What you need to know about fire door regulations (2023)

Having a weak or nonexistent fire door on your business or property can lead to heavy fines and even imprisonment. It is therefore important that any building you have jurisdiction over complies with all fire door regulations. In 2019, a shocking three-quarters of the fire doors inspected by the Fire Door Inspection Program were declared "unserviceable", putting those who relied on them at risk. In this guide published by Building Material Nationwide, we will explain what kind of fire door your building will need, as well as the various fire door regulations it will follow.

What is a fire door?

Internal fire doors serve two purposes in buildings by containing fire and providing clear escape routes. Fire doors are usually rated FD30 or FD60, which means they can offer 30 or 60 minutes of fire resistance, covering smoke, heat and flame. Fire doors can be made of various fire-resistant materials, e.gwood, glass and steel. Fire doors are mandatory on many UK properties listed in the Fire Safety Regulations (RRO) 2005. All commercial buildings and large residential buildings will have a designated 'responsible person' who will be responsible for the installation and maintenance of fire doors, ensuring they are compliance with all UK regulations.

Where should a fire door be installed?

The fire door regulations set out in the RRO specify the following requirements for buildings:

  • Apartment buildings: Houses with three or more stories must have a fire door for each door between the stairwell and the living room. All doors between the integral garage and the house must also be fire doors. Adapted attic doors should also be fire doors.
  • Mixed-use buildings: All doors between residential and business premises must be fireproof.
  • Commercial Buildings: Fire doors must be designed throughout the building to provide a vertical or horizontal escape route through the building. The vertical escape route is the one that directs people towards the stairwell. A horizontal escape route is one that directs people to a fireproof space in the floor. This road will need to be lined with fire doors.

What are the regulations for fire doors?

A fire door consists of a door and a frame around it, and everything will be covered by building codes. They will need to be built with fireproof hinges, automatic closers, and intumescent seals (sometimes in combination with smoke seals) around the door. They will also be legal fire doors, which may seem obvious, but 16% of the doors tested in 2019 were not real fire doors. In the UK there are very specific regulations on how to install, sign and care for fire doors:

(Video) Everything you NEED to Know about Firedoors in your HMO

What are the regulations regarding the marking of fire doors?

green and white"Fire escapeSigns should be used to indicate the escape route through the building. They should be used along the route but not directly at the gate to ensure they always point in the right direction. Fire doors should have a small blue markKeep the fire door closed" mark on both sides. If you are using double doors both will need marks on both sides. If your fire door closes and opens automatically, it isversiona sign that says so.

What are the regulations regarding the height of fire doors?

While there are no specific regulations regarding fire door height, there are strict definitions of fire door width based on the maximum number of people inside the building. This is shown in the table below.

Maximum number of peopleMinimum width (mm)
Over 2205mm per person

Fire doors are specially designed products and will fit standard door heights.

What are the regulations for fire door holders?

Opening or keeping fire doors open is against fire door regulations as they will not be able to stop the spread of fire when open. Fire doors should be equipped with an automatic shutter above them. There are several specific products that can keep a fire door open and close it automatically in the event of a fire. Electromagnetic fire door catches can use a magnet to hold the door open, which automatically unlocks when the fire alarm system is activated, allowing the door to close. Another option is a product like Dorgard, which attaches to the bottom of the door, keeping it open in place but automatically retracting if the fire alarm sounds. Traditionally, fire doors should close automatically, but there are several approved fire door retainers that can be used to open them.

(Video) A Guide to Fire Door Inspections

What are the regulations for the fire door control panel?

A vision panel, small glass windows inside a wooden or steel door, can be used inside a suitable fire door. As long as the entire fire door and dashboard meet the fire safety requirements, you will be fine. Glass can be laminated to make it fire resistant and many fire doors incorporate viewing panels.

What are the regulations regarding the opening width of fire doors?

Fire door regulations specify a gap of between 2 and 4 mm around or between doors. Aiming at the 3mm gap will allow the intumescent strips to be attached and block the passage of smoke and flames.

What are the regulations regarding fire door frames?

The door frame is an essential component of a fire door and an approved door frame must be purchased and installed instead of a standard door frame. Fire doors and frames can be purchased together. Door frames are sometimes called fire door jambs.

What are the regulations for closing fire doors?

Fire doors must never be closed when the building is occupied, as the escape route must be unobstructed. Fire locks can be used when the building is empty. Like hinges, all components used in a fire door must be fire resistant to comply with UK regulations. All hinges used on fire doors must also be fire resistant.

(Video) What To Know Before A Fire Door Inspection! What is a Fire Door Inspection?

What are the regulations for fire door hinges?

All hinges used inside a fire door must be fire resistant, with three hinges per door recommended. Using unstable hinges can compromise the fire safety of the door.

What are the regulations for installing fire doors?

Oddly enough, given how stringent the other aspects of the process are, there are no special qualifications required to install a fire door. The government only stipulates that the installation must be carried out by a "competent person". That being said, fire doors are essential for safety and need to be installed to exacting standards, so you should seek out a professional installer. Bmtrada has a Q-mark accreditation for the installation of fire doors, which proves the level of professionalism of the installers.

How often should fire doors be inspected?

The responsible person in the building should regularly check all fire doors, especially if they are heavily used. Inspections should be carried out at least semi-annually, with an accredited fire door inspection specialist being the better choice. You should also conduct regular fire tests to provide additional fire protection for tenants or tenants. If you are legally investigated and it is found that you have not installed or maintained a proper fire door, you could face a hefty fine and in extreme cases imprisonment.

Our offer of fire door equipment

Building Materials Nationwide offers a selection of Fire Doors and Fire Door Hardware for sale through our website. We havefireproof door,the strips will swell, Ifire door signs. Our wide range of products can be supplied throughout the UK, ideal for new builds and refurbishments.

(Video) All You Need To Know Before Procuring Fire Doors

Related Posts:

UK door sizes: what you need to knowAdvantages and disadvantages of French doorsAre internal double doors worth the money?


What you need to know about fire doors? ›

Fire doors are specialist doors which have been tested against the elements and purpose-built to withstand roaring fires for as long as possible. They enable buildings to compartmentalise and delay the spread of fire from one area to another, and form a crucial part of a passive fire protection strategy.

What are the regulations for fire rated doors? ›

Residential Buildings
  • Every flat within a block of flats or HMO should have a fire door fitted at the entrance onto the communal area.
  • Flats located on floors 4.5m above ground level must have a fire rated door fitted between all habitable rooms as well as the front door.
Mar 29, 2022

What is the most important part of a fire door? ›

One of the most important components of a fire door assembly is the closing device. A self-closing door has a door closer or spring hinges which close the door each time it is opened.

What are the general requirements for emergency fire doors? ›

Fire exit doors must open in the direction of escape and sliding or revolving doors must not be used for exits specifically intended as emergency exits. Fire exit doors must not be locked or fastened in a way that they cannot be easily and immediately opened by any person in an emergency situation.

What are the NFPA 80 fire door inspection checklist? ›

1) Labels are clearly visible and legible. 2) No open holes or breaks exist in surfaces of either the door or frame. 4) The door, frame, hinges, hardware, and noncombustible threshold are secured, aligned, and in working order with no visible signs of damage. 5) No parts are missing or broken.

What are the main parts of a fire door? ›

A fire door is not just the door leaf. It is a complete assembly comprising the frame, any glazing, intumescent fire and smoke seals and all the ironmongery that is used on the door, such as hinges, overhead door closers, latches and locks.

What NFPA code is fire rated doors? ›

NFPA 80: Standard for Fire Doors and Other Opening Protectives.

Can I cut a window into a fire door? ›

Any existing fire door can be modified or replaced in order to include a glass panel to allow light. However, this glass panel has to be heat-resistant glass which is mounted within a suitable enclosure.

How do you know if a door is fire rated? ›

There are several ways that a fire door can be identified. The first and most prominent way is to look at the edge of the door on the hinge side. All fire doors will have a metal identification tag (figure 1) . Sometimes this tag is painted over, but it will still be recognizable as an identification tag.

What are the 2 functions of the fire door? ›

The main functions of fire doors are: To allow egress from a space and to close once released. Protect escape routes from the effects of fire (smoke, gases and flames)

What are the two main types of fire doors? ›

There are steel fire-rated doors, glazed and wood ones. Steel fire doors are most versatile, and used in all different kinds of buildings.

What are 2 reasons why doors must be closed in a fire? ›

With the doors and windows closed, the fire won't have oxygen to burn and it's going to stay right there, giving other people in the house more time to get out and also helping protect your property.”

Do I need 30 minute or 60 minute fire doors? ›

For example currently the requirement is that a fire door in a compartment wall separating two buildings should provide sixty minutes (FD60) fire protection whereas a fire door affording access to an escape route should provide thirty minutes (FD30) fire protection.

What are the disadvantages of fire doors? ›

Wedging or propping open a fire door poses a serious risk to lives and property. When wedged open, in the event of an actual fire, smoke and flames will spread throughout the building at an increased rate. The fire door will be unable to do its job.

What are the different types of fire doors? ›

Fire-rated doors are made out of different materials. There are steel fire-rated doors, glazed and wood ones. Steel fire doors are most versatile, and used in all different kinds of buildings.


1. Fire door regulation animation
(Kier Group)
2. How to Check Fire Doors - The 5 Step Check
3. Changes to Fire Door Legislation: The Fire Safety (England) Regulations 2022
4. Fire Door Safety The importance of good specification and installation
5. Do All The Doors Need to be Fire Doors?
(DJMoore Loft Conversion Specialist)
6. The 5 Step fire door check that could mean the difference between life and death
(British Woodworking Federation)


Top Articles
Latest Posts
Article information

Author: Trent Wehner

Last Updated: 14/09/2023

Views: 5610

Rating: 4.6 / 5 (56 voted)

Reviews: 87% of readers found this page helpful

Author information

Name: Trent Wehner

Birthday: 1993-03-14

Address: 872 Kevin Squares, New Codyville, AK 01785-0416

Phone: +18698800304764

Job: Senior Farming Developer

Hobby: Paintball, Calligraphy, Hunting, Flying disc, Lapidary, Rafting, Inline skating

Introduction: My name is Trent Wehner, I am a talented, brainy, zealous, light, funny, gleaming, attractive person who loves writing and wants to share my knowledge and understanding with you.