Can you please confirm or not, something I have heard from a fire door installer. As a fire door is to prevent fire spreading into a communal area in a block of flats, if your home is the only one in a block that does not have a fire door, it's ok as you don't need one?
It is a really interesting question from your reader and one that we do get asked regularly, In short Yes.
It is required to be a fire door, under the Fire Safety Act 2021 which in Article 6 - Application to Premises states that:
"Where a building contains two or more sets of domestic premises, the things to which this order applies include—
(a) the building's structure and external walls and any common parts.
(b) all doors between the domestic premises and common parts (so far as not falling within sub-paragraph (a)) (Front Doors)"
Fire Doors are required on all premises containing areas of living accommodation, and require a minimum of 60 Minutes fire resistance compartmentation and generally flat entrance doors require 30 minutes fire resistance period, this means that if a neighbouring premises in your block of flats does not have a fire door, you now have only maximum of 30 minutes fire resistance instead of 60 minutes (2 x 30-minute fire doors.)
An additional reason every premises is required to have a fire door is so that in the unfortunate event of a fire and thus a simultaneous evacuation of the storey or building is required, these doors offer those escaping or passing in close proximity to a fire at the premises, protection to safely transition to a place of safety.
The guidance on locations and the minimum period of fire resistance is given in Building Regulations – Approved Document B (Fire Safety) (Appendix C)
(see image above)
E – European designation of test standard
FD – Fire Door
30 – This number is the minimum period of fire resistance required
S – This prefix means that the door is required to have smoke control such as smoke seals
It should be noted that the Door leaf itself does not fully make a Fire Door and that to be a certified fire door it should be installed as tested with the correct frame, hardware and additional ironmongery; in accordance with the manufacturers details.
Alex Dodd, MinstRE DipFD, FR Consultants