Fire doors (Updating old glass front doors)

Camden Leaseholders’ Forum homepage Discussion Board Repairs + Building Issues Fire doors (Updating old glass front doors)

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  • #4175
    NW5 leaseholder

    Dear Fellow Leaseholder,

    I am writing to request some advice please. All flats on our estate have the older style timber front doors with vertical glass panels. These are the original from the early 80s. How can I check that these comply with current Fire Safety Regulations? I’m pretty sure they don’t! Many of them look in very ordinary condition and I think they need to be updated to improve the overall safety/protection of residents in the event of a fire.

    Who should I raised this with? Have any other estates had older style doors replaced in their area? Also, it is Camden’s responsibility to update these doors or it is the responsibility of leaseholders?

    Thank you.


    If the fire doors are in communal areas then it is Camden Council’s responsibility to ensure that they are adequate. Does your estate have a TRA? – (often ideas can be proposed by them to Camden Council to take forward)

    if there are no other suggestions (from more informed sources!) then this department within Camden Council should be able to help re. the appropriateness of the fire doors within your building. This page lists links to the relevant legislation and their contact details:

    NW5 leaseholder

    Thanks Paul,

    Much appreciate you’re ongoing contributions to the site- always helpful and informative.


    1) What is the definition of a communal area? We have a 1st floor balcony access flat. This is the penultimate door from a ‘dead end’. In the event of a fire those neighbours would have to pass our front door to escape. Does this count as communal or is it described differently?

    2) Our front door and frame, including a glass side panel need replacing – who is responsible for the costs? Given that the door is the ‘owner’s’ and the frame ‘Camden’s’, according to our Leaseholder agreement, how is the, presumed, breakdown of cost determined? I expect the current front door which is plain, painted and has no panels is from at least one generation before that described in the original query.

    3) The Fire Safety Contracts Manager is very helpful and responds quickly.

    Thank you.


    Your lease will set out what counts as a communal area (unfortunately I can’t visualise your particular circumstance, so can’t comment further). Landings outside your property to which others have access are very likely to be defined as communal.

    The Service Charge guide, page 16 has a grid defining what is and isn’t Camden’s responsilibity. From my experience and from looking around my locality, I would say front doors are leaseholders responsibility (including frame if necessary), but I’m no lawyer! Weirdly, internal door frames are Camden’s responsibility.


    Whether or not your front door needs to have any fire resistance will depend on a few factors:
    1. If the common parts are enclosed, you will almost certainly need some fire rating, both to protect your flat from fire outside and to protect others’ escape route from a fire in your flat.
    2. If the common parts are external, then you probably don’t need any fire rating to the front door unless the deck/balcony/whatever outside are someone’s only means of escape. If this is the case, then any windows facing onto the common parts would also need to be fire rated.
    If you call Camden building control you might be able to get some advice – these days they are often too busy to take calls unless one has paid an application fee, but you may get lucky.

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