Wedged or propped open fire doors are a common problem. They can be heavy, restrict access through buildings, and prevent a free flow of air, which is why people want to keep fire doors open. However, fire doors have a very important purpose — preventing the spread of fire — so wedging one open is dangerous and illegal. Fire door retainers safely hold fire doors open and automatically close them in the event of a fire alarm, ensuring compliance with fire regulations. But how do you decide which door retainer suits your needs best?
Dorgard fire door retainer
Dorgard units are placed at the bottom of fire doors to legally and safely keep fire doors open using a plunger. Once an alarm is activated, the plunger automatically releases, closing the doors. This is a wireless system and therefore requires batteries.
Ideal for: Retrofit situations as the wireless technology minimises disruption during installation. Dorgard units can also be used on heavier fire doors.
Magnetic fire door retainers
This type of system has a wall-mounted electro-magnetic plate that links to a metal disc on the back of the door to hold it open. Once an alarm activates, the fire doors are automatically released. There is a manual release button if required.
Ideal for: As this type of system is usually hardwired into a building, it is more cost-effective to install in new-build situations where other construction work is already taking place.
Free-swing door closer
Free swing overhead door closers, such as Freedor, safely hold fire doors open and automatically close them in the event of a fire alarm, ensuring compliance with fire regulations. They have the additional benefit of removing weight from the fire door and can be held open at any angle. These are installed at the top of the door.
Ideal for: Care homes, hospitals, hotels, or any building where people may find heavy fire doors difficult.
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Every time a fire door is wedged open, a fairy dies. A closed fire door policy doesn’t work as people wedge doors open. This means they are useless in a fire.
Closed fire doors save lives. They prevent fire spreading through a building, which gives people more time to evacuate. But closed fire doors also hugely hinder access throughout a building.