Advice for building owners on replacing flat entrance fire doors

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Advice for building owners on replacing flat entrance fire doors

As professional surveyors, we at Michael Parkes Surveyors, undertake regular continuing professional development (CPD) to ensure that we get the most up to date information out to you as our valued customers.

We recently received an advice note provided by the Ministry of Housing Communities and Local Government known as ADVICE NOTE 16 (MHCLG/BSP/Advice Note/16/310718)

The advice note is from the Government Building Safety Programme and contains advice for building owners on assurance and replacing of flat entrance fire doors. This note was developed by MHCLG’s Independent Expert Advisory Panel on building safety drawing on the advice of industry experts.

The note says that flat entrance fire doors should have test evidence demonstrating they meet the performance requirement in Building Regulations guidance for fire resistance and smoke control from both sides.

Flat owners should replace flat entrance door-sets if they suspect they do not meet the fire or smoke resistance performance in the Building Regulations guidance. Fire risk assessment processes should be used to determine how urgently such doors should be replaced.

The Expert Panel advise that while it should not be solely relied upon, third party certification by a UKAS accredited body can provide landlords and building owners greater assurance on the performance of the doors.

Following this guidance note, our property manager Emma Catterall communicated this to the various blocks of flats that we manage, ensuring each and every leaseholder knows this information and recommending on behalf of our respective client that leaseholders get test evidence about their front doors and replace if required.

Emma says she has already had some leaseholders contact her and she is really pleased to hear that leaseholders are taking this seriously and thank goodness they do.

Emma has been asked by individual leaseholders if Michael Parkes Surveyors can organise works on behalf of all the leaseholders and if they need to replace their front doors. We are having to advise that we are property managers and not a technically competent third party UKAS accredited body and thus cannot comment on the fire safety of the front doors.  We realise that ironmongery and things like post boxes will affect the fire rating, but individual leaseholders need to get their door checked and assessed. Only then will they know if it needs to be replaced or not.

Whilst we can see the logic of someone like the freeholder or management company co-ordinating this on behalf of all leaseholders, neither party have any jurisdiction over people’s own front doors. They belong to the leaseholder and we feel that the leaseholder needs to take responsibility for their own flat in this instance.

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