At RME Services we are committed to ensuring we are able to provide our clients with the knowledge and accreditations that they may require, to support them in their day-to-day maintenance and operations.
Fire door inspections, replacement and certification is at the forefront of today’s requirements, with many contractors falling short of their own in-house capabilities, requiring external third-party assessment and certification of their fire door installations.
Here at RME we have invested heavily in the training of our tradespersons and are accredited by BM Trada, allowing us to carry out the inspection, replacement and certification of fire doors in-house. Whether it is a peace of mind inspection of your existing stock with remedial recommendations, or the replacement of your end-of-life fire doors, we can provide you with a full turnkey service.
We have provided some useful detailed information below to broaden your knowledge on the subject and further information on the services RME Services Ltd is able to offer.
What has driven the changes to fire door regulations for residential buildings?
As a result of the Grenfell Tower disaster and the subsequent issue of the Grenfell Tower Inquiry, the government acknowledged that “Fire doors play an essential role in preventing or inhibiting the spread of smoke and toxic gases and in preserving the effective compartmentation of buildings.”
One of the actions leading from the Grenfell Tower Inquiry, was to review the current regulations relating to Fire Doors (regulation 10) and to bring into legislation, the periodic checks that fall on the responsible person to carry out on fire doors and entrance doors for all multi-occupied residential buildings in England with storeys over 11 metres in height.
Under the Fire Safety (England) Regulations 2022, they made it a legal requirement from 23 January 2023 ‘for responsible persons to undertake a fire risk assessment that includes all entrance and fire doors’. It is also a legal requirement to undertake quarterly checks of all fire doors (including self-closing devices) in the common parts and to undertake – on a best endeavour basis – annual checks of all residential flat entrance doors (including self-closing devices) that lead onto a building’s common parts.
What is the purpose of the Fire Safety Act 2021?
The purpose of the Fire Safety Act 2021 is to ensure that residential flat entrance doors and all fire doors, are included within the fire risk assessment process. The new regulations do not replace the current obligations for building owners / building managers in all buildings which are in scope of the current Fire Safety Order, but the aim is to enhance current obligations.
Although the scope of the new regulation is specifically aimed at enhancing the fire safety within all multi-occupied residential buildings in England, the minimum requirements for inspections of fire doors should extend to all commercial buildings as part of the fire risk assessment, as fire doors are crucial in preventing the spread of fire and smoke in buildings.
What actions should the ‘Responsible Person’ take to ensure compliance with the Fire Safety Act 2021?
The building manager or building owner should ensure that an assessor is appointed to undertake a fire risk assessment that includes all entrance doors and fire doors. The purpose of the assessment is to ensure that all fire doors are in good repair and that all self-closing devices are in good repair and are in efficient working order. The assessor should inspect the fire door to ensure that the door standard is maintained.
During the fire risk assessment, the assessor may recommend improvements to be made to the fire door and it will be for the responsible person to determine how these are implemented. If faults are found with the fire doors, then it may be necessary to undertake appropriate maintenance to ensure they remain fit for purpose or, where needed, to replace them. However, there is no requirement to replace a fire door simply because it does not meet the current standard under building regulations, if the door remains in full working order from a fire safety point of view.
As a minimum requirement, the responsible person should undertake an inspection of the fire doors to identify any obvious damage or issues. It is not envisaged that those checking the fire doors carry out a detailed technical examination on the fire resistance of the door (which is a matter for the fire risk assessment), unless it appears that an original fire resisting residential flat entrance door has been replaced with a non-fire resisting door or it’s visibly damaged in a way that would impact on its performance as fire door.
Do I need a specialist to undertake fire door inspections?
If the building owner / building manager is competent to undertake fire door inspections, it should not be necessary to engage a specialist for these checks as the responsible person should be able to carry out these checks themselves. However, we recommend that these checks are undertaken by a competent fire door specialist as part of your quarterly inspections. For large commercial buildings, you must ensure that all fire door and records of inspection and checks are suitably recorded within a readily accessible database.
Your competent fire door inspector (or your appointed responsible person) will consider several factors during the fire door inspection, such as, has there been any alterations or damage to the fire doors glazing apertures or air transfer grille? Are there any gaps around the fire door frame? Are the seals and hinges of the correct type and fitted correctly? Does the fire door closer or automatic door closing device shut the door correctly? Does the door close correctly into the door frame, or does it snag and stay partly open? Is there any visible damage to the fire door or the door closer that may have been caused deliberately or from wear and tear?
Once you have completed your checks on all fire doors and door closers, any damage identified and noted from the initial inspection, must be suitably recorded with photographic evidence where necessary. Any inspection that identifies serious defects with fire doors or door closers should be added to a remediation plan with a recommendation to either repair or replace the fire door, frame, or door closer.
RME’s fire door inspection and maintenance service
To help customers comply with the fire door inspection requirements under the Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005, RME have available ‘Competent Persons’ who can assist with undertaking fire door inspections as part of your fire risk assessment.
Our Competent Persons are qualified and properly accredited members of a third-party certification scheme. Our Competent Persons have the capability and resources to undertake fire door inspections of your commercial or residential building and carry out maintenance and/or installation of fire doors to fulfil the requirements of your fire risk assessment.
Our fire door inspection survey will check that your building’s fire doors are compliant with the current regulations and confirm that your fire doors are correctly installed and adequately maintained and fit for purpose.
The fire door inspection is captured within an RME ‘The Fire Door Inspection Report’ that will be accurately compiled within a professionally presented report with photographs. The inspection report includes: –
- Fire door summary
- Risk grading
- Compliance status (glazing, statutory signage, etc.)
- Door type
- Unique door reference asset number (each fire door will be labelled)
- Unique attributes of fire door (size, finish, acoustic rating, smoke seals, etc.)
- Corrective actions (where required)
- Next inspection date.
Because RME utilise an industry compliant fire door inspection report format, all reports are compiled in a consistent format across all fire door inspections and will detail any corrective action required.
As part of the fire door inspection process, RME will install a unique durable asset label to the fire door that includes a unique asset number. The asset label acts as a visual reminder that the fire door has been inspected with the QR code providing a ‘waypoint’ to locate the inspection records easily and efficiently.
RME’s fire door repair or replacement service
Our specialist fire door installation team are members of a recognised quality assurance scheme, which ensures that ‘best practice’ is adopted. Our approach ensures that each fire door installation complies with the tested specification that will include: the type and quality of intumescent systems; compliance of the glazing with the tested detail supplied by the door leaf manufacturer; the size of all operating gaps; intumescent protection around the hardware and the quality of the preparations; the quality of the supporting construction and the prepared opening; the method and quality of fixing of the fire door; the fire and smoke stopping methods used in fitting-in gaps and voids.
To find out more information or to obtain a quotation for fire door services including inspections, maintenance, repairs, or replacement, please contact us using the following information, quoting “Fire Door Services” when making your enquiry: –
RME Services Ltd
Tel: 01252 718024