HMO Fire Safety Confusion
Hello, I am preparing a house for a HMO License. It is a 3 storey, 5-bed house. Emergency lighting and interlinked smoke and heat alarms have been installed and FD30 Fire Doors were fitted several years ago. I'm somewhat confused about a few other matters however.
- The Fire Doors have two fire door rated steel hinges not three. Is this acceptable? I have read on this site that "it is common to use three hinges although tests have shown that with some doors two hinges may be adequate for a 30-minute fire door". Please advise?
- There are no intumescent strips - are these required? I have read on this site that "initially I was told I needed the strips but when I called the carpenter in to fit the doors he told me that the law had changed. If strips, however, are needed, can these be fitted on the door frame? And if they do have to be fitted - do these have to be fitted to every single door in the house and not just bedroom doors?
- Each bedroom door has been fitted with secure sash locks which some of the tenants lock as they leave the house for work. I have just recently come across the notion of "thumb turn locks" - are these compulsory? Does this mean I have to remove the current locks? I'm very confused.
- Door closers - are these required? Again, on this website I have read that the law had changed and self closers were deemed dangerous. Appendix B of the Building Regs 2010 Fire Safety Approved Document B states that other than doors between a dwelling house and an integral garage fir doors need not be provided with self-closing devices. However, when dealing with an HMO are they in fact required? If so, can one use the concealed door closers which are fitted into the door fram rather than the usual ones above the door?
- The Building Regulations explain that "where the kitchen area is not separated from the stairway or circulation space by a door, there should be a compatible interlinked heat detector or heat alarm in the kitchen in addition to whatever smoke alarms are needed in the circulation space". I have indeed done this with my set which consist of a semi-open plan kitchen leading into (a) the dining room and (b) the hallway with the latter separated at one end with a 30-minute fire door (without strips) and the other end just being an open doorway as it were leading onto the hallway. The question is can I leave like this or do I have to either install an additional fire door or close it up with stud work/plasterboard so that technically the kitchen does not lead onto the hallway which leads onto the stairway which is an "escape route"?
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