Final exit fire doors

This thread has been locked so no more comments can be added.

Peter Kelly - MIFireE
Member - 3 posts
26 Jan 2012 9:09AM

Hi Stu, I think Alan has answered your query already but just to clear it up a little further, you are right to say that an 850mm final exit door allows you to have an occupancy of up to 120 people. However, this figure is for an 850 door which opens in the direction of travel ie outwards. If the door opens into the room in question, this figure is reduced to 60.

Alan Cox
Member - 266 posts
25 Jan 2012 12:27PM

Could you let me know which document that you are
quoting from and is this a situation that you have at present or just querying?

Regards Alan

stuart sneddon
Member - 2 posts
24 Jan 2012 4:50PM

Hi Alan & Tom, Thank you for your help. Basically what I want to understand apart from what you have helpfully pointed out already is , if you have 4 exits, you discount the largest exit leaving 3. You can calculate from the remaining 3 exits the capacity of people able to exit through them. As for 3 exits, discount the largest and you are left with 2 exits, of which you can do the same calculation. My confusion is when you have 2 exits, for example one exit at 850mm and one exit at 1050mm width. You discount the largest leaving 1 exit at 850mm. This 1 remaining exit has the capacity to allow the 120 people through within the specified time, but my confusion is where contradicting advise states if you have only 1 exit then a maximum of 60 persons can use the area and not 120 that the door size could allow.?? Probably as clear as mud, but thank you for your help.

Tom Welland
Member - 14 posts
24 Jan 2012 2:30PM

Stuart, Alan has given you a pointer but you also need to consider the compartmentation passive fire protection the building can offer. Also what precautions are in place ie sprinklers too. Basically you need a Fire Risk Assessment of said premises to bring all of the factors in place.

If you are selecting a risk assessor, ask to see a cv, references and details of their professional indemnity insurance which should be at least £1m.

Alan Cox
Member - 266 posts
24 Jan 2012 1:17PM

I think I understand your question - when you remove 1 exit from the calculation this is because in an emergency situation you may loose that exit due to a fire or other unforeseen situation - obviously, this may not happen, so in most circumstances you will be left with the 2 exits so there should not be a problem.
If however you did lose an exit the remaining exit should be capable of allowing the number of people in the room to evacuate the area within the specified time.
You also need to consider the way the doors open, do they lead to a place of ultimate safety, the type of occupancy, any changes in levels, obstructions, door fastenings etc.

I hope that helps but if not please get back to me.

Regards Alan

stuart sneddon
Member - 2 posts
24 Jan 2012 10:34AM

Hi, I was wondering if you could clear up some confusion regarding calculating exit capacity?
The CLG guide states that if you have only one exit then a maximum of 60 persons can use the area. For > 60 people to be able to use the area a minimum of 2 exit routes are required (once the widest exit has been excluded).I think that you do your calculation based on the doors remaining and calculate if the doors have the required exit capacity for the number of people! if not reduce capacity or add extra exits?. My question is if you have a room with only 2 exits(this allows more than 60 persons to use the area) but if you discount the largest exit then you are left with only 1 exit? ? my smallest door remaining is 850 mm wide which would based on the tables allow 120 people through based on 2.5 minutes evacuation time. But do I now have to restrict the number of people to 60? because onlt one exit is left or because it originally had 2 exits do I ignore the fact that only one remains and calculate based on the remaining door width??



Alan Cox
Member - 266 posts
17 Jan 2012 4:57PM

Hi Wayne,
Thanks for the update - you need a clear instruction from the owner/occupier stating if this is to be a fire resisting door and to what standard and this should be shown in the Fire Risk Assessment which the owner/occupier should have.
Unfortunately, I can't tell you if the existing door is a fire resisting door without seeing it but if it has fire resisting glazing, fire and smoke strips and is self closing it will almost certainly be a fire resisting door set which as I stated earlier you would normally find in this type of location. If you decide to replace a fire resting door with a non fire rated door you should make sure that you clarify this with the owner/occupier preferably in writing.
It is possible to maintain a the fire resistance of a double swing door but you need to be sure that the door and ironmongery that you use have been tested together for the required fire resistance which is normally 30 minutes and here again I would recommend that you get this in writing and give copies to the owner/occupier.
I hope that helps but if not please let me know.



Wayne dawson
Member - 2 posts
17 Jan 2012 1:02PM

sorry Alan, im a joiner by trade, i've been asked to fit some double spring hinges on an existing entrance door to a kitchen in a public house, as i've not worked in a public house before, does the kitchen door have to be a fire resisting door as it will swing both ways to allow the staff to take food out and in of the kitchen or can i use just use a normal standard door, as i say there is another exit out of the kitchen through the cellar, as you have said it will be difficult to maintain fire resistance when it swings both ways.
Hope this helps.


Alan Cox
Member - 266 posts
17 Jan 2012 11:56AM

I'm not sure that I understand your question - are you asking this a member of staff or as a member of the public? Is this a "fire resisting door" or one used for escape purposes or is it provided for both purposes?
Usually, doors from kitchens into public areas are "fire resisting" doors that are also sometimes used for escape purposes if there is no other way out but there can be a problem maintaining the fire resistance with some types of double spring hinges.
You may find the answer in the Fire Risk Assessment that should have been carried out but if not please could you provide further details.

Regards Alan

Wayne dawson
Member - 2 posts
17 Jan 2012 9:04AM

Hi, do i have to use a fire door when in a public house, the kitchen door into the main public area requires double spring hinges fitting, to allow the door to swing both ways, there is an exit route down the stairs into the cellar at the back of the kitchen.

Alan Cox
Member - 266 posts
14 Dec 2011 10:10AM


I refer to your comments about "this is not the forum to discuss the contents and implications of the Articles of the Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order." and would like to find out why you feel that people can be confused.

Fire safety is not an exact science and therefore there can be more than one solution to a problem and the guidance to Fire Risk Assessments makes this very point so why is this not the forum to discuss alternative approaches? I accept that there are people that give advice that is not accurate and where I see this I try to point them in the right direction and am always happy to provide answers both on and off line - in fact much of my advice is given off line because sometimes I need to see photographs to clarify a point. The advice is also given free and on the basis of the information provided.

If you don't agree with my advice you are at liberty to respond and give a different point of view and that is what this forum is all about and suggesting that we don't discuss these items and simply reiterating what the guidance says is not very helpful to those persons that have little knowledge in this area.
Consider your reply to Philip on the 1st Dec "If the exits provided were required by previous legislation, (such as the Fire Precautions Act 1971) then they must be maintained under the current legislation." this is clearly not true and was why I asked you on what basis you made that statement and you replied "for those wondering where our view is obtained, you need to understand the content and implication of the Articles of the Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order to fully appreciate what is required by Law. “ well I understand the implications and I still can’t see how you have arrived at this statement. Please feel free to point me in the right direction.


Alan Cox
Member - 266 posts
14 Dec 2011 9:29AM

The answer is very clear to this question and it is "any door which a person needs to use in the event of a fire should not be so locked or fastened that it cannot be immedialy and easily opened by a person on their way out".
If the Fire Risk Assessment (FRA) indicates that these Fire Exits are required then they should be available but if the document states that they are not required then they can be taken out of use and the signs removed. It may be that only one exit is required and if this is the case the FRA should cover this.
I hope this helps.



michael degge
Member - 1 post
14 Dec 2011 3:34AM

i work in a very large warehouse and today found two fire exit doors that are next to each other locked from inside with a key .we have many other fire exits my issue is they were still lit up as fire exits and signed as fire exits

Barry Lang
Member - 416 posts
6 Dec 2011 7:39PM


As usual I am late if anyone is considering blocking one leaf of a pair of fire doors just make sure it has not got a rebate.


Shaun McKeever
Member - 13 posts
6 Dec 2011 4:21PM

Hi Mike

I'm not a regular user of this forum and maybe I am wrong but I thought it was the place to ask questions about any issue that anyone has about health and safety. I am aware that the original post made 3 or so years ago has been thoroughly discussed and in some cases the discussion has gone off on a bit of a tangent but much of the discussion in this topic is centred around the Fire Safety Order. Surely then this is the place to try and clarify the implications and intent of the Order when giving an answer. If any of the readers are unsure then they pose a question and one the 'experts' would normally respond. Alan is a regular contributor to this forum and has many years experience in fire safety. I believe his answers to be precise, unambiguous particularly with reference to the FSO and not in anyway patronising. I believe that is the way it should be.

Mike Kane
Member - 119 posts
6 Dec 2011 11:59AM

Alan, Shaun,

As I noted in my last post on this subject, this is not the forum to discuss the contents and implications of the Articles of the Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order. It tends to confuse those whose experience and competency in the field of fire safety is limited

You have your own interpretation of the Regulations which does not necessarily concur with others in respect of ensuring the provision of a safe environment in accordance with the duties imposed upon the responsibe person and others

As such, you may give your advice and we will give ours

Best wishes

Mike Kane

Alan Cox
Member - 266 posts
6 Dec 2011 7:57AM

It is not correct to state that "If the exits provided were required by previous legislation, (such as the Fire Precautions Act 1971) then they must be maintained under the current legislation." because the conditions could have changed and this is new legislation based on risk assessment and not prescriptive guidance.

It is also not correct to say "It is not acceptable to suggest that a portion of a fire escape route can be obstructed and it would be folly to allow this to occur." for the same reasons. From the description that Philip has provided together with the pictures he has provided I have given my observations and sent him a copy of the relevant guidance and I think that has helped in the decision making process.

Obviously, if you only need a certain width of escape route to evacuate a given number of people then it is both a waste of valuable floor space and totally unneccesary to advise someone that they need to maintain twice the required area.
Also to suggest that they need to maintain this because of the previous legislation is quite clearly incorrect and is not something that is reflected in the current guidance.

David Ritchie
Member - 15 posts
5 Dec 2011 7:39PM

Mike, I agree with Shaun. We are now into the realms of risk assessment. In the case in question, because double doors are in place does not mean that they are necessary. The exit width was probably designed at the time the building was erected or perhaps altered and for the use at that time. If the current use and potential population is such that, for example, a single width door is sufficient, there should be no problem in adapting the width of the opening. Obviously, a change should be carefully considered and I am not suggesting that the answer to the particular case is "yes change the door".

We have probably all seen many cases of large width exits that may not be strictly necessary, but provided no-one wants it changed, it’s a case of leave well alone.

Shaun McKeever
Member - 13 posts
5 Dec 2011 4:49PM

Hi Mike I am more than familiar with the regs and I am pretty sure Alan is too, so on that basis my comments above still stand

Ben Jeffery
Member - 1 post
5 Dec 2011 3:24PM

If you do need to recommend fire doors, try buying from

Mike Kane
Member - 119 posts
5 Dec 2011 12:47PM

Hello all,

for those wondering where our view is obtained, you need to understand the content and implication of the Articles of the Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order to fully appreciate what is required by Law.

Unfortunately, this is not the forum to debate those Regulations as it is beyond the detailed knowledge of most of the contributors.

Best wishes

Mike Kane

Member - 4 posts
2 Dec 2011 6:22PM

Thanks for the email Alan

Shaun McKeever
Member - 13 posts
2 Dec 2011 4:22PM

Mike K. a double width exit may not always be necessary just because it is there. This will depend upon the numbers of occupants expected to use it as Alan has hinted at. So there are circumstances where a portion of an exit may be reduced in width.

I too would be interested in the basis of your statement Mike F.


Alan Cox
Member - 266 posts
2 Dec 2011 1:02PM

Hi Mike,
On what basis do you make that statement?



Mike Fullalove
Member - 11 posts
2 Dec 2011 10:21AM

Hi Phil / Alan,

It is also necessary to refer to Approved Doc B in relation to maximum occupancy of the area which dictates the fire openings required for the area.

If the opening was reduced to 900mm with there being the potential of 5 staff and 100 public the opening would not meet the requirement of the law. Also flammable waste material must not be situated at a final exit which if inspected by an inspector would be deemed as an offence.

This thread has been locked so no more comments can be added.

Forum disclaimer