Self-Closing Fire Doors
Q: What liability do we have for instituting fire doors with self-closers and thumb locks as well as smoke alarms in individual flats where all owners are basically owners of the freehold? Our fire risk assessment has asked that those doors should be put in, along with emergency lighting. I have advised people of the requirement. But if they don’t comply, how liable am I? Is it sufficient that I have advised them of the requirement?
Also, our insurers advised we should meet requirements of the fire assessment, but I have no control over individuals’ ability to put in these fire doors, thumb locks, self-closures as specified
FPRA Committee Member Colin Cohen replies:
I am no health and safety expert, but I do come across this a lot now, whereby the freehold company is not liable for the front doors of flats, but the block fire risk assessment has recommended that the doors be changed or upgraded etc..
In my opinion, the company would have to take a view they either consider a collective upgrade of all the front doors if the funds held for serve charges would allow for this and everyone agrees; alternatively advise every flat owner it is their responsibility to comply within a given time, otherwise the freeholder would have to take legal action and enforce they comply.
[Submitted December 2019]