What regulations affect the use of fire doors?
There are a number of regulations which apply to both new and existing buildings across the UK.
In the case of new buildings, or those which include alterations, extensions or change of use, the appropriate Building Regulations apply.
Existing buildings, other than domestic properties, are governed by the requirements of the Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order: 2005 – otherwise known as the RRO or FSO
You should also be take note of Regulation 38 of the Building Regulations (England and Wales) which links the Building Regulations to the RRO for those buildings to which the RRO applies.
Building Regulations are known as Approved Documents (or equivalent) and are available from the websites shown below. They are designed to help meet the minimum standards required for construction in the UK.
Because fire doors are functional items and are necessary in all buildings and structures, they are required to meet a number of different regulations such as sound, accessibility, ventilation, thermal efficiency and safety glazing as well as fire safety.
A summary of Approved Document regulations in England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland is shown in the table below.
- England and Wales – Approved Documents
- Scottish Building Standards – Technical Handbooks
- Northern Ireland – Technical Booklets
Other Regulations and Codes
In addition to building regulations, fire doors may also be required to comply with other codes and standards to meet BREEAM and the Code for Sustainable Homes criteria, as well as procurement requirements for responsible sourcing of materials such as those provided by forest certification and chain of custody required under CPET regulations, which apply to ALL projects undertaken by UK Government Public Sector and its agencies.
The Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005 or FSO, replaced over 70 pieces of fire safety law and came into force in 2006.
The responsibility for fire risk assessment in all non-domestic buildings, including the common parts of flats and houses of multiple occupation, falls to the so-called 'responsible person'.
Under the FSO, the responsible person must carry out a fire safety risk assessment and implement and maintain a fire management plan. Further information on what you need to do when carrying out a risk assessment is available here.
The law applies to you if you are:
- responsible for business premises
- an employer or self-employed with business premises
- responsible for a part of a dwelling where that part is solely used for business purposes
- a charity or voluntary organisation
- a contractor with a degree of control over any premises
- providing accommodation for paying guests
Fire doors play a major role in the fire safety and protection of ALL buildings covered by the FSO and it is important that fire doors are inspected correctly and maintained in order to ensure compliance.
Failure to do so can place property and lives at risk and is likely to result in criminal prosecution.
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