Regulation 10 of the Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005
From the 23rd of January 2023 The Fire Safety (England) Regulations 2022 will make it a legal requirement for the responsible persons of all multi-occupied residential buildings in England with storeys over 11 metres in height to:
Undertake quarterly checks of all fire doors (including self-closing devices) in the common parts; and, Undertake – on a best endeavour basis – annual checks of all flat entrance doors (including self-closing devices) that lead onto a building’s common parts.
Minimum requirements for inspections of fire doors
The minimum requirement is for the responsible person to undertake an inspection of the doors to identify any obvious damage or issues.
It should not be necessary to engage a specialist for these checks as a competent responsible person will be able to carry out these checks themselves.
A responsible person should consider:
If there has been any alterations or damage to a door’s glazing apertures or air transfer grille
If there are any gaps around the door frame and that seals and hinges are fitted correctly
That the door closer shuts the door
That the door closes correctly around the whole frame
That there is no visible damage (either deliberate or from wear and tear) to the door or door closer
If any issues are identified from these checks, it might be appropriate to undertake more detailed checks of doors (or the self-closing device) if any damage is identified from the initial inspection. This could include engaging a specialist.
The CCS R10 App offers a quick and cost-effective way to manage and comply with the new government Regulation 10 guidelines check list. A simple and easy to use app & online dashboard that can be used in-house by the responsible person
A new British Standard on managing fire safety information digitally – BS 8644-1:2022
Arising from a recommendation in the Hackitt Review, a new British Standard has now been published on how to manage fire safety information digitally across the life of a built asset. This blog post looks at the background to the standard and what it contains.
A single defining concept has led to the development of BS 8644-1:2022 Digital management of fire safety information – Part 1: Design, construction, handover, asset management and emergency response – Code of practice. It comes from Dame Judith Hackitt’s Independent Review of Building Regulations and Fire Safety: Final Report, which identified an egregious lack of accessible and relevant fire safety information for developing and existing assets across the UK built environment. Among her report’s recommendations was the need to create a “digital standard of record-keeping for the design, construction and during the occupation of new High-Risk Residential Buildings (HRRBs)”. In response, we now have BS 8644-1:2022.
The Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005
The Fire Safety Order – provides a framework for regulating fire safety in all non-domestic premises including workplaces and the parts of multi-occupied residential buildings used in common in England and Wales. In May 2018, Dame Judith Hackitt published the “Building a Safer Future: Independent Review of Building Regulations and Fire Safety” which concluded that, following the Grenfell Tower tragedy the previous year, there must be a whole-building approach to fire safety which required systemic change from design and build to occupation stages. The application of the Fire Safety Order, particularly in relation to the parts used in common in high rise multi occupied residential buildings, was considered by Dame Judith Hackitt during her Review.
In June 2019, the Home Office published a Call for Evidence on the Fire Safety Order inviting views on the application of the Order in England[footnote 1]. The intended objectives of the Call for Evidence were to update the evidence base in relation to how the Fire Safety Order is complied with and enforced and help with the identification and assessment of any changes that might be needed and how they might best be achieved. The overall aim was to use the evidence gathered to inform next steps to ensure high and proportionate standards of fire safety in all regulated premises.
The Call for Evidence, which complemented the “Building a Safer Future” consultation, launched simultaneously by the Ministry for Housing, Communities and Local Government, was the first step in a process to ensure that the Fire Safety Order continues to be fit for purpose as part of the government’s consideration of the wider building safety landscape. Both the Fire Safety Order Call for Evidence and “Building a Safer Future” consultation ran from 6 June – 31 July 2019 and were open to the public. Today we are publishing a high level summary of the responses received to the Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005: Call for Evidence.
BS999:2017 - Standard for fire safety in commercial buildings revised
BSI, the business standards company, has revised BS 9999:2017 Fire safety in the design, management and use of buildings – Code of practice. The revised standard is intended to provide good practice to safeguard the lives of building occupants and fire-fighters. BS 9999 provides recommendations and guidance on the provision of measures to control or mitigate the effects of fire, including business continuity and the environment.
The primary objective of the standard is to ensure that a reasonable standard of life safety can be achieved in the event of fire in the building. The revised standard is applicable to the design of new buildings, and to material alterations, extensions and material change of use of an existing building.
BS 9999 has been revised to align the standard with current good practice, new technology, and consistency with other fire recently revised safety standards, namely BS 9990 and BS 9991. The main changes in BS 9999 over the standard it replaces are:
An inclusion of a flowchart showing the sequential steps in the design process, to assist users in the application of the standard
Revised clause on fire safety management with references to PAS 7
Inclusion of watermist fire suppression systems
Expansion of the guidance on voice alarms
Expansion of fire growth rates table to provide more information
The revised standard also features updated recommendations for smoke and heat control; fire curtain barrier assemblies; mechanical ventilation and air-conditioning systems; shopping complexes; and ducting.
Users of this British Standard are likely to work within the design environment associated with a particular construction project governed by legislation, processes, constraints, programmes and deliverables that might vary dependent on premises type, location, client and regulatory requirements.
BS 9999 will be of use to architects; building managers; fire safety engineers; fire risk assessors; building control personnel; fire and rescue personnel; installers of fire and smoke alarms, sprinklers and smoke and heat control systems; and inspectorate for certification and installation schemes.
BS 9999 is not applicable to the following types of buildings, which are covered in BS 9991: dwellings (single-family dwelling houses, self-contained flats or maisonettes); and residential accommodation blocks (e.g. for students or hospital staff), with individual bedrooms and the provision of kitchen/sanitary facilities constructed within a fire compartment.
BS 8214:2016, Timber-based fire door assemblies — Code of practice
The 2016 code of practice has been changed to refer to timber fire door assemblies alone and no longer includes information for fire door assemblies based on other materials (e.g. steel). It continues to apply only to hinged or pivoted pedestrian door assemblies and does not refer to doorsets, which are now considered to fall within the scope of BS EN 16034.
The importance of third-party testing and certification to demonstrate product performance has been noted throughout the code of practice, and where prescriptive guidance has been given which might conflict with the evidence available, it has generally been removed. There is greater emphasis on the provision of supporting information by the manufacturer – for example, there is an expectation that full assembly instructions are made available – and a new appendix has been included which brings together all occasions in the standard when the manufacturer’s information is to be provided.
Any site operations (such as installation and maintenance) are recommended to be undertaken by competent persons and preferably someone who is endorsed by a third-party scheme covering that operation. Any references to the BS 5588 series of standards with regards to fire safety in the design, management and use of buildings have been updated to refer BS 9991 (for residential buildings) and BS 9999 (for all other buildings), while the references to fire safety engineering approaches defined in BS 7974 have been retained.
Fire Safety: Approved Document B – Page 135
C1 All fire doorsets should have the performance shown in Table C1, based on one of the following.
a. Fire resistance in terms of integrity, for a period of minutes, when tested to BS 476-22, e.g. FD 30. A suffix (S) is added for doorsets where restricted smoke leakage at ambient temperatures is needed.
b. As determined with reference to Commission Decision 2000/367/EC regarding the classification of the resistance to fire performance of construction products, construction works and parts thereof. All fire doorsets should be classified in accordance with BS EN 13501-2, tested to the relevant European method from the following.
i. BS EN 1634-1.
ii. BS EN 1634-2.
iii. BS EN 1634-3.
c. As determined with reference to European Parliament and Council Directive 95/16/EC (which applies to lifts that permanently serve buildings and constructions and specified safety components) on the approximation of laws of Member States relating to lifts (‘Lifts Directive’) implementing the Lifts Regulations 1997 (SI 1997/831) and calling upon the harmonised standard BS EN 81-58.
C2 The performance requirement is in terms of integrity (E) for a period of minutes. An additional classification of Sa is used for all doors where restricted smoke leakage at ambient temperatures is needed.
C3 The requirement is for test exposure from each side of the doorset separately. The exception is lift doors, which are tested from the landing side only.
C4 Any test evidence used to verify the fire resistance rating of a doorset or shutter should be checked to ensure both of the following.
a. It adequately demonstrates compliance.
b. It is applicable to the complete installed assembly. Small differences in detail may significantly affect the rating.
Until relevant harmonised product standards are published, for the purposes of meeting the Building Regulations, products tested in accordance with BS EN 1634-1 (with or without pre-fire test mechanical conditioning) that achieve the minimum performance in Table C1 will be deemed to satisfy the provisions.
C5 All fire doorsets, including to flat entrances and between a dwellinghouse and an integral garage, should be fitted with a self-closing device, except for all of the following.
a. Fire doorsets to cupboards.
b. Fire doorsets to service ducts normally locked shut.
c. Fire doorsets within flats and dwellinghouses.
C6 If a self-closing device would be considered to interfere with the normal approved use of the building, self-closing fire doors may be held open by one of the following.
a. A fusible link, but not if the doorset is in an opening provided as a means of escape unless it complies with paragraph
b. An automatic release mechanism activated by an automatic fire detection and alarm system.
c. A door closer delay device.
C7 Two fire doorsets may be fitted in the same opening if each door is capable of closing the opening, so the total fire resistance is the sum of their individual resistances. If the opening is provided as a means of escape, both fire doorsets should be self-closing. If one fire doorset is capable of being easily opened by hand and has a minimum of 30 minutes’ fire resistance, the other fire doorset should comply with both of the following.
a. Be fitted with an automatic self-closing device.
b. Be held open by a fusible link.
C8 Fire doorsets often do not provide any significant insulation. Unless providing both integrity and insulation in accordance with Appendix B, Table B3, a maximum of 25% of the length of a compartment wall should consist of door openings. Where it is practicable to maintain a clear space on both sides of the doorway, the above percentage may be greater.
C9 Rolling shutters should be capable of manual opening and closing for firefighting purposes (see Section 15). Rolling shutters across a means of escape should only be released by a heat sensor, such as a fusible link or electric heat detector, in the immediate vicinity of the door. Unless a shutter is also intended to partially descend as part of a boundary to a smoke reservoir, shutters across a means of escape should not be closed by smoke detectors or a fire alarm system.
C10 Unless shown to be satisfactory when tested as part of a fire doorset assembly, the essential components of any hinge on which a fire door is hung should be made entirely from materials that have a minimum melting point of 800°C.
C11 Except for doorsets listed in paragraph C12, all fire doorsets should be marked with one of the following fire safety signs, complying with BS 5499-5, as appropriate.
a. To be kept closed when not in use – mark ‘Fire door keep shut’.
b. To be kept locked when not in use – mark ‘Fire door keep locked shut’.
c. Held open by an automatic release mechanism or free swing device – mark ‘Automatic fire door keep clear’.
All fire doorsets should be marked on both sides, except fire doorsets to cupboards and service ducts, which should be marked on the outside.
C12 The following fire doorsets are not required to comply with paragraph C11.
a. Doors to and within flats and dwellinghouses.
b. Bedroom doors in ‘residential (other)’ (purpose group 2(b)) premises.
c. Lift entrance/landing doors.
C13 The performance of some doorsets set out in Table C1 is linked to the minimum periods of fire resistance for elements of structure given in Tables B3 and B4. Limitations on the use of uninsulated glazing in fire doorsets are given in Table B5.
C14 Recommendations for the specification, design, construction, installation and maintenance of fire doorsets constructed with non-metallic door leaves are given in BS 8214.
Guidance on timber fire resisting doorsets, in relation to the new European test standard, may be found in Timber Fire Resisting Doorsets: Maintaining Performance Under the New European Test Standard published by the Timber Research and Development Association (TRADA).
Guidance for metal doors is given in Code of Practice for Fire Resisting Metal Doorsets published by the Door and Shutter Manufacturers’ Association (DSMA).
C15 Hardware used on fire doors can significantly affect their performance in a fire. Notwithstanding the guidance in this approved document, guidance is available in Hardware for Fire and Escape Doors published by the Door and Hardware Federation (DHF) and Guild of Architectural Ironmongers (GAI).