Legal requirements for internal front doors

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    Legal requirements for internal front doors

    I am letting a second floor flat of a three story building and have been informed by the management company that my internal front door is not the original and needs to be changed. However they cannot provide information on the required specification or colour of the stain. I've been told a fire door (if required) should consist of:

    Resistance of 1 hour (have also been told 30 mins?)

    door casing which has a thicker section of timber with larger rebates,

    intumescent strips,

    3 x fire door hinges

    & an overhead hydraulic door closer.

    Please could anyone confirm if these requirements are normal for an internal front door or do the legal requirements vary between local authorities?


    Originally posted by Landlord2018 View Post
    I am letting a second floor flat of a three story building and have been informed by the management company that my internal front door is not the original and needs to be changed.
    If you put in another, it still will not be the original.

    What reasons are they giving for it needing to be changed?
    Have they inspected it to determine its suitability, or just noticed it is not the original?


      Generally, when people replace front doors, they commit building regulation breaches by downgrading the fire safety, which is a criminal offence (but with a one year limit on prosecutions). That's because the tend to replace the functional door with a more ornamental one.

      Generally, in such cases, once the original door has gone and the replacement was not at least to the standard of the original door, a replacement is necessary, and, generally, when replacing such a door, it has to be brought up to current building regulations.

      However those would normally FD30S, not FD60S, unless there were some other fire safety defect in the building. Is this a purpose built block?

      The rest basically follows from this, although the closer would be required even if an acceptable original door was present. The closers pretty much have to be hydraulic, to avoid slamming the door, but there are some, more expensive, options, compared with overhead ones, that would also comply.


        I think OP is obliged to follow latest fire safety requirements and put in fire door at entrance to his flat , if he has been requested specifically to comply.


          Incidentally, the only legal requirement is to cooperate with the manager of the communal areas in ensuring that means of escape from the building are adequately protected from fire. Everything else is basically guidance on what are reasonable measures, given the age and nature of the property, to achieve that. That guidance says that any full replacement should be fully compliant with current guidance for new builds.

          In this case, there seems to have been a breach of another piece of legislation, which is that fire safety features cannot be replaced by anything that offers protection which is both less than the original protection and less than required for current new builds. The second issue means that, unlike the neighbours, who kept their old doors, the OP cannot take advantage of the guidance (not law) that says that substantially built, original, doors, can be accepted, in low rise buildings, as long as they have a closer added.

          Failure to cooperate with the building manager creates a criminal offence under the Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005, and there is likely to be a term in the lease about complying with local and national legislation. The building manager is also committing a criminal offence if they do not take all reasonable measures to ensure that the OP is complying. If a fire in the OPs flat escapes through the defective door, and kills another resident, the building manager, and the OP, could be facing manslaughter charges.



            The above are the Building Regulations for 'Fire' compliance. They are a legal requirement and not complying with them is a criminal offence.


              The offence. in this case, would be under the Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005, not the Building Regulations. It is the previous Building Regs breach that has triggered the need to comply with the current Regs. If there had been an original, substantial, door still in place, for a low rise building, only the closer would have been needed.

              Incidentally, neither the Building Regs, nor the RRO say what has to be done in building terms. There are guidance documents, that provide one compliant solution, in common cases, and part of the guidance for existing purpose built flats is that, when the doors are next replaced, it should be done to full current Buildings Regs standards, whereas the Building Regs themselves would only have required them to be as good as the original.


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