Fire Door Responsibilities for Landlords of Multiple Occupancy Living Accommodation
As a Landlord or Property Manager of a block of flats or Houses in Multiple Occupation (HMOs), fire safety is of utmost importance to protect the lives of your tenants. One crucial aspect is ensuring the proper installation and maintenance of fire doors. In this blog, we will explore the essential requirements for fire doors in Multiple Occupancy Living Accommodations, focusing on their significance, types, and ratings. By understanding these requirements, you can take the necessary steps to ensure the safety of your property and its residents.
Why Fire Doors Matter
Fire doors are vital components in buildings, especially blocks of flats. They play a crucial role in containing fire and smoke, allowing occupants to evacuate safely and preventing the fire from spreading between different areas. Correctly specified and well-fitted fire doors are essential for maintaining effective fire protection measures.
Choosing the Right Fire Doors
When it comes to fire doors, it's important to select the appropriate type and rating. Fire-resisting doors are necessary for doorways located in fire-resisting structures. Timber fire doors are commonly used and offer some fire protection, but purpose-built fire-resisting doors that meet approved British Standards provide the necessary level of protection. Additionally, metal fire-resisting doors are available for specific requirements.
Understanding Fire Door Ratings
Fire doors are rated based on their performance during testing. The rating indicates the time it takes for the door to breach under fire conditions and its resistance to hot gases and flames. Common fire door ratings include E20 (20 minutes fire resistance), E30 (30 minutes fire resistance), and E60 (60 minutes fire resistance). These ratings ensure that occupants have sufficient time to evacuate during a fire incident. A compartmentalization plan will indicate the required fire-resisting performance of each wall and door.
Essential Responsibilities for Landlords or Property Managers
To meet fire safety regulations, landlords must conduct regular inspections and maintenance of their communal area fire doors, ensuring they are in good working condition. This is advised to be undertaken by a professional fire door inspector a minimum of every 12 months, with regular inspections carried out by the responsible person every 3 months or more often with increasing risk level, height of the building, and level of use. You should consult your Fire Risk Assessment or previous Fire Door Survey to determine the correct inspection periods.
Landlords are also responsible for ensuring their residents receive and understand the requirements and importance of fire doors, both in common areas, and their own apartment entrance fire doors, as laid out in the latest Fire Safety (England) Regulations 2022. The notice should provide comprehensive information about various types of fire doors, their intended purpose, and the required standards they must meet. It also offers guidance on conducting checks to ensure the proper functioning of fire doors and outlines the process for reporting any identified issues to the landlord or property manager.
Our friends at Pyro Fire have created an informative notice designed to help landlords and property managers comply with the new regulations and provide critical fire safety information to residents. You can head over to the link below to download this document free of charge.
As a responsible landlord or owner of a block of flats, prioritizing fire safety is crucial to protect the lives of your tenants. Understanding and fulfilling fire door requirements is an integral part of creating a safe living environment. By selecting the appropriate fire doors, ensuring correct installation, and conducting regular maintenance, you can enhance the fire resistance of your multiple occupancy accommodation. Remember, fire doors are not only doors; they are vital safeguards that help save lives during a fire emergency.
For further information on your fire safety responsibilities as a landlord or property manager, please visit the UK Gov website below, and read this in-depth guide.
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