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Joining 2 flats and fire doors

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Di Rock
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Joining 2 flats and fire doors

Post by Di Rock » Fri Aug 02, 2019 9:14 am

Dear H&Sfor beginners,
I live in a 2nd floor flat (Flat 3) of a share of freehold Victorian conversion house. There is a ground floor flat (Flat 1), a first floor flat (Flat 2), mine (Flat 3) and the top one (Flat 4).
I am buying Flat 4, directly upstairs from ours. The two entrance doors are next to each other in a right angle, and Flat 4 door leads directly to the stairs, that are internal in the flat. Nobody else will go beyond the 1st floor apart from us. Please do refer to the attached document for clarity.
I want to open the stud wall shown in the attached document (shown as a discontinued red line) between Flat 3's corridor and Flat 4's landing. The council person I spoke to is telling me that I should submit a Building Notice with this:
1. That I have to install a FD60S fire door self-closing within the compartment wall between flats 3 and 4.
2. AND: "You should also note that the new proposed door should open into flat 3 and not flat 4, as it would restrict the already limited space as shown on the plans you have provided".
I did not get the impression that the person advising was a fire expert, and I wonder:
1. if this is correct? (that I need to install a fire door on the first place, being a private property, maybe other measures could be taken like alarms would suffice?)
2. I find the 2nd point particularly strange, as the Flat 4 entrance door will be permanently closed. It does not make sense to open the door towards a corridor, instead of towards a wall? What do you think?
3. If this was correct: could I install a fire door that opens to both sides?
Many thanks and regards
di
Attachments
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Plan for the fire door
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option 1.pdf
Plan for the fire door
(59.97 KiB) Downloaded 24 times

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hammer1
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Re: Joining 2 flats and fire doors

Post by hammer1 » Fri Aug 02, 2019 10:37 am

This is only an opinion but opening up the stud wall I assume you wanting to make your flats join as one and blank off the current door to flat 4?

I would be asking the door is boarded up to achieve 30 minutes FR using appropriate materials an advising competent person complete such works.

The newly found entrance hallway/stairs and landing would be measured (9m?) and that FD20 are installed to rooms leading off/ kitchen door should be FD20/ enhanced AFD coverage.

I would ask for their reasons and discuss as from first glance I cannot see why a FD60 would be advised, especially if the resident may struggle opening such a door/ plus the door would always be propped open I would of thought so why have it? This is why we no longer ask for self closers.

Be interested to see other peeps thoughts
The song goes...{I'm gonna walk down to electric avenue and I'm gonna say ' have you got PAT testing records for all that mate'}

stephen1974
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Re: Joining 2 flats and fire doors

Post by stephen1974 » Fri Aug 02, 2019 12:01 pm

Ask for an explanation.
I don't see why internal doors needs to be FD60 or have self closers. I'm assuiming none of the other internal doors have self closers, just the entrance to each flat.
Maybe there is something in building regs that causes this but seems strange.

The only other thing I can think off is they are looking at the stairs as an escape route and therefore should be compartmentalised. To me, you are making the stairs and internal part of your home, like you would have in any two storey home but perhaps there is something in building regs that effects things.

Di Rock
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Re: Joining 2 flats and fire doors

Post by Di Rock » Fri Aug 02, 2019 12:11 pm

Hi Hammer1 and Stephen1974,

Thanks so much for your responses, your time is really appreciated. We are buying the upstairs flat and we do not intend to carry out major works as we will probably sell it when our daughter grows up and leaves in some years' time. However, we really need to have a way to walk from one to the other easily, that does not involve not going out! (although nobody else will be there of course). Answering your questions:

1. We were not thinking of blanking off Flat 4 door, but we could actually do if this would facilitate things. I do not know if they said the door has to open towards flat 3 because they thought Flat 4 door and the new fire door could get tangled... but our idea is not using flat 4's door.

2. You are right, the idea was that the fire door would be propped open at least when we are int he property and not cooking etc, but I think this is what they do not want if they are asking for "self-closing", I guess they will want it to be always closed. What I am struggling with is that the door has to open towards Flat 3, leaving it, when opened, in the middle of a passing corridor, which would obstruct people coming from the sitting room if there was a fire.

3. None of the doors have self-closers, you are right.

4. It may be building regulations as you said, but the council person did not appear to me to be a fire expert, ad to ask somebody and then came back with this type of door and direction of opening.

Do you know if one can open a fire door to both sides?

Do you think if we blocked Flat 4 doors things would be different?

Thanks and regards

di

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