Fire door, door stop requirement

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    Fire door, door stop requirement

    Hi, I'm struggling to find the legal requirement for door stops in a licensed HMO for 5 people, single tenancy agreement. We are installing FD30 doors on the bedrooms with closers and fire & smoke intumescent strips. I've approached the local council for guidance, but they are yet to come back to me. I've found the following online;

    25mm stops date back to the days before intumescent seals and smoke brushes existed and were a rudimentary way of forming a seal on a door - if your doors are correctly fitted with intumescent seals (and if on an escape route smoke brushes) the 25mm stop is not required and a 19mm stop should suffice.

    Corby Council
    The doorstops on the existing frame are likely to be 12mm or less and are inadequate when the doorframe is being upgraded. These have to be removed and replaced by 25mm stops so the doorframe has a rebate or stop not less than 25mm wide and 38mm long glued and screwed to the existing doorframe at 300mm centres.

    None of the local builders merchants stock 25 x 38mm PSE/stripwood except B&Q. Which makes me doubt this is a regulation. Does anybody know what the legal requirement is please?

    Thanks for reading and I appreciate any replies.

    If you want to challenge the council's expertise on what will achieve this, you need to pay for a reputable consultant to come up with their own recommendations.

    The law doesn't specify details of construction, although there are guidance documents and British Standards, that, if complied with, will normally be accepted as meeting the legal requirements.

    This is not something you should be doing on a DIY basis.


      Thanks for the reply. My apoloiges for not being clear, I was quoting Corby council because they at least publish a standard that I could find searching online. Essex Council, where the property is located, don't publish a standard which is why I'm trying to contact them, not challenge them. In the mantime I wondered if there were any specific HMO requirements, which you have answered, thanks.


        You have to complete a fire risk assessment.

        That assessment will give you the guidance you need. The council’s approach will be different, they’ll simply tell you you’re not compliant with their standards and threaten to fine you until you are.
        When I post, I am expressing an opinion - feel free to disagree, I have been wrong before.
        Please don't act on my suggestions without checking with a grown-up (ideally some kind of expert).


          OK thanks. Inspection it is then, do you use the fire service or a consultant?


            The government de-nationalised this service over a decade ago. The fire service no longer provide this service, only enforcement.


              Yet more appalling advice from a local authority, what they are effectively doing is specifying remedial work to an important component of the protected means of escape without any knowledge of the burn time, no evidence of suitable and adequate testing to meet the 30 minute requirement and more importantly telling landlord/investor/contractors if they do this work the door will be 30 fire resistant! Simply put, it wont because they have not paperwork to back their claims up.

              What annoys me the most about councils who do this, is they can simple tell you to fit the fire door to the manufacturer 'third party certification'. This is the guarantee if it is fitted to an exact specification. This means the door has been tested in an independent test rig complete with frame and tested to make sure it lasts for 30 minutes, in fact they last around 33 minutes. That is a properly fitted door and frameset.

              As an example google Jeldwen CF160 and look for the certificate of approval, this is just one example of the above document. They all have to have these and they come complete with a full specification.

              What they should be saying is look on the top of the fire door and there will be a small label with details of manufacturer and door reference number. You go onto their website and you download the third party certification, that gives you a full specification to fit the door to, tells you the door furniture, hinges, closers, tells you the permitted gaps, tells you what can be trimmed off the door, tells you the dimensions of the frame, it isnt just the doorstop, its also where the hinge sits and it is generally this that an existing door frame fails as it has to be around 25mm thicj to support the 4x30mm screws for each hinge plate. Most existing door frames will not be suitable for fire doors due to the door frame width being less than the manufacturer requires. If you want to keep an existing door frame, you will be best placed to appoint a Passive Fire Safety Consultant, but be prepared to pay good money for them to tell you the frame is not suitable. You remove the small label, the door guarantee is null and void, usually this is due to an inexperienced joiner planning the head of the door, simples, you cant alter the head of a fire door.

              Unfortunately the building industry has been able to get away with poor standards in relation to fire precautions for far to long and to compound that even further, we now have some inexperienced fire risk assessors who are just as bad, who give poor advice, prepare poor reports, dont work to the required standard and provide landlords/property owners with a piece of paper that is worthless.

              Its been a downward spiral for many years regarding fire safety and unfortunately that came to the fore a few years ago with Grenfell, oh and don't think for one minute Grenfell is a one off! It isn't, most building have significant fire safety breaches.

              Grumble over :-)


                Originally posted by fredfox View Post
                OK thanks. Inspection it is then, do you use the fire service or a consultant?
                In theory, you can do it yourself.

                In practice, use a local consultant - it’s a bread and butter job, they’ll know the local council and once it’s done, you’ll know exactly what you have to do, and will have the consultant as back up if the council are difficult.
                When I post, I am expressing an opinion - feel free to disagree, I have been wrong before.
                Please don't act on my suggestions without checking with a grown-up (ideally some kind of expert).


                  Thanks red40 for taking the time to respond, it was a very interesting and informative read. I share your frustration. I'll do as you have requested and look for the standards document upon which the door was certified. I did find several references to installing as per the manufacturer’s specification. However, it's difficult to ascertain if HMO's have specific requirements, and I'm aware local councils can also specify their requirements which must be adhered to and can potentially contradict other legislation. I want to do the right thing and protect my tenants but my contractor simply couldn't find the size of timber recommended by other councils. This got me thinking that I can't be the only person in Essex needing "fire door stops" and I've misunderstood the regulatory requirements. If not, perhaps I'll give up being a landlord and start selling fire door stops.

                  I'll post any updates.

                  Thanks to jpkeates and leaseholder64 for contributing as well, appreciate you all taking the time to help


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