Fire risk assessment wants new 60-min door?

Fire risk assessment wants new 60-min door?

15:43 PM, 8th December 2021, About 2 months ago 14

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I have been told I need to replace a 30-min fire door (it’s a door in a communal hallway leading to an empty basement which is completely closed off and locked) with a 60-min fire door.

Is this actually necessary? Due to the age of the building (Grand 2 listed) fitting a 60-min fire door will require a major upheaval as this will be clearly thicker than the existing 30-min one in situ plus is not a standard door shape/size – the existing frame will need removing the whole wall replastering/filling/battoning and the stairs leading down into the basement readjusted as the door opens straight onto stairs.

Could I still fulfil the 60-min requirement by insulating the existing door with fire boarding on either side?

Not trying to avoid carrying out safety measures – just more viable ways to achieve the standard while taking into consideration the complexity of the fabric of the property.

Many thanks

DSR



Comments

by Rob Crawford

16:25 PM, 8th December 2021, About 2 months ago

Told by who? Local Authority or independent risk Assessor? A 30 min fire door is normally all that is required. A good indicator is to look at LA licensing conditions relevant for the type of property.

by DSR

8:44 AM, 9th December 2021, About 2 months ago

Reply to the comment left by Rob Crawford at 08/12/2021 - 16:25From a Fire Risk Assessor who carried out a recent FRA. No licencing conditions - two one bed flats above a shop.

by homemaker

10:24 AM, 9th December 2021, About 2 months ago

I think you need to speak to the assessor for advice on whether this really is necessary and if so his/her recommendations for achieving it. I've just had a look at the LaCors guidance and 60 minutes resistance for flats above commercial units is recommended but if the basement is not part of the shop letting and is empty, locked and secure then arguably the risk is less.

by DSR

11:15 AM, 9th December 2021, About 2 months ago

Reply to the comment left by at 09/12/2021 - 10:24
thank you . I have already challenged him on a few things but on this point I wanted to see what the regulations actually say. I have found it very difficult to find the exact answer to this question. Clearly I have got a professional in to give his take on this, but as I say given the actual risk as the basement is empty, and locked is far lower than an actual habited flat, I cannot understand the methodology of stating a 60 min door is required when the actual flat doors themselves only need to be 30 min.

by homemaker

11:21 AM, 9th December 2021, About 2 months ago

Reply to the comment left by DSR at 09/12/2021 - 11:15
That does seem inconsistent. See 19.2 of the guidance;
https://www.cieh.org/media/1244/guidance-on-fire-safety-provisions-for-certain-types-of-existing-housing.pdf

by DSR

12:23 PM, 9th December 2021, About 2 months ago

Reply to the comment left by at 09/12/2021 - 11:21
thanks for the link - from what I read therefore 30 min is sufficient to meet these standards, especially as the basement door is positioned less than two metres from the main entry/exit to the property and only 1 tenant would actually have to pass it to get out from their flat.

by Y Lana

13:54 PM, 9th December 2021, About 2 months ago

It sounds like s/he has taken a belt- and-braces approach here. However, risk assessments are subjective and, ultimately, it's their PI insurance that's on the line.

Try having an informed conversation with the Assessor to understand their reasoning and explore options. Or pay for a new Assessor and cross your fingers!

by DSR

14:06 PM, 9th December 2021, About 2 months ago

I posed the question to the assessor...

I have been reading up on both the LaCors and ARMA guidance in regard to the basement door at XXX property. It states

'Case study D11: Three- or four-storey building converted into self-contained flats (see figure D11) Escape routes (see paragraph 9) 30-minute protected route is required, including 30-minute fire-resisting construction and FD30S doors to rooms opening onto escape route. No requirement for fire doors within flats, but sound, well constructed and close-fitting conventional doors are required. Travel distance must not be excessive'

The basement already has a 30 min fire door installed, it is not occupied, kept locked and secure at all times. It opens directly onto the ground floor communal area and positioned less than 2 metres distance from the main block entry door and escape route. Only one single tenant in the ground floor flat would pass this basement door in order to go out of the main building exit.
Is a 60 min fire door really deemed necessary given the above guidance which suggests 30 min fire resistance is more than adequate?

In reply I got the following ...
Basically, any basement has to be separated from the ground floor by 60 minute construction and not the normal 30 minutes to protect the means of escape. This can be achieved by either one 60 minute fire door or 2 thirty minute fire doors, one at the head and one at the bottom of the stairs to the basement.

Am I taking this as a PI covering exercise on his behalf or can I confidently claim that leaving the existing 30 min door in place is completely proportionate to the risk posed?

by Rob Crawford

15:03 PM, 9th December 2021, About 2 months ago

Reply to the comment left by DSR at 09/12/2021 - 08:44I think you missed my point. If your property was required to have a licence under a selective licensing scheme in the future, what fire door is required to meet those conditions specific to your property? You have since mentioned that the flats are above a commercial property. This is the likely reason to install a 60 min rather than 30 min fire door as per Lacors.

by DSR

18:06 PM, 9th December 2021, About 2 months ago

Reply to the comment left by Rob Crawford at 09/12/2021 - 15:03
ahh understood. TBH if selective licencing comes along in this area...I'm selling up.

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