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Do you know the facts? Fire Regulations

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Fire Regulations

Fire Regulations - don’t get caught out

Fire Safety

There were 39,139 dwelling fires in 2013-14 and 260 fatalities from those fires. This area of law is covered by both the Housing Act 2004, as well as the Regulatory Reform, Fire Safety Order (FSO) 2005 and Building Regulations.

Now, building owners obviously have a legal duty to comply with FSO; this places a duty on the Responsible Person to take general fire precautions to ensure, as far as is reasonably practicable, the safety of the people on the premises and in the immediate vicinity. However, installers and specifiers also have a duty of care to ensure that they are sourcing reliable fire doors that can be guaranteed and has been installed and is maintained correctly and in line with the standards set.

This is a legal requirement as outlined in Article 17 of the FSO which includes the duty to engage ‘Competent Persons’ (as referenced in Article 18) as necessary to assist with fire safety measures which, of course, includes fire doors. Furthermore, under clauses 5.3 and 5.4 anyone procuring or responsible for installing a fire safety system must ensure that those installing it are up to the job and preferably have certification to prove it.

A Landlord recently received substantial fines, and was prosecuted under the Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005 in England and Wales.City of London Magistrate’s court fined the landlord £20,000 for seven breaches of the legislation at flats near Stratham Common, South London. He pleaded guilty and was ordered to pay substantial costs.

During an inspection in April 2012, fire officers found that no Fire Risk Assessment had been carried out, there were no fire doors or safety procedures in place, storage was blocking the escape route and smoke alarms had been removed. In addition, tenants had not been informed about the fire safety arrangements.

The law states that if full and sufficient Fire Risk Assessments and Precautions are not carried out on an HMO or commercial property, the Responsible Person can face a fine or up to two years in jail.

Don’t Risk It

Fire Doors Plus 3rd Party Certified Fire Doors Fire Safety Regulations

The risk of fines or even a jail sentence reinforces the importance of properly specified, installed and maintained fire doors with intumescent seals that keep smoke from leaking around the edges of a fire door.

The important issue here is to understand how the specification, installation and any alterations on the door sets may impact on the doors’ fire performance.


Choosing the right door

The fire door must be installed on-site to replicate what was tested by the manufacturer’s fire performance test. If the door set has been modified in anyway after installation then you cannot be sure that the door will provide the required level of protection.

The majority of fire doors and hardware components will have actual fire test evidence and may belong to certification schemes, so suppliers will be able to provide the certificates and instructions. In this way, sourcing a fully third party certified door will provide total reassurance that it is a fully tested, uncompromised fire door. Choosing a product and company that carries the mark of a reputable third-party certification body gives you assurances as to the performance of the products and workmanship. For instance, all Fire Doors Plus doors have been approved by Certifire – a certification scheme that assures performance, quality, reliability and traceability of fire protection products. With this third party certificate, a Fire Doors Plus fire door, installed and certified by our BM TRADA & EXOVA Warrington Fire trained operatives, provides a powerful demonstration that due diligences have been served.

Another consideration when specifying a fire door are the components involved and whether these actually comply with Building Regulations Part B. Many fire doors are fitted with a single point closure, which up until recently complied for entrance / exit doors as well as those that are internal. Changes to regulation now dictate that this type of closer will not be adequate for entrance and exit doors, meaning specifiers will be liable for installing a door that is not fit for purpose. Fire Doors Plus install 2hr fire rated, fully adjustable closers which comply with all regulations.

When considering fire doors a very important consideration of the original test is whether the door is tested and certified to hold flames IN or OUT to protect? Our fire doors are one of the only doors on the market that protect you from BOTH DIRECTIONS meaning if the fire starts inside a flat it will stay in for 30-60 mins or if a fire starts outside on a landing or communal area then it will be held out for 30 or 60 mins (depending on FD30 or FD60 doors being fitted).

When it comes to fire safety, the duty of care to the inhabitants of a building is great, so why take the risk of not having a fully efficient and certified product? With so much guidance available and reputable specialists to consult, choosing the best fire precautions should be a straightforward matter.