Where are fire doors required in the UK?

Fire Doors are required in almost every building built in the UK according to the requirements of the relevant national fire safety regulations. There are minor differences in the technical guidance set out for buildings in England and Wales, Scotland, and again for Northern Ireland. These are referred to in a table on page 2 of the BWF Guidance which is available here.

The guidance requires that a building is divided into compartments, protecting escape routes, such as corridors and staircases.


Fire doors in domestic dwellings

In domestic dwellings above two levels, every door leading to the stairwell (at all levels) must be a fire door, where the door leads to a habitable room. (i.e not a bathroom or w/c).

They are also required in loft conversions; between the house and integral garage; and between the business and residential elements in a mixed-use building.


Fire doors in non-domestic buildings

For non-domestic buildings, guidance is divided into two sections based on horizontal and vertical escape routes.

Clear contrasting signage should be placed on both sides of all fire doors in non-domestic buildings.


How long should fire doors resist fire for?

In a compartment wall that separates buildings, the fire door must match the fire resistance period of the wall containing the door with a minimum period of 60 minutes.

In all other situations, a 30-minute fire door (FD30) is allowed.

Approved Document B identifies the use of 20-minute fire doors (FD20) in some circumstances. However, the BWF-CERTIFIRE Scheme recommends that any fire door should be designed to last a minimum of 30 minutes, so an FD20 is no longer manufactured by Scheme members. (See our fact card Explaining FD20 and FD30 Fire Doors).


Fire doors for new buildings

Any new building must of course adhere to the regulations set out in the Approved Documents.


Fire doors for existing buildings

Regulations refer to a “responsible person”, and each non-domestic building has one. In cases where the building already meets the current regulations, the responsible person must ensure that regular fire door inspections are carried out by qualified inspectors, and the maintenance in conducted in accordance with the regulations.

The responsible person may be:

  • Anyone responsible for business premises including employers, and even the self-employed.
  • Anyone responsible for common areas of flats and apartments.
  • Anyone responsible for providing accommodation to guests such as people running hotels and establishments.
  • Any contractors with control over the structure of a building.


Where can I find the full fire door safety regulations?

The principal regulation and guidance affecting fire doors is contained here in Approved Document B.


Need guidance on what type of fire door you need, where?

If you are in any way unclear about the requirements for your building, get in touch with the technical team at PAL and we will ensure you know exactly what you need.

Please note: PAL do not offer FD20 doorsets, our minimum resistance is 30 minutes (FD30), our range also includes smoke control perimeter and threshold seals ideally used in residential or escape routes where the control of the passage of smoke is critical.

Contact us: here.