This week, Abode are pledging our support to Fire Door Safety Week, keeping landlords and tenants alike informed on the subject of safety with fire doors, particularly those in HMO properties.
1. What is a House of Multiple Occupancy (HMO)?
It’s a house where there are multiple tenants, living as multiple separate households, but with shared facilities like toilet, bathroom or kitchen facilities. An HMO may include houses that are converted into flats, hostels, managed or sheltered accommodation, purpose built multi-storey buildings and flats above shops.
2. Who is responsible for fire doors and fire safety in an HMO?
• The landlord (or sometimes the managing agent) is responsible for fire doors and fire safety of the HMO
• They have legal responsibility under the Regulatory Reform Order to ensure fire safety measures are in place.
• The landlord must provide tenants with fire safety information and should carry out regular Fire Risk Assessments and inspection and maintenance on all fire safety measures.
3. Where will I find fire doors in an HMO?
All the doors that protect the means of escape route will be fire doors, fitted with door closers and cold smoke seals. Fire doors create a barrier from fire and toxic cold smoke and prevent it from travelling around a building, keeping the damage to a small area, allowing for evacuation and safe access for the emergency services.
4. What makes a fire door work?
✔ Door leaf, ✔ Frame/lining ✔ Intumescent seals, ✔ Smoke seals* ✔ Latch or Lock, ✔ Hinges ✔ Signage* ✔ Door closer*, ✔ Other ironmongery* ✔ Fire door glazing* ✔ Frame/wall sealing ✔ Threshold seals*, ✔ Installation ✔ Regular inspection & maintenance ✔ Air transfer grille (ATG)* *if required
All these components play a CRITICAL role in fire performance. 1 small change = 1 BIG impact on fire performance. Always check the fire door certificate for compatible specification.
5. How can I check my fire doors?
There are 5 basic checks that you can do on your fire doors, although they cannot replace a full inspection by a qualified specialist, they can highlight any immediate issues.
6. Who do I report issues to?
In the first instance, contact your landlord or managing agent and if you are still concerned, you should then contact your local council or fire and rescue services for advice.