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Fire door safety

Why is a fire door important?

A photo of both sides of a fire door after a fire

A fire door when closed and in good working order can stop the spread of fire and smoke within an area, allowing people valuable time to evacuate or remain safe in their home. 

The photograph here shows how important they are, this shows both sides of the same set of doors after a fire. The doors successfully held back the smoke and the flames, keeping occupants safe and giving the Fire Service time to put out the fire without substantial damage to the property. 

It's important that fire doors are not propped open, and that any damage is reported immediately. Doors that are locked open or damaged will not hold back a fire or smoke.

How to identify a fire door

A fire door within a communal area can be identified in many ways; however, the most common way is the blue sign fixed to the door. This will state it’s a fire door and if it needs to be kept shut or locked. 


Examples of fire door signs

  • All doors within a block of flats that lead from the common space into someone’s home must be a fire door, where a stay put policy is in effect. 
  • The minimum specification for a fire door is FD30S. This means that the door is fire and smoke resistant for up to a minimum of 30 minutes, allowing people to remain safe in their homes if the fire is in another part of the building. 
  • All fire doors should have a working self-closer. This ensures that the compartmentation is always maintained, stopping the spread of smoke and fire.
  • If a door cannot close into the frame under its own weight it may risk the lives of others within the building. 
  • New fire doors have a plug (top of the door) or a label on the top or side of the door. This gives information relating to its fire rating (the minimum length of time it will resist a fire for), if the door was fitted with smoke seals and if glazing was fitted when manufactured etc. Some doors do not have this information due to the label being removed.

If you have any questions relating to a door that you've seen within one of our blocks, email fire@redkitehousing.org.uk

Checking a fire door in five easy steps

As a landlord of several hundred purpose-built blocks of flats, it's impossible to check all doors every day. Therefore, it's important that people who visit, live or work within one of our blocks raise issues with faulty or damaged fire doors. This will help us keep everyone safe, and to maintain a ‘Stay Put’ policy.

The British Woodworking Federation has created a 5 Step Fire Door Check List, which outlines what you can look for if you have any concerns relating to a fire door.

If you find that the door does not appear to meet any of the 5 steps, please report it to fire@redkitehousing.org.uk. Not all doors that don't have a plug or label will be unsuitable. However, these doors will be fully inspected by a competent person, who will confirm if these are a nominal fire door. This means that where an existing fire door's fire separation performance cannot be proven, but it is assumed that the door will be of a suitable build to act as a fire door. 

We will ensure that doors are check by a competent person inline with current regulations and legislation. These checks will be in more detail, checking that not only does the door shut, but if the screws are correct, if the pads to the hinges are fitted and if any of the items fixed to the door are suitable. 

Ten top tips – fire doors in flats

We all know that fire doors are important, but do you know why, what to look for if a door is damaged, who is responsible for the doors and why a flat entrance door is so important in keeping people safe and keeping a fire from spreading? The British Woodworking Federation have created a 10 Top Tips poster, outlining all of these points. 

Stay fire safe

Whilst this page has been all about fire doors and their importance in helping with restricting the spread of  fire, there is more you can do to ensure that you are fire safe:

  • Check and test your smoke alarms (Are they still battery operated? If so, let us know and we'll upgrade them).
  • Do you know how you would evacuate your home in the event of a fire? Create a fire plan that gets you out of your home in less than two minutes and practice it.
  • If you're in a block or a scheme, do you know if you are expected to stay put or evacuate? This can be found on the fire signs around the blocks. 
  • Never leave food cooking unattended, especially deep fat fryers and other frying equipment.
  • Avoid using portable and fixed space heaters, as heating equipment is the second leading cause of house fire deaths.
  • Teach your children about fire safety. There's some great resources and videos on the LFB website.

Get in touch 

If you have any questions, queries or need to report a damaged or faulty fire door please contact us at fire@redkitehousing.org.uk


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Red Kite Community Housing, Windsor Court, Kingsmead Business Park, High Wycombe, HP11 1JU

Red Kite Community Housing is the trading name of Red Kite Community Housing Limited, a charitable registered society which operates for the benefit of the community under the Cooperative and Community Benefit Societies Act 2014, registered in England with the Financial Conduct Authority (registration number 31322R) and the Regulator of Social Housing (registration number 4682). VAT number 290 7410 06.