’m not sure if this should have been raised at the time of purchase.

Recently there was some kind of fire inspection in the building and one of the requests from the inspection included our door being changed.

We wouldn’t mind changing the door to one that is fire proof, I understand the glass in ours is an issue for them but what I don’t understand is why we are the only flat being asked to meet the current regulations. They have requested:
– FD30S Fire door
– Door sets conforming to BS476 part 20:22 and BS476 part 31:1
– BS EN 1154 self closers
– BS EN 1154 hinges
– BS EN 1906 handles
– BS EN 12209 lock
while the rest of the building, including our opposite neighbour, does not meet these regs, meaning everyone else will be safe should we have a fire but we won’t be protected if they have a fire. I believe the old doors in the building are fire doors from when the building was built in the 70’s. I’m not sure how good these would be.

There are several blocks within our estate whose communal doors do not have self closers. Every other door (almost 100 flats) do not have anywhere near these regs. I’m confused as to why we have to meet these new regs while the rest of the building does not.

Many thanks

Cheryl



Comments

Adrian Jones

9:55 AM, 20th November 2018
About 3 weeks ago

Hi Cheryl. I would start by asking for a copy of the fire inspection report.

Derek t

9:55 AM, 20th November 2018
About 3 weeks ago

you need to read your lease and see if the leasehold is responsible for the door
If not it becomes a freeholder issue where all the flats must pay a share
Unfortunately now the fire risk assessment has found an issue you will have to deal with it as if in the event of a fire your insurance company will have a get out of jail free card

Seething Landlord

10:04 AM, 20th November 2018
About 3 weeks ago

I suspect that the other fire doors comply with the regulations as they were at the time when the flats were constructed or last upgraded and would only need to be brought up to current specification if and when they are changed. Whether or not this is correct does not alter the fact that if yours is not a fire door it needs to be replaced.

Yvette Newbury

10:36 AM, 20th November 2018
About 3 weeks ago

Do you live in this flat or is it rented out?

MrsCLP

13:32 PM, 20th November 2018
About 3 weeks ago

Reply to the comment left by Yvette Newbury at 20/11/2018 - 10:36
We live in the property.

Yvette Newbury

14:20 PM, 20th November 2018
About 3 weeks ago

The reason I asked was that a rental property will often require higher standards of fire safety than other owner occupied residential properties around it but that is not the case here.

If your property is an ex-local authority owned property (or ex-housing association) and you are an owner occupier you can also find that you have to adhere to certain standards, whereas the neighbouring properties are exempt if they are still owned by the local authority/housing association.

After the Grenfell Towers tragedy it's about time this exemption ended!

John Walker

18:21 PM, 20th November 2018
About 3 weeks ago

If this were my home I would do the work anyway, if only for peace of mind.

MrsCLP

20:41 PM, 20th November 2018
About 3 weeks ago

Reply to the comment left by John Walker at 20/11/2018 - 18:21
I would have much sounder peace of mind of my whole block were compliant.


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