Specifying Closers for Fire Doors
Fire doors are the first line of defence in protecting building occupants in the event a fire breaks out. As such, it is crucial to make a robust specification that includes the door closers.
Here is what should be considered.
There are two key factors that must be considered when specifying closers for fire doors: does it satisfy Approved Document B, and does it meet the requirements of the 2010 equality act? To ensure these are met, there are other considerations that must be adhered to when specifying to ensure legislative compliance.
Look for the CE-mark
Any door closer being specified for use on a self-closing fire door in the UK must be CE-marked to BS EN1154, under the EU’s Construction Products Regulations.
Once the closer has been successfully tested and CE-marked, a Declaration of Performance should be issued by the manufacturer. This will detail the in-situ performance of the product, and ensures the sustainability of the door closer for its intended application.
Third party certification
To ensure compliance, the door closer must also be fire tested to demonstrate that it is suitable for its intended purpose. The CE-mark does not detail a specific application, so therefore, this classification cannot be applied to any fire door type.
A scheme that will detail all applications for which the closer is suitable is Certifire. This third-party certification not only certifies that the product will meet intended fire performance, but also meets mechanical performance, and requires audit testing of product and factory production control to ensure what is currently supplied is as originally tested.
It is imperative that fire doors are easy to use and do not negatively impact access requirements of building occupants, or there is a risk they will be removed or disengaged.
By specifying an adjustable powered closer, the device can have the closing force adjusted to the exact requirements and keep opening force required to a minimum. The maximum opening forces allowed for door sets are stated in BS 8300 and Approved Document M of the Building Regulations. To help ensure compliance, door closer torque curves are available from manufacturers that detail the opening force throughout the opening cycle.
Tampering can unfortunately occur on any element of a building, whether it is accidental or intentional – the end result, however, can result in fire doors no longer being able to work properly, which can prove fatal in the event of a fire.
Due to projecting arms, it is more likely they can be the subject of tampering and vandalism. Side arm cam action door closers are a much less intrusive solution that are highly efficient and can assure opening forces are kept to a minimum. In addition, specifying units with concealed fixings also eliminates the risk of tampering.
It is essential that fire doors comply with all relevant fire and access legislation to ensure the safety of all building’s occupants. By ensuring all door hardware, particularly door closers, are correctly specified and sourced from reputable suppliers, appliance can be achieved.