From the 23rd of January 2023, new legislation for building owners in England will come into full force – and what better time to check that you’re prepared than Fire Door Safety Week?!

To help you, we have collated and paraphrased a couple of the salient points, beginning with this:

It [will be] a legal requirement for the responsible persons of all multi-occupancy residential buildings with storeys over 11m in height to have systems in place for the regular checking of fire doors.
This means you must undertake:

  • Quarterly checks of all fire doors (including self-closing devices) in the common parts
  • Annual checks – on a best endeavour basis – of all flat entrance doors (including self-closing devices) that lead onto a building’s common parts

This clearly highlights the requirement set out for the inspection of doors, together with expected timings.  However, although much work has been done to achieve the above, a sensible approach from building owners and managers is expected to continue to improve the safety of our built environment. Echoing the words of Dame Judith Hackett at the recent FPA Fire Conference 2022, she said:

“Work has been ‘impressive’ but changing the regulatory framework, which some are waiting for, is going to take time. The direction of travel is right, and progress on implementing is encouraging. But we’re not moving fast enough to change any of it. So, what are we waiting for? You need to examine why you are doing this. You should be doing this because it’s the right thing to do. Not because the rules and legislation make you do it.”

Choose the ‘Common-Sense’ Approach…

At Checkmate, we are seeing more and more businesses adopt a common-sense approach to their estates.  Many are putting new processes in place across all buildings - especially residential - irrespective of height.

This decision highlights the value placed on the safety of occupants, along with creating a singular, simplistic approach to all fire doors.

Advocating for this method, we are partnering with our customers to best guide them through these changes...and believe it or not, our advice is not all about doing “everything” with us. It is about supporting you – where can our services best compliment your own resources to meet with the new requirements?

The Checkmate Way

Fire doors form an essential part of an overall building’s fire strategy, with a common goal of protecting occupants’ lives.  As a result, we are in constant communication with our clients to help them get the best possible fire door inspection regimes.

For some, this can be entrusting Checkmate to undertake every fire door inspection, on a quarterly and annual basis, to ensure they have safe, functional assets.  Other clients are taking a hybrid approach, where Checkmate is supporting in-house teams by offering training to facilities and building managers. This enables them to undertake quarterly inspections, with support from a fully third-party accredited inspection bi-annually or annually. 

Whichever way you wish to tackle changing legislation, we invite you to share your concerns with us and see what solutions we can put in place.  And remember, the Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order (2005) has always stated that there is a responsibility to maintain the efficacy of fire doors.

Whilst a consistent approach to inspection is vital for all fire doors, this legislation is really just the “call to action”. Inspecting a fire door does not make it safer – it’s what you do with the findings that does.

Putting an ongoing maintenance regime in place, where buildings truly become safer, must always be the number one priority.

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