Inspection of the fire doors?

by Readers Question

10:54 AM, 10th March 2021
About a month ago

Inspection of the fire doors?

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Inspection of the fire doors?

I’ve recently received an email from my Management Company saying an inspection of the doors to the flats is required to see if they are rated FD30a.

The flats are in Cornwall and according to the Management Company, it is an initiative which is likely to become law later this year.

I am a bit surprised because I had to have a fire door fitted to a flat in Somerset back in 2012 following an inspection by the Council.

Can anyone shed any light on this, please?

Thanks

Dave the Landlord

Comments

GraemeG

11:50 AM, 10th March 2021
About a month ago

One thing to also watch out for is the quality of the fitting of the door into the frame. The regualtion is a maximum of 4mm gap between the frame and the door on all three sides. There a low cost tool to test (see below). Getting joiners to work to this tolerance can be an issue:
https://www.safelincs.co.uk/fire-door-gap-gauge/?q=Door+Gap

AndrewMcC

11:59 AM, 10th March 2021
About a month ago

This is pretty standard form these days following Grenfell, and is already required in HMO's and properties at high risk. Various Council's are taking different approaches to this and as the licensing authority in many cases they can almost set their own rules.

Whilst I have no issues with checking fire door safety the people doing the checks are sometimes not well trained in the role. Our own Council take a very hard line on fire door inspections and require independent certification for many of them if you can't prove they meet the requirements. It is the future for LL, I am afraid.

Ian Narbeth

12:40 PM, 10th March 2021
About a month ago

Reply to the comment left by GraemeG at 10/03/2021 - 11:50
"The regulation is a maximum of 4mm gap between the frame and the door on all three sides." It seems most housebuilders don't know or care about this and most surveyors (and indeed Council housing officers) either don't know about or overlook this. NHBC and other bodies providing insurance should insist on this for new builds.

GraemeG

12:58 PM, 10th March 2021
About a month ago

Reply to the comment left by Ian Narbeth at 10/03/2021 - 12:40
I did a new build HMO, the Council inspectors picked up on this and I had to get builders back in to make a retrospective fix on the doors to get the tolerance back into compliance. The regulation is appropriate in the context of fire safety.

Ian Narbeth

16:06 PM, 10th March 2021
About a month ago

Reply to the comment left by GraemeG at 10/03/2021 - 12:58My point about house-builders stands. I had a substantial bill a while back to replace fire doors on a 10 year old Taylor Wimpey house that I concerted to an HMO.

Jon Pike

9:21 AM, 11th March 2021
About a month ago

Many thanks everyone. I'm absolutely in agreement with it, I'm just surprised that the rule was in force in Somerset in 2012 but as yet apparently still not in Cornwall.

I haven't received the results of the inspection but out of interest has anyone had one fitted recently and if so what is a reasonable price to pay?

AndrewMcC

9:38 AM, 11th March 2021
About a month ago

We would charge £150 to simply fit a fire door with furniture. However, our experience is that the casings also need to be replaced at the same time. LACORS refers to a "door set" which includes the door, the casing and all fixtures and this must both be fitted to standard and also be a certified set. Therefore, you can't fit a fire door to a fire door casing unless the manufacturers have a certificate that says they go together.

It is a minefield for the uninitiated and Council officers (and most LL) are only just getting into the legislation now. If you are a LL and have not had the joy of reading BS 8214:2016 I suggest to google it. It is the future for us all (unfortunately).

Ian Narbeth

10:17 AM, 11th March 2021
About a month ago

I did Google it. I wonder how many landlords will pay £218 just to get a look at BS8214:2016. It is crazy that legal documents such as the British Standards are not available free or at a nominal price.

GraemeG

10:21 AM, 11th March 2021
About a month ago

I agree, on-line versions of these documents need to be substantially lower cost or free. It's contradictory for the Government to aspire to health and safety standards and then make it difficult for responsible landlords and developers to comply with the regulations. One one hand the Government wants more housing and more affordable housing and at the same time keep adding infrastructural cost into the market that will flow through to tenants and buyers. An inconsistent Government strategy.

Rob Crawford

13:24 PM, 12th March 2021
About a month ago

Reply to the comment left by Ian Narbeth at 11/03/2021 - 10:17
British Standards are actually recommendations, not legislation. In my opinion, if an LA refers to a BS they should make sure the relevant parts of the standard are included in their requirement. I have previously purchased a BS at some not insignificant price (fire detection) to find that BS referred to many others. To fully understand the requirement would have cost thousands! It brings into question, the fairness of such terms.

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