Fire doors are such an important part of daily life and you will have noticed that in houses of multiple occupation or in any type of apartment block or flats, that there are fire doors in the public areas and as the door that is used as the entrance to the flat. Here, we take a look at a few of the key regulations surrounding fire doors, especially when it comes to fire doors in flats. This is important if you are a landlord, or the person responsible for the daily management of a block of flats and the installation and maintenance of fire regulations and fire safety equipment, such as fire doors.
When you look at the makeup of the urban population in the UK, you’ll notice that there is a large percentage of people who now live in flats or apartments. In city centres especially, there is a continued growth in the number of flats being built, and people moving into flats and apartment blocks. With this in mind it is important to understand what to expect and what your responsibilities are should you be in charge of apartments. With the scrutiny on the sector in the wake of the Grenfell disaster and the cladding that went up in flames against regulatory direction, now is the time to analyse flats and apartments and do everything you can to secure the safety of those living in flats in all different types of circumstances.
The biggest thing to understand about fire safety is that prevention is always better than a reaction. In flats it is important to provide all tenants and visitors to the building with guidelines on fire prevention that are easily found, and easily digested. Even simple tips such as, extinguishing candles and naked flames before bed, and not to overload electrical power points, should be pointed out in fire safety literature that is provided.
One of the biggest components of fire safety after the warnings and fire training is the installation of secure fire doors. Due to the fire regulations in place fire doors must be installed at the entrance to every single flat within a block of flats, and they must be fully certified and tested to strict fire door guidelines. Each fire door must be fitted with a self-closing mechanism that is regularly tested, as well as smoke seals. Fire doors must be resistant to fire for up to 30-minutes, allowing for effective compartmentalisation in the event of a fire.
Compartmentalisation is important, as each flat must be looked at in a way that confines a fire to that space alone, without it spreading to the other flats in the building and/or communal areas. This is why fully tested fire doors are important, and that fire safety awareness is taught to residents to ensure they do not wedge fire doors open or block potential escape routes.
Whenever you are the person responsible for a block of flats or apartments it is key that you install fully tested fire doors that fit strict regulations and that all residents understand fire safety issues and processes.