Agrippa holding the door open for Linkage Community Trust

Linkage Community Trust is a registered charity supporting people with learning difficulties and disabilities. The aim of the charity’s Care Service is to support and enable residents to live as independently as possible. For some residents moving around the home can be difficult as heavy fire doors pose a barrier to some disabled residents, restricting where they can go unaided, which in turn reduces their independence. ‘Some of our residents have physical limitations which makes opening the fire doors without assistance really difficult and in some cases, impossible’ said Sophie Tuplin from Linkage Community Trust . This can lead to reduced self-esteeem of residents who would otherwise be independently mobile. Linkage Community Trust needed to find a way to keep the fire doors open, whilst ensuring safety of residents in the event of a fire and also ensuring that they adhere to legislation. Safelincs have worked with Linkage Community Trust to overcome this problem, with Geofire Agrippa Acoustic Fire Door Holders being installed in some of their properties. Fitted to either the top or the bottom of the fire door Agrippa Acoustic Fire Door Holders will hold your fire door open; on sounding of the fire alarm the Agrippa will be activated, releasing the fire door and enabling it to close maintaining safety and preventing the spread of fire.

Matthew, from Linkage Community Trust, receiving some of the Geofire Agrippa Door Holders

Sophie Tuplin commented ‘The Agrippa Door Holders are great, they help us balance our responsibilities to keep people safe with our mission to enable individuals to become more confident and live more independently’. Installing the fire door holders has enabled residents to be able to move freely within the home, whilst ensuring that legal obligations, under the Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005, for fire safety of the residents and staff are met.

 

 

Geofire Agrippa Door Holder
  • A Legal fire door holding solution
  • Acoustically triggered by the specific sound of your fire alarm
  • Wire-free magnetic door holder device
  • Certified to BS EN 1155:1997
  • FREE extended 5 year warranty
  • FREE shipping
Angie Dewick-Eisele

Angie Dewick-Eisele

H&S, HR & Marketing Manager

Angie has been our marketing manager since joining in 2002. She also has a keen interest in H&S issues.

Finding a solution to cumbersome heavy fire doors

Dorgard-Main-PictureBusinesses, schools, hospitals and restaurants all have something in common – how to meet the needs of customers and staff while staying compliant with fire safety regulations. Cumbersome heavy fire doors fitted with a door closer ensure the safety of occupants and prevent the spread of fire but they cause issues for those moving from one area to another, especially when carrying heavy objects or for someone with impaired mobility.

Portland Youth Christian Outreach (PYCO), a small charitable organisation working with young people on the Isle of Portland, Dorset carried out their fire risk assessment and found that staff were wedging fire doors open to enable easy movement for staff and users and to enable staff to monitor activity in rooms. These wedges rendered the fire doors inoperative and could have led to serious prosecution for breach of fire safety related laws. Operations Manager at the centre, Zach  Williams said “Fire doors were often left wedged open as this was the only way that users could freely move around the centre and that staff could easily monitor what was happening in other rooms.”

The two main aims for the centre were to adhere to fire safety regulations and to maintain the free movement and monitoring possibility within the centre. It was identified that the Dorgard, a wireless fire door holder that is fitted to the bottom of your fire door would achieve these requirements. The Dorgard permanently holds fire doors open in the desired position. It then listens for the sound of a fire alarm and, on hearing it, lifts the plunger and allows the door closer to close the fire door. This prevents the spread of fire and smoke and gives protection to people within the building. Zach commented that “Fire doors make a real difference in protecting property, so these devices have made a great improvement to the safety of our building and all users. It allows both staff and volunteers to move around the centre with ease, without placing anyone, or the property at risk.”

Dorgard  is easily installed within 5 five minutes and, as it is battery operated, can be installed by almost anyone. This cost effective device helps with the flow of air within a building too, especially in the hot summer months.

Please view the Dorgard for more information or call 0800 612 6537. Watch this video to see how easy Dorgard is to install.

Dorgard retainers hold open fire doors safely in educational premises

University of London College HallWithin schools, colleges and other education buildings there are always a lot of people moving around, especially at the start of lectures or break times. Often they are laden down with books and files and opening fire doors along the route, from one part of the building to another, can be a big problem. The issue of opening heavy fire doors also impacts on the independent mobility of disabled students.

In situations like this, some people will find a ‘solution’, like wedging a fire door open or using an extinguisher to hold the door open. They may not be aware that this action puts them and everyone else in the building in danger and that it is in fact illegal. Buildings like schools and colleges are compartmentalised to prevent the spread of fire through the building, gaining valuable time to escape. Fire doors are part of this compartmentalisation system and by wedging them open they are rendered inactive and will not be able to offer the protection they were designed for. Wedging fire doors open is therefore a serious a breach of fire safety legislation and could lead to the head of the college, school or university being prosecuted, fined or even imprisoned.

The Dorgard fire door retainer offers here a safe and legal solution. It is a fire door holder that once fitted to the door, will hold it open in any position chosen. It then ‘listens’ for the fire alarm and on hearing it will release the door and allows it to close automatically. It offers free access without compromising fire safety. The installation of a Dorgard takes less than 10 minutes and can be carried out by any DIY person.

Dorgard can offer you a cost effective solution to legally hold your fire doors open too. University of London’s College Hall have already made the switch and are enjoying greater access throughout their building with the peace of mind that safety is still paramount and that their fire doors will close in the event of a fire.

“The Dorgard offers a low energy automatic door solution that proved to be the most cost effective way of improving access and independence for wheelchair users.” University of London’s College Hall

Fire door closers – how to improve ease of movement within care homes

Freedor Fire Door CloserFor those confined to care homes moving freely within the immediate environment is essential for their well-being and self-esteem. However, fire regulations require that fire doors, such as they are installed in gangways and often in bedrooms, are kept closed to prevent the spread of smoke and flames in the event of a fire. The hydraulic door closers, usually installed for this purpose, make the fire doors difficult to open for the elderly and those who require walking aids. Installing a normal fire door retainer to hold the fire door open against the pressure of a traditional door closer does not fully address this problem, as it still requires the fire door to be opened in the first place before it can be retained in the open position.
This is why Free-Swing fire door closers are required. They allow the user to open and close the fire door like any other door – without any resistance. The door can also be left open in any desired position. If the fire alarm goes off the fire door will, of course, close and the occupants of the building are protected against the spread of fire and smoke.

Some of Safelincs’ free-swing door closers require wiring into the fire alarm panel to ensure the door shutting is closing the door when a fire is detected. Our Freedor free-swing door closer, on the other hand, does not require any wiring at all. Similar to the well known Dorgard manufactured by the same UK company, the Freedor ‘listens’ for the sound of an alarm system and will close the fire door, as soon as the acoustic signal is received. The Freedor unit is battery powered and is also suitable for retro-fitting on existing fire doors.

Harry Dewick-Eisele, Managing Director, Safelincs explains, “The Freedor overcomes the need to install a door closer as well as a retainer. It is fitted in the same position as a traditional fire door closer and deals with the entire issue of the safe opening and closing of fire doors. It is a huge improvement for care homes but also children centres and other public spaces where traditional door closers can lead to difficulties for users.”

If you require any further information call 0800 612 6537 where there are experts on hand to offer advice.

Keeping a fire door open legally….and safely

Dorgard Fire Door RetainersFire safety company Safelincs operates a website www.firescout.co.uk that invites visitors to submit photographs of any potentially dangerous situations they have spotted. All entries are anonymous, the idea being to educate rather than ‘name and shame’. Safelincs then offers advice as to whether the situation could incur a fine and how much, if anything, it would cost to remedy the situation.
A common misdemeanour is to prop open a fire door, sometimes with a fire extinguisher – a double transgression!

Fire doors are an essential part of the fabric of a building and have two important functions in the event of a fire; when closed they form a barrier to stop the spread of fire or smoke and when opened they provide a means of escape. They are designed to be kept closed except when people are passing through them. In some businesses, and in places such as care homes or schools, closed fire doors can act as a hindrance to general mobility and moving around to perform essential tasks. However, there is a way in which the situation can be overcome without compromising safety or breaking the law.

Safelincs provide a number of products manufactured by specialist manufacturer Fireco which allow fire doors to be kept open legally and safely. Each of these products works by responding to the sound (anything above 65 decibels) of smoke or fire alarms; the mechanism holding the door open is released and the door closer on the fire door closes it to prevent the spread of fire and smoke around the building.

Dorgard, the first innovative product Fireco, is a wireless appliance that can be screwed the base of a door in less than five minutes. The standalone device will then hold the door open at any angle allowing freedom of access throughout the building. Utilising acoustic technology, Dorgard ‘listens’ for a continuous alarm of 65dBA or higher which, once heard, will automatically release the door. Dorgard is available in a variety of colours and finishes which will blend in with any décor.

Fireco also produces System X which extends the versatility of Dorgard by linking several different devices and by overcoming the issue of noisy workplaces. A transmitter is wirelessly installed next to a fire alarm sounder or hardwired into the fire alarm system. In the event of a fire, System X will wirelessly transmit simultaneously to multiple Dorgard X or Deafgard X units within a 100 metre range. Safelincs will visit an organisation’s premises and undertake a free survey and make recommendations for siting an effective system.

The latest product from Fireco is Freedor, a unique wire free solution that allows a door to free-swing just like a normal door and to be held open at any angle – automatically closing the door in a controlled manner when a fire alarm sounds. It utilises the same technology that is employed in Dorgard but is fixed unobtrusively to the top of the door. Using Freedor allows freedom of access throughout the building for disabled people and people less able to operate the doors, and assists businesses complying with the Equality Act 2010. The purchase price includes the installation through a professional installer.

All these products have applications in a wide variety of environments and allow easy movement through a building without compromising safety or contravening fire safety regulations.
To find out more about the Fireco range go to www.safelincs.co.uk and follow the link to Fire Door and Exit Equipment or call 0800 612 6537 where there are friendly experts on hand to offer advice.

One stop fire safety shop

When Stanbridge Associates, a Lincoln-based firm of accountants, specialising in the medical profession, moved to newly renovated premises in the city they needed to be sure that the premises were fulfilling all fire safety regulations.

The building, a Victorian office conversion, was visited by a fire risk assessor from Safelincs who carried out the full fire risk assessment. Safelincs also surveyed the fire extinguisher arrangements, carried out a fire alarm system test and made recommendations for improvements to suit the way the building would be used.

To allow for better wheelchair access, ventilation and all-round convenience without jeopardising safety or breaking the law, fire door retainers were fitted. These allow fire doors to be kept open safely, while automatically closing them in the event of a fire.

The existing fire extinguishers were replaced with P50 service free extinguishers which will save Stanbridge Associates the annual cost of servicing since they have been designed so that a simple visual inspection once a year is all that is required. This can be easily carried out by one of Stanbridge’s employees and the Safelincs engineer trained staff in this simple process at the time of installation. P50 extinguishers also do not require a refill after five years and can be refurbished after ten years to last a further ten years.

Safelincs put in place the necessary fire safety signs and, as a final touch, handed over a free emergency lighting test key, which means that Stanbridge will be able to test the emergency lighting system themselves in future without needing to call out an external engineer.

“Safelincs provided us with a ‘one stop shop’ to enable us to meet all our fire safety requirements when we moved into our new offices,” said Catherine Cullen, Account Manager, Stanbridge Associates. “Their professional, friendly approach not only completed the work on time but also saved us money.”

Difference between fire doors and fire exits

The issue of fire doors and fire exits can be confusing for non-professionals in fire safety. If you have to replace some of the doors in your premises with fire doors or you have to improve egress from a building with panic bars on fire exits, it will be helpful to have a clear understanding of the differences between fire doors and fire exits.

A fire door is an internal door, whose purpose is to i) create/protect an escape route through a building in a fire situation; and ii) compartmentalise a fire, to stop flames and smoke spreading from one section of the building to another. Examples of locations of fire doors include stairwells, where they protect the stairs from corridors opening on to them; kitchens/catering facilities, storage areas that house combustible materials such as paper and card and boiler rooms.

Fire doors have to be kept close at all times unless certified fire door retainers are installed (not just a door wedge!) which hold the fire door open until a fire alarm is set off.

Certified fire doors of solid timber construction are designed to resist the smoke and flames of a fire for a minimum specified length of time, typically 30 minutes (FD30), when closed. Because a fire door is not simply a block of wood in a frame but an assembly of fire resistant parts – door leaf/leaves, doorframe, hardware (e.g. locks, latches, hinges, etc), any glazing, smoke/intumescent seals and an automatic closing device – it is also known as a fire doorset.

A fire exit door on the other hand, is an external door; it can be left open and does not have to be fire resistant. The purpose of the fire exit door is to allow a quick and un-hindered escape through a well lit door into a place of safety while stopping un-authorised access from the outside. Fire exits doors should open easily and, wherever possible, in the direction of traffic flow. If it is a security door that is usually kept locked but will be used by members of the public in an emergency situation, it will have to be fitted with a panic or push bar. By enabling the swift passage of people to a place of safety, the final exit door will have performed its function; it does not have to be a fire door to accomplish this. Fire exit doors can also be opened from the outside if for example a panic bar with a keylock override is fitted. Fire exits must never be obstructed and have to be clearly marked and well lit. Best practice dictates that fire exit signs are fitted above fire exits.

Why fire doors are so important

A fire door is one of the most important fire safety products on your premises. It will prevent the fire or smoke from spreading across the building and keep the fire contained to a particular compartment or room, giving occupants longer to escape and the fire service longer to rescue anyone who is trapped and put out the fire. They will also prevent more of your building and property from being lost to the fire than necessary.

The fire door can only be effective if it is installed with a fire door closer. As the name suggests, the closer ensures that the door closes automatically once it has been opened and needs to be able to handle different weights of door. We have a range of different door closers available, including all the leading brands such as GEZE and Briton. We also have concealed door closers, which are ideal if you feel an overhead closer would be unsightly or out of keeping with the building. These are also good for reducing vandalism, as most of the fixture is hidden out of sight.

Although fire doors should always be closed, sometimes this can be inconvenient or difficult to manage for customers with buggies or wheelchairs. Wedging a door open, usually with a fire extinguisher or door wedge, is extremely unsafe and illegal. Instead consider installing Dorgard fire door retainers, which will hold the door open legally and also release the fire door in the event of the fire alarm sounding. Ensuring maximum access and safety at the same time.

Dorgard with five times the standard warranty – only from Safelincs

Now that the weather is getting warm many offices will be feeling hot and stuffy. The natural reaction to this is to open doors and windows to increase the air circulation.

However, holding self-closing fire doors open with extinguishers and other ‘handy’ objects stops fire doors closing when the fire alarm sounds. This is not only illegal, it is also very dangerous. Fire will spread rapidly should the fire doors remain open. This is where a Dorgard fire door retainer (fire door holder) comes in.

The Dorgard is designed to hold fire doors open and to automatically release on the fire alarm sounding. Dorgard is battery operated so there is no need for costly electrician bills to install the units. Safelincs offers the Dorgard with an unprecedented 5 year warranty, which is exclusive to our customers. No other distributor offers the 5 year warranty. We also ship the Dorgard free of charge and if you purchase more than 5 units, the price reduces to £94 + VAT.

Dorgard is suitable for offices, nursing homes, GP surgeries and any other site where fire doors must be held open legally. For more information about our Dorgards with 5 years warranty visit Safelincs Dorgards