Flat entrance doors are critical to the safety of the common parts in the event of a fire within a flat. The doors must be self-closing and afford an adequate degree of fire resistance.
Nearly all flats are fitted with fire doors or fire door sets many of which were installed when the flats were built and which we now have a programme to replace and upgrade. Fire doors are a critical safety feature, as they are designed to prevent a fire spreading throughout a building. If a flat door fails to work correctly, it will let smoke and flames move around the building and could prevent residents from escaping.
It is therefore important residents don’t:
- remove or tamper with the closing device (this ensures the door closes correctly to prevent fire and smoke escaping in an emergency)
- change their flat door without our consent
- damage their flat door, which includes:
- damaging the frame by forcing it open
- changing the lock, letterbox or hinges
- installing additional items to the door, such as extra locks, a viewer or door chain
- installing an external security gate
If your door is damaged, does not close on its own (i.e. is self-closing), or you have concerns over its condition, you should request a repair.
It is unlikely your flat has a fire door if:
- you access your flat directly from the street
- it is on the ground floor and you don’t walk through an enclosed building entrance area
- you live in a purpose-built block of flats and access your home from an open balcony walkway, and on leaving your home you could turn left or right to reach a staircase or exit door
Where there is a weekly tenancy (and in the case of a very small number of leases), front entrance doors are the responsibility of the Council.
In the case of most existing leasehold flats, the responsibility for maintenance of the flat entrance doors rests with the leaseholder and therefore the leaseholder has control of the premises (as defined by Article 5(3) of the FSO), with a duty to ensure the adequacy of the flat entrance doors. Therefore, the Council will use powers under the Housing Act to achieve compliance with the Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005 FSO in order to secure the safety of all residents.