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08 March 2016

Fire doors can isolate, crush and kill. That’s not how you would normally describe them, is it?

Fire doors are designed to stop fire and smoke from spreading through buildings, and they need to be closed in order to do this. In practice, however, life is easier if a fire door can be held open in some way, to allow freedom of movement and circulation of air.

Furthermore, research has shown that fire doors can cause real harm.  Injuries such as bruising, trapped fingers and limbs, broken bones and even amputation have resulted from everyday use of fire doors, with the main causes being their sheer weight and the force with which they close.

In places like residential care or nursing homes, closed doors can also lead to a sense of loneliness and isolation.  Heavier and more obstructive than a standard door, the convenience of holding open a fire door becomes very clear.

Nevertheless, in terms of fire safety, one of the most common hazards is the door wedge.

A solution to the door wedge

Wedging or propping open a fire door poses a serious risk to lives and property.  When wedged open, in the event of an actual fire, smoke and flames will spread throughout the building at an increased rate. The fire door will be unable to do its job.

Fire inspectors across the UK recognise the need to hold open fire doors. They recommend solutions such as door retainers, which hold open fire doors legally, but will release and close them in the event of a fire alarm. Door retainers such as Dorgard allow fire doors to do their job, without compromising safety and maintain compliance with fire regulations.

The residents at LWPHomes struggled to open their bedroom doors and were left feeling trapped. Simon Lee, the Operations Manager said “A lot of our residents have poor mobility and are aided by walking sticks, frames and wheelchairs. The staff had to open the doors for them and take them back to their rooms which took away some of their freedom.“

Dorgard makes fire doors safer and easier to handle

After installing Dorgard across their homes, the advantages for the residents and staff were seen immediately. “The benefits have been immeasurable. The residents can come out of their rooms without fear of the doors closing on them. It has increased their independence and we no longer have to tell them to keep their doors closed. It’s been really good for them as they can come and go as they please.”

Dorgard allows fire doors to be held open at any angle, which provides easy access and an end to struggling with heavy fire doors. The device releases the door to close on the sound of the alarm, preventing the spread of fire. Dorgard is wire-free as it doesn't use cables, making the unit a quick and easy install.

Fireco makes compliance easy with simple solutions for complicated problems. People and buildings are made safer, premises are more accessible and fire safety compliance is taken care of.

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The above content is a press release and does not necessarily represent the views of the FIA