The Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005 ensures that all employees are safe in their place of work. However, thousands of businesses breach this legislation by wedging fire doors open.
Moving from one office to another with arms full of files or boxes can be cumbersome when you have to open a heavy fire door along the route. Wedging fire doors open is a breach of the legislation, it is dangerous and could lead to the employer being prosecuted, fined or even imprisoned. However, this illegal practice is common within offices and other places of work. Supermarket giant, Tesco, were prosecuted and fined £95,000 and ordered to pay costs of £24,321 due to fire doors being wedged open and failure to keep escape routes clear*.
The solution is a device called Dorgard that once fitted to your fire door, will hold the door open legally, allowing free access to all areas of your place of work, without compromising fire safety. It is a battery powered unit that ‘listens’ for the fire alarm. On hearing it, the Dorgard releases the fire door and allows it to close automatically.
“They [Dorgards] keep the doors open for us as we have patients walking through most of the day. For the elderly especially, Dorgard makes it easy so they don’t have to struggle through the doors. When we test the fire alarm they kick in straight away and automatically close so we know they’ll close if there is a fire. I would recommend Dorgard, I’m glad we have them.”
In the UK over 500,000 Dorgards have already been fitted and are helping to protect lives.
Safelincs has worked in conjunction with a local authority and the fire service to solve an issue that arose with a child suffering from severe emotional and behavioural problems.
The child resides with a foster family and everything in his bedroom has to be padded and any sharp objects are removed to prevent him from harming himself. The same degree of prevention could not be carried out in the rest of the house which meant that the child needed to be confined to his bedroom at night.
The concern with locking a child or a person with behavioural problems in their bedroom is that if a fire should break out the person would be trapped and unable to escape.
The solution was to fit a magnetic lock outside the child’s door. The strong electromagnet keeps the door closed but if a smoke alarm anywhere in the house is triggered the electricity fails and the magnet loses power, releasing the door which can then be opened. There is a switch next to the bedroom door for opening of the door as well as an override in the kitchen, so that the lock can be released manually at any point in time and from different parts of the building.
The bespoke solution was put together by Safelincs utilising existing products. The foster parents are now able to sleep in the knowledge the child cannot come to harm in his own room.
“We worked closely with the fire service and the Children’s Services at the local authority,” explained Stuart Baxter. “Our solution could easily be replicated for people in similar circumstances.”