Are Intumescent seals on doors in a conversion flat mandatory or only recommended?

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    Are Intumescent seals on doors in a conversion flat mandatory or only recommended?

    I own a ground floor flat in a period conversion (four flats on four storeys in total), which is let out on an AST. Two years ago the managing agent wrote to leaseholders to advise that front doors opening onto the communal areas should be fire doors (they gave minimum specifications) and be fitted with a self-closing mechanism and intumescent strips.

    Having assessed that our current door was of the required construction and thickness we had a self closing mechanism and intumescent strips fitted. Last year the freeholder engaged on a programme of works, one of which was to upgrade all of the internal front doors to fire doors, which in our case was arguably unnecessary. Be this as it may our builder recently attended the flat to carry out some essential maintenance and discovered that the new door does not have intumescent seals, although they have reused the door closer we installed.

    I've looked online and at some of the excellent information on this site but cannot find whether intumescent seals are mandated by the current regs. I don't need convincing as to whether they're a good idea, just whether they are legally required.

    Does anybody have a sound knowledge in this area? If so I'd appreciate your view.

    Thanks.

    #2
    Any alterations should not lower safety standards

    Comment


      #3
      there may be smoke seals below the veneer of the door. what you need to look for is the label . if its got something like this on the jamb you are ok. albeit 60 mins are better and ,may actually be required. i cant rememberlabel_fd30.jpg

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        #4
        Remember what you are trying to achieve here, the block is a conversion with full evacuation. Original flat entrance doors may have been reliant on 25mm door stops to achieve ‘smoke control. Upgrading existing doors simply because they are not fitted with intumescent strips or smoke seals, or fail to meet some other requirement of current standards, should not be made a generic recommendation. The doors need to last long enough to get people out. This is risk assessment not compliance checking.

        From you description I suspect that the flat entrance door open directly onto the staircase, therefore for blocks up to 4 storeys can have notional FD30 doors. However, they must have self closing devices.

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          #5
          Thank you for all for the responses. I wasn't aware that you could purchase fire doors with integral seals beneath the veneer. I suspect these have not been fitted, but I'd need to be onsite to confirm. Unfortunately I live quite some distance from the property, a fact exacerbated by the current situation.

          Fire Risk Assessor - thank you for your comments. To answer your last point: the entrance door to our flat opens up into the ground floor communal hallway of a Victorian house. From here there is a staircase rising to the upper two floors and a main front door leading out to the street. The fourth flat is actually a basement flat with its own entrance. Do I take it from your final paragraph that to comply with current regulations, both as a landlord and a leaseholder, then the fact that the door is an FD30 door with a self-closing mechanism means that it is compliant as it is? To be blunt about it I'm trying to ascertain whether I and/or the freeholder would be found wanting if a fire occurred and the worst happened.

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            #6
            To upgrade a fire door with intumescent strips/smoke seals, an overhead self-closer and a fire protected letter box can be done for £230-£250.

            However, would the lack of strips/seals or a FP letter plate cause an issue in a converted block? My first sentence gives the clue, what are you trying to achieve? The block should have a comprehensive fire alarm and detection system because it is a conversion and we don't know the fire resistance between floors and walls, it could be 20 mins. So if the wall or floors might only last 20 mins, why do you need the door to last 30?

            The detection system is the compensation for unknown fire-resistance, you have full evacuation, everybody is out of the building before the door fails.

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              #7
              You do need strips and door closer. Yes

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                #8
                Just wanted to add a point coming from an HHSRS & HMO Licensing background.. agree with Fire Risk Assessor, in addition, and dependant on if the local authority has assessed under HHSRS for the purposes of HMO Licensing (if not under an Additional Scheme, the building remains subject to Mandatory Licensing but only ‘IF’ 2/3rds of the flats are privately rented).
                Fire Regs/ Building Regs/ HMO Management Regs, all of these have own requirements to be compliant

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