When to install FD30 and FD60 fire doors?

To answer this regularly asked question, one of Safelincs’ fire door assessors has created a short fire door help guide. It lists the main legal frameworks relating to fire doors and offers an easy-to-understand overview of applications for FD30 and FD60 fire doors.

We also have a library of help files in our fire door help section which offers further guidance:

Fire Door Help & Information

Fire Door Closers Overview

Types of Fire Door Retainers

Directory of Fire Door Installers

Nominal Fire Doors

Use of Existing Fire Door Frames

If you have very specific questions relating to fire doors, you can also discuss these on our fire safety forum where fire safety experts will answer your questions.

Safelincs also offers fire door assessments as well as the manufacture of standard and made-to-measure fire doors. We pride ourselves to be able to supply you with everything from information and advice to complete fire doors and all required fire door hardware.

If you would like to speak to our friendly fire door team, please ring 0800 612 4837

Harry Dewick-Eisele

Harry Dewick-Eisele

Managing Director

MD and founder of Safelincs. Harry has a wealth of in-depth knowledge of all aspects of fire safety and related legislation.

Agrippa Door Closer Provides Solution for Printing Company

Agrippa Free Swing Door CloserWhen East Coast Grafix, a printing company based in Lincolnshire, were replacing some of their fire doors they saw the ideal opportunity to look at how they could improve the movement of their staff within the building.

The main problem the company faced was passing through fire doors when carrying stock from one work area to another. The pull of the normal fire door closers made it difficult to move around the premises. Safelincs’ Agrippa Acoustic Free-Swing door closer gave East Coast Grafix the solution they were looking for. Chris Ashmore from East Coast Grafix said “This product is brilliant.” He went on to say “This is ideal for us as when carrying stacks of paper, the last thing you want is to have to open a spring loaded door and then it trying to close on you.” Staff at East Coast Grafix can now leave the door open at any angle, the fire door now feels and behaves like any other door.

The Agrippa not only gave Chris Ashmore a solution to his problem, it also ensures that he is meeting his legal obligations under the Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005. The Agrippa is a battery operated unit that can learn the specific sound of your fire alarm. When there is no alarm the door closer is dormant, causing no resistance to the user. On hearing your fire alarm the closer will activate, automatically closing the fire door, reducing the risk of a fire spreading and protecting the lives of the occupants and the premises. Agrippa Free-Swing door closers are CE Marked and approved to EN 1155 and EN 1154, they are also suitable for installations needing to comply with BS 7BS 7273-4.

For more information on the Agrippa Free-Swing door closer, or to talk to us about your specific requirements, call our knowledgeable team on 0800 612 6537 or email support@safelincs.co.uk

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.

Care home residents give Agrippa seal of approval

agrippa-closerResidents at the Westwood Care Home have given the Agrippa free-swing fire door closers their approval, as they provide the option to have their fire doors partially open leaving them feeling less shut off from the rest of the home, whilst retaining some privacy. The Agrippa door closer allows a fire door to be used just like a normal door without the resistance usually associated with fire door closers. However, the moment the closer ‘hears’ a fire alarm, it changes its operating mode and turns into a traditional door closer, closing the fire door to stop the spread of fire and smoke.

Based in an Edwardian Town House in Chorley, Westwood Residential Care Home has chosen to have the wire-free fire door closers installed onto resident’s doors.

Stephanie Crane, Director at Westwood said: “We were searching for an alternative solution to our existing door holders as they were damaging the carpets in the home. The residents at the care home needed a solution to make their doors light and easy to move, whilst closing in the event of a fire.”

Westwood offers a personalised 24-hour quality care service for up to twenty people over the age of 65, delivered by a highly-trained and well experienced team of staff.

The Agrippa fire door closer is a battery powered device providing a safe and legal solution to holding open and closing fire doors. The door closer is discreetly installed at the top of the fire door providing restriction-free movement to make the door light and easy to move.

The closer complies with the Building Regulations Approved Document M Section 3.10 Parts K & L, which state that fire doors should self-close when activated by the fire alarm, when the power supply fails or by a hand-operated switch.

The closer is part of the Agrippa suite of products, which also includes an acoustically triggered fire door holder and pillow fire alarm.

Geofire Agrippa acoustic fire door holders and closers

Safelincs are pleased to launch Geofire’s Agrippa acoustic fire door holders and free-swing fire door closers, featuring industry leading technology that enables the devices to recognise the specific sound of your fire alarm.

Both devices are designed to improve free movement within a building by keeping fire doors open while closing the doors in the event of a fire to stop the spread of fire and smoke through the building. Here is a short description of their principal function:

agrippa-holderFire Door Holders (also called fire door retainers) are installed on fire doors that have already an overhead fire door closer installed. They hold the fire door open against the pressure of the closer and will release the fire door in case of a fire, allowing it to be closed.

 

agrippa-closerFree-Swing Fire Door Closers are installed instead of normal overhead fire door closers. They exert no closing pressure on the door in normal operation, therefore allowing the fire door to swing freely, just like a normal door. In the event of a fire their function changes to that of a normal door closer, forcing the fire door shut.

Most traditional fire door holders and free-swing door closers are connected to the fire alarm system by wire and receive their signal to close from the fire alarm panel. The Agrippa acoustic technology, however, is triggered by the acoustic sound of your smoke alarm or fire alarm system sirens. This is particularly helpful for premises without a fire alarm system and central panel, or where retrofitting a wired system would be problematic. 

Unlike other acoustic fire door holders and fire door closers, Geofire’s Agrippa devices listen to and then learn and recognise the sound of your particular fire alarm siren or smoke alarm, meaning that they won’t trigger your fire door to close if they hear other loud noises. This ground-breaking technology will therefore reduce the number of false door releases.

Both the Agrippa fire door holders and the Agrippa free-swing door closers are wireless and very easy to install on existing or new fire doors. They are fitted to the top of the door in a discreet way and allow you to keep fire doors open legally and effectively giving you the flexibility you need to allow free movement within the building. They enhance the accessibility for the disabled and improve ventilation.

The Agrippa acoustic door holder retains fire doors in the fully open position. No intermediate positions of the fire door are tolerated. The main Agrippa body, containing the sensors and a strong electromagnet, is fitted on the wall behind the door and a steel plate is fitted to the back of the door which the magnet then holds. On hearing your fire alarm the magnet is switched off and the fire door will be closed shut by the closer fitted to your fire door.

In comparison, the Agrippa free-swing door closer allows you to use your fire door like a normal door, meaning that it swings freely and can be left open in any position. When the device hears your fire alarm the integrated door closer will be triggered and closes the door, stopping the spread of fire and smoke.

Keeping fire doors shut or having a system in place that closes fire doors in case of a fire is a legal requirement . A breach of this requirement can lead to prosecution and even prison sentences.

To place an order or to find out more about our Geofire Agrippa products call 01507 464185 or email support@safelincs.co.uk.

Fire Door Safety Week: Have You Checked Your Fire Doors Recently?

freedor-on-firedoorFire doors are absolutely crucial when it comes to delaying the spread of fire throughout a building. Effective compartmentalisation can be the difference between losing a single room, and losing an entire property to fire.
Fire Door Safety Week 2015 runs from the 14th until the 20th of September and is intended to help raise awareness of the importance of fire doors whilst encouraging building owners to check the condition of any fire doors they have installed.

Well maintained fire doors provide usually a minimum 30 minute barrier to prevent fire passing through, but to do so, the door must be closed. It is illegal to wedge open fire doors or hold them open with, for example, a fire extinguisher, and business owners leave themselves open to hefty fines and even jail sentences if they fail to prevent this from happening.

A simple way of addressing this problem is the Dorgard Fire Door Retainer and the Freedor Wireless Free Swing Door Closer, which  are legal ways of holding fire doors open. These devices allow doors to be retained in an open position, but automatically release the door in the event of a fire alarm, meaning the fire barrier is re-instated when a fire is detected. Commonly found in public buildings or commercial premises, they offer the perfect solution to a common problem.

Of course, making sure that fire doors are closed when needed means nothing unless the fire door creates a good seal. If you can see daylight at any point around the perimeter of your fire doors, then something is certainly wrong. Fire doors or their frames should feature an intumescent seal to prevent flames or smoke from passing through any small gaps. These fire door seals often feature a brush-like element which is intended to prevent smoke from getting past. This seal should snugly fill the small gap between door and frame.

A simple way to test the performance of the brush element of your fire door seals is to insert a postcard (or something similar) into the gap around the door. If the seal is in good condition, this should be held in place. If the seal does not grip the card then it may warrant replacement as the brush has likely worn over time. The condition of your fire door seals must be checked periodically. If they are found to be worn or missing, it is advisable to replace them immediately.

Fire door seals come in two main types: self-adhesive surface mounted seals, or rebated seals which are sunk into the door or frame. Once again, it is a legal responsibility to ensure your fire doors and their seals are in good condition. If it were found that the maintenance of the fire doors had been neglected, then the responsible person  could be prosecuted.

We hope this article encourages you to ensure your fire doors and seals are in good condition. Making sure your fire doors are in good order, and preventing them from being wedged open is a simple task that can make a world of difference in the event of a fire. Spend just a few minutes today to ensure your fire doors are protecting your property as well as they can.

For further information about fire doors and related products, visit our fire door help & information page, or contact us on 0800 612 6537.

Please also reference our fire safety forum section

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.

Hospitals can have free-swing fire doors and stay compliant

freedorThe Royal Liverpool University Hospital is a large hospital in the city of Liverpool. It has the countries biggest emergency department and is home to more than 40 wards and 710 beds. It is no wonder that a hospital on this scale found difficulties navigating patients on beds and in wheel chairs through their fire doors fitted with door closers. Mike Farrell, Fire Safety Advisor at the hospital said “Day-to-day, the staff at the hospital are constantly walking through entrances with trolleys and pushing beds so they need easy access. We found that doors were being wedged open as they are very heavy and difficult to get through.”

Although the wedging open of the fire doors may have made it easier for staff to negate the problematic fire doors it introduced a serious issue. Wedging a fire door open is illegal and puts lives at risk. A closed fire door prevents the spread of fire and protects staff and patients within the hospital. If the fire door cannot close in case of a fire, smoke and fire will spread through the building. Mike Farrell wanted to find a solution that would enable his staff to transport patients easily from one department to another and still comply with the fire safety regulations.

Freedor, a wireless free-swing door closer, offered Mike just the solution he was looking for. Fitted to the top of the door instead of the ordinary fire door closer, Freedor allows the fire door to be pushed open with ease. The door can also be left open at any angle. The device listens for the fire alarm and on hearing the alarm will automatically close the fire door, giving the required protection from the spread of fire. Mike commented “Following a trial, our staff were so pleased that we had Freedors installed on the entrance to the ward. It’s a financially viable option being cost effective as the product is wireless. It has made life so much easier for all our staff, they have easier access and it requires minimal effort to open and close the doors when they need to. We are now looking at purchasing more in the future.”

If you would like more information or advice on Freedor please contact Safelincs Ltd on 0800 612 6537 or send an email to support@safelincs.co.uk

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

Improve access in workplaces with Dorgard

dorgardThe 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.

Dorgard-Door-Open“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.”
Surgery Manager

In the UK over 500,000 Dorgards have already been fitted and are helping to protect lives.

*http://www.london-fire.gov.uk/news/NewsReleases2010_PR1345.asp#.VK_jTHs9bew

Freedor free swing door closers – a case study

Freedor Free-Swing Door CloserFirefighters were recently called to tackle a blaze at Charlton House residential care home in Plymouth. The fire was promptly dealt with by two fire appliances whose job was made easier by the fact the fire had been contained to one room. The bedrooms of the home had Freedor free swing fire door closers fitted, which closed automatically as soon as the fire broke out.

Taylia Cryan, the Manager at Charlton House commented “The fire was a frightening experience, but thankfully we had the correct measures in place so damage to the home was minimal, no one was hurt and no one had to move out. It was great to see my staff do what I had trained them to do and all the equipment we have installed work perfectly. We use Freedor as the residents couldn’t cope with the heavy doors but I hadn’t realised how important they were until the day of the fire.”

Representing our supplier, Tom Welland, Compliance Manager at Fireco says “This fire is a great example of risk assessment in action. You can reduce the risk of fire by having great precautions and well trained staff but unfortunately you cannot remove the risk entirely. Accidents happen but processes don’t, the home had put effort into ensuring that when the time came the staff and equipment did what was required of them. This meant the difference between losing a room and no casualties to losing an entire home, a business and injuries. We put the same amount of effort into making our products so people can rely on us. Had the fire doors been wedged open the outcome could have been catastrophic.”

Freedor is a unique free swing device that is fitted to the top of fire doors, which allows users to hold their fire doors open at any angle. Freedor listens out for a fire alarm and once the alarm is sounding, Freedor closes the door, preventing the spread of fire and smoke throughout the building. Freedor enables greater ease of access as it does not create the resistance of normal door closers and can be used in any setting such as nursing homes, offices, schools and restaurants. Freedors are easy to retrofit, as they do not require any wiring.

Making sure businesses are ready to face a fire is vital. Charlton House had the appropriate training and had put in place the right equipment which made a huge difference and potentially saved lives and jobs.

For further information visit our Freedor page or ring 0800 612 6537 and we will be happy to help. The installation of the Freedor is included in our pricing.