Keeping fire doors open is often necessary; but using wedges to prop open doors will stop a fire door doing its job. Geofire has a range of wire-free fire-safe products, recognised by UK fire and rescue services and the London Fire Brigade that can legally hold open your fire doors.
With 700 fires in UK schools every year, it is critical to keep your staff and students safe through adequate training, equipment and planning. Fire doors are the unsung heroes in a fire and must be shut to avoid fire, smoke and toxic fumes from spreading, starving the fire of oxygen within a room. In spite of this, fire doors are often wedged open illegally, even where there are 'Fire door Keep shut!' warning signs (we’ve all seen these instances).
There are many genuine reasons for keeping fire doors held open in education establishments. Some examples of this are - relieving the daily rush of young people in corridors, to provide easy access in line with the Equality Act 2010, to prevent wear and tear of expensive fire doors and to improve air quality on humid days while children are learning. As with everything in public buildings, when holding open fire doors, it must be done in a safe, secure and compliant way.
Introducing wire-free fire door devices
To stay compliant with fire safety regulations and ensure you pass your regular fire safety inspection you must eliminate the risk of fire doors being wedged open. Installing wire-free electromagnetic fire door devices can offer an easy solution to this common problem. Installing fire door holding devices in your school or college will ensure that in the event of a fire, the fire doors will close automatically.
Easy to fit and battery powered, these wire-free devices can make heavy and cumbersome fire doors feel light and easy to open by children and the risk of trapped fingers is reduced as you can control the speed of the door closer, the ideal solution to prevent accidents.
When hard-wired devices are unsuitable due to a buildings infrastructure, or the cost of disruption to the building and its occupants is too high, or asbestos is lurking in the walls then wire-free devices can offer you the highest level of fire door security protecting staff, children and visitors.
Depending on your building size and type, there are two options of wire-free devices, sound activated or radio controlled systems, all manufactured in the UK by Geofire.
Agrippa wire-less fire door devices
The Agrippa range is very popular in environments where minimal disruption is desired such as schools and colleges. The battery-powered units are hygienically installed at the top of the door, ensuring there is no damage to floors and carpets with no warping of the fire door.
The devices can be programmed to learn the actual sound of your fire alarm, releasing the door once the fire alarm sounds. This reduces the occurrence of false activation which may lead to illegal wedging of fire doors.
The Agrippa fire door holder is a simple solution for holding open internal fire doors in an open position. Easy to programme and install, the holder is suitable to add to a door with an existing closer. Fitted to the wall or the floor, the holder uses a permanent magnet to hold the door and, in the event of the fire alarm sounding, the door is automatically closed to prevent the spread of smoke and flames.
The Agrippa fire door closer is a swing-free device which allows the fire door to be held open in any position. It’s ideal for schools as it makes the door resistance-free so it feels light and easy to move, perfect for small children. The closer has been installed into many older school buildings to improve ventilation and air quality. Universities often install the fire door closers onto bedroom doors in halls of residence as it removes the feeling of isolation for students and removes the danger of doors being wedged open.
As many school fires happen at night time, both Agrippa devices can be programmed for a timed daily release so every evening they will automatically close the fire doors, keeping the building safer in the event of a fire.
Please note, as with all sound activated devices, if there is extraneous noise the doors may still close. If this is a concern due to the environment being particularly noisy, then the radio-activated Salamander system may suit your needs more closely.
Radio-activated Salamander system
Geofire’s Salamander radio controlled fire door safety system has all the benefits of hard-wired electromagnetic door retainers and closers with the added advantage of being wire-free. The Salamander system is also suitable for voice fire alarms which are often not compatible with sound activated fire door devices.
Salamander devices connect wirelessly to a mains-powered controller unit, which is wired into to the existing fire alarm system, ensuring that fire doors will safely close in the event of a fault or fire. As they are directly connected to the fire panel, the risk of false releases is completely eliminated.
The Salamander door closer is suitable for most fire doors, holding them open at any desired position. It can also be used in free-swing mode, making it ideal for halls of resident’s bedroom and classroom doors. When the fire alarm is activated, the door safely closes as it is trigged by radio signals from the controller.
The Salamander door holder is designed for doors where standard closers are already in place. It uses innovative, wire-free, magnetic technology to safely hold open fire doors and release them upon activation of the fire alarm.
Please note that the Salamander system requires a site survey and installation conducted by a trained professional. Geofire will be happy to provide details of one closest to you.
Geofire, home of Agrippa and Salamander, began life in 1972 and has, since then, been designing and manufacturing a wide range of electromagnetic activation devices, ranging from fire door holders and closers to smoke curtain releasers and roof vent winches.
For more information on either of these product ranges, please go visit the website or call today.
Transport for London (TfL) has announced a new programme that will see 'Healthy Streets officers' work across London’s boroughs to reduce school-run traffic and encourage greater walking, cycling and public transport use.