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Guide to Fire Doors

What Are Fire Doors?

Fire doors are crucial safety features in buildings, designed to prevent the spread of fire and smoke between compartments, thereby providing residents and users more time to evacuate safely. These doors are integral to maintaining the integrity of fire safety barriers in buildings.

Regulatory Framework

Under the Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005 and the Fire Safety (England) Regulations 2022, fire doors must be installed and maintained in buildings, especially in multi-occupied residential buildings with storeys above 11 metres. These regulations mandate routine inspections to ensure that fire doors are functioning properly and comply with fire safety standards.

Inspection and Maintenance

  • Fire doors in communal areas of buildings taller than 11 metres must be checked every three months.
  • Flat entrance doors must undergo annual inspections.

These checks are intended to be simple and do not usually require specialist intervention. It's essential for these doors to close correctly, and any damage or defects must be reported and addressed promptly to maintain their protective functions.

Installation and Specifications

Fire doors must be fitted with certain specifications to perform effectively:

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Role of Fire Doors in Fire Safety

Fire doors serve multiple roles in a building's fire safety strategy:

  • Flat entrance doors: Critical in preventing fire spread from individual units.
  • Doors to stairways and corridors: Help maintain clear escape routes.
  • Sub-dividing doors: Used in long corridors to prevent the spread of fire and smoke across large areas.
  • Service doors: Often lead to areas with high-risk elements like electrical equipment, requiring robust fire protection measures.

Responsibilities of Residents

Residents play a vital role in the fire safety of a building:

  • They must ensure that fire doors are not propped open and that self-closing mechanisms function properly.
  • Any modifications to doors, such as installing new locks or peepholes, should be done under the guidance and approval of responsible persons to ensure compliance with fire safety regulations.


Understanding and adhering to the regulations surrounding fire doors is essential for building owners, managers, and residents. Regular maintenance and compliance with legal requirements not only ensure the safety of the occupants but also contribute to the overall integrity of fire safety measures in buildings.

For a more detailed understanding and current regulatory guidelines, visiting government publications on fire safety is recommended, such as the UK Government's fire door guidance.