Ensuring the safety of residents in blocks of flats is of paramount importance, supported by the Fire Safety Act 2021, Building Safety Act 2022, and the Fire Safety (England) Regulations 2022. The latter came into force on 23 January 2023 and property managers around the country have been working out the most effective way of inspecting common parts doors quarterly and front flat doors annually.
Successful completion of fire door inspections is a significant milestone, but it’s only part of the equation. To achieve comprehensive fire safety compliance, organising fire door remedial works is essential. In this blog, we’ll explore the crucial steps involved in this process, emphasising the significance of accredited fire door specialists and the implications for both common parts fire doors and entrance doors to flats.
Accredited Specialists for Remedial Works
One of the primary considerations when organising fire door remedial works is choosing suitably accredited specialists. Engaging unaccredited contractors can result in poor workmanship and uncertified works, potentially jeopardising the safety of residents and requiring the works to be redone. Accredited professionals possess the necessary expertise and knowledge to address fire door issues effectively, ensuring that the doors meet all safety standards
Assessing the Remediation vs. Replacement Need
Not all defective fire doors need replacement; some can be remediated to meet compliance standards. The individuals best equipped to make this determination are often carpenters who have received fire door training. These experts understand the intricate details of fire door construction and are capable of assessing whether remediation is feasible or if a complete replacement is necessary.
Speak to your contractor about spreading the remedials and their cost over several months, then organising a maintenance contract to inspect the doors – and maintain them proactively. Proactive maintenance can include adjustments to door closures, replacing leaking hinges, or refitting intumescent strips, all at pre-agreed prices, and can be done concurrently with your quarterly surveys.
Avoiding Identical Inspection Results
Quarterly inspections of common parts fire doors are undoubtedly crucial. However, repeatedly identifying the same issues without taking remedial action is counterproductive. To break this cycle, it’s essential to move forward swiftly with remedial works when required. Regular inspections should serve as a proactive measure, not as a mere formality.
Front Flat Doors
Inspected on a ‘best endeavours’ basis, the 2022 Regulations recognise the difficulties in gaining access to individual front doors. There are ‘proptech’ approaches available now to assist leaseholders (and tenants) to book their slot online, receive the report on their door, and the remedial costs to bring their door up to standard. This whole process – from inspection to remedial works completion – can be done without intervention from you, the property manager.
Fire Doors and the Golden Thread
The Golden Thread, as introduced in the Building Safety Act 2022, places fire doors at the forefront of building safety. This thread of information, documentation, and accountability traces the life cycle of a building, ensuring transparency and compliance. For buildings exceeding 18 meters in height or with seven or more storeys, fire doors play a pivotal role in maintaining building safety and regulatory adherence.