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How to Open Fire Doors Safely

30 August 2017

There are safety doors made to stop the spread of fire, smoke, and toxic gases in a building in case of a fire. However, when doors are held open, smoke and fire can swiftly spread in the building, and endanger lives. It is therefore mandatory for a building’s fire door to be self-closing to act as a barrier to fire. Luckily, you can get such sophisticated locksmith services locally.

Holding open fire doors legally

It is critical to ensure these doors preventing the spread of fire are always closed when the fire alarm sounds. According to the British Standard of fire protection measures, the system used to hold the door open should be CE marked in line with the Construction Products Regulations, and using the applicable European criterion; EN 1155.

The holders use magnetism to hold the doors which release in case of a fire. There are stand-alone door holders for doors that already have a closing system installed, and there are door retainers with a built-in hold open utility. Depending on the preferred level of security and installation, you can find a variety of these doors that react to various triggers when a fire breaks out. Here are some of the door holders you can find:

Hard wired door holders

Locksmiths all over the world manufacture hard-wired door holders that are best for new buildings since they have a direct link to the building’s fire detection system. Usually, power is connected to the door holders so that they can grip the doors in an open position. Once a fire is detected by the fire sensors, the circuit is cut releasing and closing the doors. However, a wiring or power supply fault can cause the doors to fail and remain open. You can get these door holders from your local locksmith, and they come in many sizes and shapes that will suit your needs.

Radio-controlled door holders

Radio-controlled door holders are triggered by radio waves from a central point that is linked to the apartment’s fire panel. Since most of the transmissions are wireless, minimal wiring is required. These holders are suitable for large, existing buildings and can offer high levels of security. A classic radio controller component can control up to 99 doors and within a 50-meter radius and you can add boosters that extend this distance by 50 meters per booster. Although you can procure such locksmith services efficiently, an approved and trained professional is required to do a site survey before the installation.

Sound activated door holders

Sound-activated door holders are triggered by the sound of the fire alarm. Some sensors can learn the sound of the building’s fire alarm and will only be activated when the alarm sounds. In this model wiring to a fire, a panel is not required hence saving on the cost. Devices like the Agrippa sound-triggered door retainer, record the sound of the building’s alarm during installation. The holder will only release the door if the particular alarm sounds. These retainers are powered by a battery, and you can find locksmiths in Cardiff that can install them for you. They do not need wiring and installing them will not affect a building’s structure.

Using door closers as hold open devices

These emergency doors have a standard door closer installed which dictates when the door opens or closes. Door holders can also be used to keep the door open to ease entry but still ensuring that the door will close in case of a fire.

Door closers can also act as door holders. A ‘free swing mode can be used to hold the door open at any angle. Unlike a fire door holder, a fire door closer reduces the heaviness of the doors which are usually very heavy; the door is held back against the wall, fully opened.

A door closer is also convenient in situations where the door has to be slightly open to reduce feelings of loneliness especially in care homes and residential properties or where the fire doors are tight to open. You can contact locksmiths in Cardiff to buy these door closers in sound-triggered, or radio-controlled versions.