In our last post we looked at the importance and layout of your existing stairwell and it’s compliance with the fire regulations set by local planning departments.
To summarise, the stairwell is the no. 1 escape route from the home in the very unfortunate circumstance of a fire breaking out.
If you convert your loft and plan to use it as added living space, you’re building inspector will insist you replace all standard doors in the stairwell for fire doors which confirm to British Standard BS 476 (BS 476 for fire resistance of building materials / elements).
Fire doors (if kept closed) will give you a very important 30 minute window to escape the building in the outbreak of a fire.
What’s more the actively help control the deadly smoke by incorporating an intumescent seal. Intumescent fire and smoke seals can either come as part of the door or can be fitted separately.
These special seals react when heated (during the fire) and swell to many times their original size to create a smoke and flame tight seal around the door.
Fire door prices and availability
Thankfully fire doors are big bulky like you find in public building and they also don’t those giant self closing mechanisms on top either.
They are readily available in the high street DIY store with prices ranging from a low £30 mark up to around the £200 mark. Both doors from this example comply with BS 476.