Why are fire doors in flats so important?

Flats that open into communal areas are legally required to have front doors that can withstand fire and the spread of smoke for at least 30 minutes. If a fire breaks out in one flat, the flat entrance door (FED for short) will help to stop the fire and smoke from spreading into communal areas and corridors, allowing residents to escape the building safely if required.

If there is a fire in your flat, it is important that the FED closes automatically behind you as you escape, so that smoke and fire do not spread into the corridors (escape route). To enable this FEDs are fitted with self-closing devices so it’s vital that these doors are not wedged open.

It is important to note that a fire door will not work unless it is properly installed and well maintained.

What is L&Q responsible for?

We will:

  • make sure all FEDs and frames are installed to meet current legislative requirements
  • make sure all doors are installed by competent installers and to the manufacturer’s instructions
  • inspect a 10% sample of FEDs through the fire risk assessment process
  • inspect FEDs as part of estate inspections, reactive and /or programmed maintenance
  • maintain records of installed fire doors
  • respond to reports of damage

What am I responsible for?

You should inspect your front door regularly. If you answer yes to any of the following questions, you must report it to us as soon as possible:

  • is there any sign of damage to the door or the door frame?
  • is the self-closing device damaged or broken?  If working properly, the door should close fully into the frame without the need to push it
  • if the door has glass, is this broken or cracked? Is the beading around the glass damaged?
  • is the letter plate damaged or missing?
  • are the hinges loose, missing screws or damaged? (There should be at least three)
  • are the handles loose and / or not working properly?
  • are the seals around the door that stop the spread of smoke damaged, painted over, damaged or missing?
  • is the gap around the door edges more than 4mm (the tip of a Bic type ball point pen) and 8mm at the bottom (the fat end of the pen).  A £1 coin which is only 3mm thick will give you a sense of scale

What am I responsible for if I own or part own my flat?

  • You are responsible for any repairs/replacement of your FED in line with L&Q standards. You will be responsible for maintaining and carrying out any repairs on your fire doors but make sure you use a competent door installer
  • If you have been advised to replace your flat entrance door with a fire door, please contact your Neighbourhood Housing Lead who can provide you with information about the required specification of the replacement door and finding a competent person to fit it. This means your new door will meet L&Q and legislative standards.

Tenants must report any issues with their front door or communal fire door promptly via report-a-repair on 0300 456 9996 or to your Neighbourhood Housing Lead (formerly a Property Manager) or a Supported Housing Officer if you live in an L&Q supported living property.