Scientists have confirmed that Coronavirus (COVID-19) can survive on door handles for up to NINE DAYS.
Propping open fire doors may seem a sensible way of avoiding contamination on door handles, but this will leave your staff exposed to a faster spread of fire and smoke should the worst happen.
Recently I have seen businesses struggle with the UK government’s guidelines on how to reduce human contact with doors and to improve ventilation – all while ensuring that fire doors can still be effective when they need them most.
Thankfully there are some cost effective ways to help your business open safely and not compromise staff fire safety.
1. Intelligent door hold open devices
We are a partner of HyFire, providers of the UK’s leading fully compliant wireless fire systems. Their magnetic door holder is fully wireless. Its battery powered capability means it requires no wiring or power supply, making installation quick, easy and cost effective.
To minimise risk, the door holders can be programmed to hold doors open during working hours and to release when the building is empty.
The units communicate wirelessly to a translator unit. The translator is connected to your fire alarm system, releasing the doors in the event of a fire alarm activation. This reduces the spread of smoke and fire.
2. Specialist overhead door closers
Where doors don’t open flush against a wall and installation of door hold open devices is not practical, often replacing the overhead door closer is the most effective solution.
The Freedor Pro closer is a battery operated unit that is radio-activated by a local transmitter. This interfaces with your fire alarm system.
The units can open heavy fire doors effortlessly and come with a five-year warranty and battery life.
3. Wireless door stoppers
The Dorgard door retainer by Fireco is one of the most popular solutions in combating wedged open fire doors.
The new Dorgard Pro is much more robust, as rather than releasing by listening for the fire alarm – which often has led to problems in noisy environments, the Pro unit is a battery operated retainer that is radio-activated by a local transmitter that interfaces with your fire alarm system – just like the Freedor overhead closer. In fact, they use the same transmitter making combining the two solutions even easier.
Consult your fire risk assessment
It is important to remember that changes to the way your business operates, such as implementing measures to protect staff and visitors from COVID-19, will usually mean the need to carry out a new fire risk assessment.
This is relevant as in order for the options highlighted above to be effective, it’s important that your fire doors, compartmentation and fire alarm system are up to scratch.
Firesec Compliance Limited hold BAFE SP205 accreditation for life safety fire risk assessments and deliver our assessments through leading cloud based management systems.
We also provide finance options to help mitigate cost implications to your business.