Take the weight out of
heavy fire doors
What is Adlington House?
Adlington House, Cheshire, is an apartment block designed for older people. The residents live in private flats, and continue to live independently, with the reassurance of care and support.
The building’s fire doors, designed to protect residents in case of a fire, became a burden that made access difficult. Arthur Peace, a resident at Adlington House shares his experiences.
“Residents were nearly trapped”
Arthur said: “My wife had great difficulty getting out with her quad walker as the fire door would close too quickly on her. I used to be able to hold the door open so she could get through but over 12 months ago I had a partial amputation to my left leg. It made it so much more difficult to help her.”
“A number of people who live here are disabled, and the fire doors made it even harder to move around. People were regularly saying how they nearly got trapped before they even got out the door. One of the residents was thrown across the corridor when she couldn’t get out in time because of the door closing quickly behind her. If she wasn’t good on her feet, the result could have been disastrous.”
As the residents were struggling, the maintenance team installed chains and hooks to hold doors open if required. Arthur said: “The chain kept the fire doors open when people were going in and out. But as soon as you released the chain the door would close again too quickly and the noise it made was considerable. There was just no control.”
“It was a huge problem and very upsetting. One night, my wife lost count of how many times the door slammed nearby. The noise just got too much for us.”
Lives made easier in 25 minutes
The residents were desperate for a solution which would allow them to live without fear of the doors closing on them.
Adlington’s maintenance man saw Freedor in a nearby apartment block and told Arthur it might be the answer to their troubles. Arthur said: “My wife and I discussed it and thought it looked absolutely ideal, so we decided to go ahead. We were the first people to have Freedor installed in the block.”
Arthur was impressed with how quickly Freedor was installed. “It only took 25 minutes. I told other residents about Freedor and, with the aid of another resident Dorothy Smith, we compiled a list of people who were interested. After they came to see how the product worked they requested their own, and in the following days, the apartments had 15 installed. Now a large percentage of apartments have Freedor.”
A “marvellous” product
The residents have seen many benefits to having Freedor installed. “Some people who have had Freedor installed have said ‘it’s marvellous’ and ‘it’s so lovely now we can open the doors easier’. We have not had any problems and we can get in and out easily. It makes such a difference. My wife is very pleased.”
“The other advantage with Freedor is that it complies with fire regulations. We feel comforted that the doors will close if there’s a fire. When the alarm tests every Wednesday morning, we can hear the mechanism operating. It makes us feel safe to know that the door will close if there is a fire.”
“It’s just easy, I’m opening the door now as we’re speaking. I’m just standing here with it open, and I can feel the breeze.”
“It only took 25 minutes. I told other residents about Freedor and, with the aid of another resident Dorothy Smith, we compiled a list of people who were interested. After they came to see how the product worked they requested their own, and in the following days, the apartments had 15 installed. Now a large percentage of apartments have Freedor.”