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Do I need fire doors on every room if I have a loft conversion?

Discussion in 'Building Regulations and Planning Permission' started by robodelfy, 11 Dec 2020.

  1. robodelfy

    robodelfy

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    Hi
    I have a room in the roof loft conversion in a mid terraced house in Bristol. It's all been done to regs about 20 years ago.
    I am renovating now, and need to change all the internal doors. I have read that if I do this then I may need fire doors as the rules have changed. I'm a bit confused after reading various sites. Some say all rooms on the escape route must be fire doors, some say habitable rooms, which I guess means bedrooms? Or does it mean any rooms you spent time in

    On the escape route from the loft I have a toilet door, two bedrooms upstairs, then the kitchen and sitting room downstairs.

    Also currently I currently have a fire door in the hallway in front of the loft stairs which must have been teh regulation before. I'm guessing I still need this fire door in place even if I change all the other doors to fire doors?
    Finally, do these new fire doors need to be self closing?

    Thanks
     
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  3. ^woody^

    ^woody^

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    There is no obligation to improve, but there is to not make any worse. If the conversion conformed to the regulations at the time, you can replace like for like.

    However, 20 years ago probably would have needed all firedoors and self closers. Check the regulation date change, it was mid- early 2000s IIRC.

    If you do choose to improve to today's standards, it's FD20 doorsets (door, lining, intumescent strips and door furniture) to all habitable rooms, so that's not bathrooms, WCs or cupboards, but includes garages and kitchens. No self closers required.

    Any provision of the protected escape route includes suitable glazing.
     
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  4. robodelfy

    robodelfy

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    Thanks, I didnt realise I could replace like for like. The thing is the doors are falling apart and very low quality so they need replacing. I thought it would make sense to replace with fire doors for the small extra cost and added safety.

    But I didn't realise I had to possibly replace more than the door. Do you mean I have to replace the architrave for fire proof stuff, or even more than that, the actually frame around the door? That seems like a much bigger job than I'd imagined with just replacing the doors. I imagine the current wood work around the door won't be fd20, but is there any way to know?
     
  5. frutbunn

    frutbunn

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    At the time an acceptable solution for a loft conversion was for an escape window to the loft providing any existing doors (of any type) to habitable rooms/kitchen opening onto the stairs were fitted with self closers (usually removed after a BCO has completed the work), any glazing on the stairway to be changed to georgian wired and hard wired smoke detection provided on all landings/hall to all three floors, any new doors fitted to be FD20.
    This was not acceptable for new build, however as an alternative to the escape window the same standard of means of escape could be applied to a loft conversion as new build: protected staircase with self closing FD20 fire doors. As correctly stated self closers are now no longer required in most domestic situations (but see correction).
    Any alterations must not make the situation any worse, ie fitting similar doors is satisfactory, if you choose to upgrade to fire doors these are still better than the existing regardless of whether you fit new frames, intumescent strips etc.
    Correction needed an FD30S self closing door is required to garage
     
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  6. ^woody^

    ^woody^

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    Thanks dad
     
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  7. robodelfy

    robodelfy

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    Ok, so I can just replace all my doors to FD20/30 and not change all the lining etc. I need to replace the doors anyway. And I don't need self closers, which is good

    yes I have an escape window in the loft and the current doors have self closers on.
     
  8. ^woody^

    ^woody^

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    No you may not have to.

    The requirement is that the "doorset" achieves the standard not just the door. Most existing linings will already be suitable, but you need to check that they are, and if they are not replace them.

    All fire doors will have been certified as fitted within specific frames/linings and with specific furniture fitted to it. If you don't follow the manufacturers guidelines, then the installation wont be a certified or compliant installation - effectively not a fire door.
     
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  9. frutbunn

    frutbunn

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    Whatever fire door you install is an improvement, regardless of the frame, you are not making it any worse, B regs cannot be applied retrospectively. In any case it sounds like you are still in compliance of the guidance applicable at the time even down to the self closers still being in place.
     
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  11. Djangobanjo

    Djangobanjo

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    Depends on layout, stairs exit I think. Building control gave me the option of fire doors on downstairs hallway or smoke detectors everywhere, so we went with smoke detectors.
     
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  12. frutbunn

    frutbunn

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    That is a much more recent LABC policy that was introduced following the changes to the guidance in Part B that removed the option of using an escape window for 2nd floor loft conversions. This guidance also stipulates that the doors must be solid timber, well fitting and in good condition.
     
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  13. robodelfy

    robodelfy

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    Thanks everyone

    So as long as I replace like for like or improve then its ok. So for now I think I'll buy fire doors, as the difference in price for FD30 and normal doors isn't huge. Then if at some point in the future I needed to comply with current regs, maybe renting or if I get a dormer done on the loft etc. then I might have to replace the door linings/frames etc. but at least I'd have FD30 doors already
     
  14. robodelfy

    robodelfy

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    How is it possible to find out if the current door frames and linings are up to regulations?
     
  15. ^woody^

    ^woody^

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    You would need to reference the information from the proposed door manufacturer - that is what would normally be checked to make the doorset certified . It's not about any regulation size.

    Typical 32mm linings are normally OK, but the stops (normally 12mm) need to be confirmed thick enough or if they should be glued and screwed or one piece, and not just tacked on.
     
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  16. cdbe

    cdbe

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    Be aware that if you have rebated casings rather than linings with loose stops then thicker fire doors won't fit.
     
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  17. robodelfy

    robodelfy

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    Thanks, well currently the doors stops and frames have so many layers of paint on its hard to tell how they are attached, but they certainly feel like they are on very solidly! I think for now I'll just replace all the doors, and then if at some point it turns out I need to get new doorsets to comply for anything, I'd have to do that then
     
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