How often do you see examples like these? Wedging a fire door open is an extremely common occurrence in offices, industrial units, hospitals, schools and residential homes and yet most of us would know its illegal and potentially life threatening to prop a fire door open like that.
“Oh its OK, its just for 5 mins while I carry some stuff out to the car.” Or may be “We need to leave it open to cool the corridors down in the summer”
Whatever the reason, its not good enough! Fire doors are there for a reason – to protect you and the building, they prevent the rapid spread of fire and smoke, enabling people to escape. In fact, even for non-fire doors you still carry a risk by propping them open.
And there is just no reason to manually prop the door open when there are systems readily available to assist users to open and keep open doors when required BUT will automatically close in the event of the fire alarm being triggered.
As a legal requirement, any device used to hold the fire doors open must meet the requirements of BS7272: Part4 and BS5839: Part3. The release mechanism must operate within 20 seconds of the fire alarm sounding.
There are just some of the solutions available from Silver Group.
Acoustic Fire Door Retainer
If it’s a door that is generally to be kept closed but on occasion for longer periods of time it would then these would be the ideal solution – an example of which is the “Dorgard”. Mounted on the bottom of the door, just press a lever with your foot and a plunger is engaged to the floor holding the door open. The unit is battery operated so no additional wiring is required – ideal for retro-fitting. In the event of the fire alarm being sounded (either bell or siren) the Dorgard will “hear” the alarm and release the foot, thereby closing the door within 10 seconds.
Automatic Door Release Mechanism
For internal doors to be kept open during the normal day, then a simple electro magnet and metal plate can be fitted to the adjacent wall and door. The door is held open by the magnet which is wired directly to the fire alarm, when the alarm is activated, power to the magnet is interrupted and the fire door closes immediately. Although not very costly, these would be better installed during construction or refurbishment of the property.
Free Swing Overhead Door Closers
In other cases, the door would be kept closed and only opened to allow passage. However some fire doors can be quite heavy, in particular to residents in care homes, hospitals or hotels. Fortunately, in these cases we can supply Free Swing Overhead Door Closers. These integrate both the door closer and the door retainer as a combined unit. They can be installed as assisted door openers requiring less force to open or fully automatic powered and can remain open in any required position but in the event of the alarm activation will ensure the fire door closed. (Though of course would still be manually opened to aid the evacuation.)
And of course, let’s not forget the legal requirement that all fire doors must have the correct “Fire Door Keep Shut” signage on them. Just in case anyone still needs reminding that as a fire door it must not be manually kept open.