Garage fire-door regulations - L'escargot
My garage is integral with my bungalow. There is access from the garage to the bungalow via a fire resistant door, which is spring-loaded towards the closed position. No doubt this is safest, but nevertheless it can be annoying. Would I be contravening any regulations if I fitted it with a catch or whatever to temporarily hold it open while I am carrying things through the door?

L'escargot by name, but not by nature.
Garage fire-door regulations - Doc
I think the regulations only relate to the fire resistance of the door (1/2 or 1 hour usually)

However, it is good practice to ensure that the door is always closed; an open door offers no resistance to the spread of fire and smoke!
Garage fire-door regulations - kurnal
An Englishmans home is still his Castle. As long as your bungalow is just your private residence and not a place of work ( ie you don't employ anybody), no rooms are let( eg as a small B&B or as bedsits ) you are not breaking any laws if you wedge the door open. The door is provided because a garage is a place of high fire risk - the typical heat output from a car fire may be as high as 8 megawatts per square metre- and the presence of petrol adds to the hazard. The walls and ceiling of the garage should also be fire resisting- the prescribed standard is to a half hour fire resisting standard and there must be a 100mm step up from the garage to the house to provide protecion against spilled petrol. All this info can be found in the Building Regulations approved document B ISBN 1-851123-51-2.

So no - you are not breaking any rules but the door offers you important protection. The danger of providing a wedge is that you will forget to remove it after use. You do need that protection- especially at night.

Hope this helps and I am glad to be able for the first time to answer someones question!
Garage fire-door regulations - smokie
Kurnal - these regs don't apply to garages erected before the regs were introduced tho, do they...? Retrospectively, I mean. These are the regs for new properties...?
Garage fire-door regulations - pmh

An observant visitor from outer space to any office or factory might assume that strange laws of physics apply on planet earth, Why do door wedges have to be so large and cylindrical?

If you must wedge the self closing door open, why dont you use a floor standing fire extinguisher? This appears to be the most frequent application for them.


pmh (was peter)
Garage fire-door regulations - L'escargot
An observant visitor from outer space to any office.....

Thanks, pmh

The floor standing fire extinguisher soundsblike a good idea.

L\'escargot by name, but not by nature.
Garage fire-door regulations - cockle {P}
My late father, a fireman for 28 years, not firefighters in his day, always referred to a fire extinguisher as 'a British Standard Door Stop'.
Many a true word spoken in jest.....

Garage fire-door regulations - kurnal
You are right- but I cant remember when the regs were changed- certainly I can remember them being in place from the early 1960s. However they do only apply to new build or alterations and if the building inspector hasn't caught up with you in the first year following the construction then they cannot take enforcement action.

The bottom line though is that they do represent common sense and a minimum level of safety.
BTW I know of a 6 bay commercial garage with 4 storeys of flats above constructed in the 1920s that has no seperation whatsoever - despite my cajoling over many years- and these flats change hands for well over six figures. Rather them than me.
Garage fire-door regulations - Hugo {P}
If you removed the fire door, the Building Control Officer would not like that.

Simply fitting a latch to hold it open. I don't think so. After all, you're not preventing it from ever being closed are you?

Garage fire-door regulations - L'escargot
An Englishmans home is still his Castle.....

Thanks, kurnal

You put it in a nutshell !!

The property satisfies all the requirements

L\'escargot by name, but not by nature.
Garage fire-door regulations - hootie
I'm going to sound such a bore now - BUT - you might see somewhere else, that we built our own house. As it was three storey this invoked a lot of involvement with fire regulations.

Yes, the reg's are a pain (especially pergo self closing hinges on ALL your habitable rooms, which exclude bathrooms, so theoretically you could pass out through smoke inhalation and fry in the bath tub) yes, we are moving increasingly towards a nanny state etc etc BUT (again) I can't tell you how much I would hate to endanger my family through the risk of fire.

The regulations are for your safety!

A word of caution - in the (unlikely) event of a fire, if it could be proven by an inspector that you had left the door propped open, then this would invalidate your household insurance.

Just another way of looking at it.

"Appearances can be Deceptive"
Garage fire-door regulations - kurnal
I wouldnt seek to argue with anyone over these matters- nobody is wrong. But I would suggest that:

1- The Local Authority building inspector gets all his power from the Building Act 1984 as amended, and would have no powers to act if the door was removed. Their enforcement powers end on issue of a completion certificate for the building - or a year after any unauthorised work is completed. The only other legislation is designed to give them powers to act against buildings that are delapidated and a danger to the Public- again different circumstances.

2- As far as the response of the Insurance company is concerned I am sure you are right. It is immediately clear to a fire Investigator if a door is open, removed or partially closed at the time of a fire. If the consequences of the fire were serious the fire investigation reports would show this failure usually backed up with photographs. The Insurance Company is entitled to purchase a copy of any such report from the Fire Brigade and they often do. However surprisingly I have never heard of payouts being reduced as a result of this- I suppose it would be nigh on impossible to show who was responsible for removing the door- the present or a previous owner? Or who left it open. But it can only be a matter of time before they try it on.
Garage fire-door regulations - kurnal
Just another quick point Hootie- You could have suggested to the building Inspector that you would provide the equivalent level of safety in another way- they may have accepted a full coverage fire alarm system instead of fire doors everywhere and if you had considered installing a domestic sprinkler system they would certainly have offered a relaxation.
Garage fire-door regulations - hootie
Sorry, Kurnal you misunderstood me - we weren't required to have fire doors on all doors - only the door between the house and the garage and the door which lead from the landing to the third floor. The other doors merely had to have the self closing hinges I referred to. There were other reg's like insulation under the top storey floor and between the walls of the room on the top floor, size of windows etc. which covered the other safety features too.

Although it was "a pain" I would absolutely hate to meet a sticky end through fire, it's one of my particular horrors I'm afraid, and so the rules and regulations are never far from my thoughts.

"Appearances can be Deceptive"
Garage fire-door regulations - Dynamic Dave
this thread will be moved across to Discussion later today.
Garage fire-door regulations - Rob C
As a suggestion, you could remove the Perco, and install an over head closer which would pull the door slowly, with a final burst of speed to close it, unlike the Perco, which just accelerates continuously, and slams the door.

Might make it a bit easier to go back and forth, whilst still maintaining fire integrity.
Garage fire-door regulations - Rob C
Although you never actually said you had a Perco/Pergo, did you?

Value my car