The issue of fire door closers
Why are sheltered housing residents damaging fire door closers?
Visiting customers over the past few weeks, something that has come up in conversation is the problem of residents damaging or disabling fire door closers. This is not only a safety issue, but it also invalidates the insurance and can lead to big fines for non-compliance with fire regulations.
In sheltered housing, many front doors are fire doors and therefore fitted with door closers. This ensures the door will be closed in the event of a fire, and the spread of fire and smoke will be prevented. Residents will then have more time to evacuate safely or can remain in a fire safe compartment until the emergency services arrive.
This is particularly important in sheltered accommodation as elderly or disabled residents may have slower reaction times when the fire alarm sounds and can take longer to evacuate.
However, heavy self-closing fire doors can be problematic in the daily lives of residents.
Here are some of the ways that fire doors can affect the lives of residents:
● Some residents may be injured by fire doors closing too quickly on them, causing them to fall or get bruises.
● Residents in wheelchairs, on crutches or have temporary mobility issues, may find that they have trouble with access.
● Residents may feel isolated or lonely due to their door being constantly closed, especially if they are living alone.
● Due to the weight of fire doors, they often slam shut. This may be disruptive, and could even wake residents up during the night.
● Residents may want to open the doors and windows to allow fresh air to flow through their living space, especially if they struggle to go out. However, closed fire doors will limit the ventilation in the room.
● Fire doors can be very heavy, meaning some residents will need assistance getting through. This can reduce independence and they may even feel trapped in their own home if they can’t get through the doors alone.
These reasons could lead to sheltered housing residents wedging open their fire doors or damaging the automatic door closers. Though understandable, this is dangerous and against fire regulations. If a fire does break out, an open fire door will cause fire and smoke to spread rapidly, putting residents at risk.
Usually, to solve this problem unnecessary and expensive automatic door operators are installed for these residents to use. A much cheaper option is Freedor.
Free swing door closer solution
Freedor is a free-swing door closer that takes the weight and closing force out of fire doors. It has built-in technology to automatically close the door when the fire alarm sounds. It’s fully compliant with fire regulations and solves the problem of residents disabling door closers.
As Freedor has removed the weight and closing force of the fire door, all the stress of dealing with fire doors has been removed, and residents can come and go as they please.
Freedor is wireless, so can quickly and easily be fitted to existing sheltered housing units. A key advantage with the wireless systems is the lack of disruption. Freedor can be fitted with residents still in their flats, with minimal restorative works to walls and doors required.
Freedor also safely and legally holds fire doors open at any angle, so if residents wish to have their door open, they can.
It’s important that sheltered housing residents do not have their quality of life impeded by the need for fire safety. Fitting Freedor offers them the freedom to live their lives as they wish, without worry.
To find out more about Fireco’s range of fire safety products visit the Fireco website