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Fire Door Regulations

Discussion in 'Windows and Doors' started by JJ2345, 22 Jan 2009.

  1. JJ2345

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    I am just wondering what the actual regulations are for having locks on fire doors. I am living in a student house with 4 other students and for some unusual reason all the doors in the house are fire doors - well we assume they are as we have been told by the housing office and they have those automatic door closers. I am just wondering what the regulations are for having locks on the doors - I am living with 2 male housemates who I only met this year and have found they do not understand the art of knocking. Also, one has a tendency to forget to lock the front door when he goes out and I am living on the ground floor - first door you come to when you come in the house - therefore my room would be the first to be broken into if someone came in the house. I also get visits to my room in the early hours by drunk housemates which I'd like to prevent.
    I'd like to get a sliding bolt or at the very least a chain for the inside of the door - there's actually part of a chain lock on the door frame already but I think this may have been from a previous door - and a padlock unit for the outside of the door, much like I used to have in a student house last year. However, I have been told by the housing company that it is not regulation to put locks on fire doors. I am just wondering if there is actually a rule about this considering they are not really public fire doors but the choice of the landlord to put up in a house. Any hard evidence people could provide would also be useful in putting my case to the housing association about getting some locks put up.
    Thanks everyone
     
  2. HandyHands

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    You're entitled to your privacy. So long as the door security (on your door) allows exit without keys, then there shouldn't be an issue with fire safety. Suggest you go back to your landlord/agent, and ask them to show you the paperwork that states these doors cannot have locks on them.
     
  3. xerxes

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    It may be, as you suggest, that the room doors in your house are designed for, for example, half-hour fire resistance, in which case the door closers are there to make sure the doors self-close so that they can help prevent or slow the spread of a fire. As far as I know, the only requirement you need to observe is not to wedge them open and render them ineffective.

    However, I think the question of 'fire doors' (whether they are or not) is confusing the issue. It seems that you have two problems:

    1. You would like a privacy lock on the inside of your bedroom door. I agree with Handyhands: this seems a perfectly reasonable requirement and you should ask your landlord to fit one. In my daughter's most recent student house I simply fitted a bolt to the door without asking, guessing that it probably wouldn't bother anyone. If you can't get a privacy lock fitted, get a wedge of the kind sold by travel companies for hotel bedrooms in foreign parts where security isn't good. May be a bit of a nuisance to use, but it will give you peace of mind.

    2. You are worried about your housemate leaving the house unlocked. The solution is to try to persuade him to mend his ways; remind him that his stuff is at risk as well as yours. Locking your own room from the outside won't stop someone breaking into it if they've got access through an unlocked front door: it will probably make it more attractive to an intruder.

    Start making plans for next year and maybe some new friends so that you can move in with some more civilised people in September.
     
  4. JJ2345

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    That door wedge idea is very helpful actually thank you very much, tested it tonight with a rubber one I had to hold my door open when going in and out with plates, washing and such and it was far more effective than my wooden one at keeping the door closed
    Think this may be the quickest solution - at least it will stop people coming in my room when I am in bed!
     
  5. freddymercurystwin

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    What he said! ;)

    Has someone been caught Hitchhiking to Heaven on their Pocket Rocket? :D
     
  6. ^woody^

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    Don't confuse fire doors with "means of escape" doors.

    A fire door is just to stop the spread of fire, and can have locks. But it may be that a fire door is also the means of escape, in which case fitting locks should be considered careful, so as not to impede any escape routes.

    In houses of multiple occupation (HMO) there is no problem with fitting locks on any doors.

    But the main escape door (front door?) should have a lock which can be opened from the inside without a key. Doors to individual rooms can have a key operated lock from the inside, but it is recommended that the lock should be one which can be opened without a key from the inside.
     

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