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Why are sheltered housing residents damaging fire door closers?

Visiting customers over the past few weeks, something that has come up in conversation is the problem of residents damaging or disabling fire door closers. This is not only a safety issue, it invalidates insurance and can lead to big fines for non-compliance with fire regulations.

In sheltered housing, many front doors are fire doors and therefore fitted with door closers. This ensures the door will be closed in the event of a fire, and the spread of fire and smoke will be prevented. Residents will then have more time to evacuate safely, or can remain in a fire safe compartment until the emergency services arrive.

This is particularly important in sheltered accommodation as older residents may have slower reaction times when the fire alarm sounds. Those that have mobility issues will take longer to evacuate.

However self-closing fire doors are heavy and difficult to open. Residents may find it difficult to get in and out of their flats.

The frustration of struggling to open their front door has led some residents to break or disengage door closers. Though understandable, this is dangerous and against fire regulations. If a fire does break out, an open fire door will cause fire and smoke to spread rapidly, putting residents at risk.

To solve this problem, councils often install unnecessary, expensive automatic door operators for these residents to use. A much cheaper option is Freedor.

Residents of Adlington House improved safety and access in their apartment block with Freedor. Click here to find out more

Freedor is a free-swing door closer that takes the weight and closing force out of fire doors. It has built-in technology to automatically close the door when the fire alarm sounds. It’s fully compliant with fire regulations and solves the problem of residents disabling door closers.

As Freedor has removed the weight and closing force of the fire door, all the stress of dealing with fire doors has been removed, and residents can come and go as they please.

Freedor is wireless, so can quickly and easily be fitted to existing sheltered housing units. A key advantage with the wireless systems is the lack of disruption. Freedor can be fitted with residents still in their flats, with minimal restorative works to walls and doors required.

Freedor also safely and legally holds fire doors open at any angle, so if a resident wishes to have their door open, they can.

It’s important that sheltered housing residents do not have their quality of life impeded by the need for fire safety. Fitting Freedor offers them the freedom to live their lives as they wish, without worry.

Main image courtesy of Fire Door Inspectors @firedoorguy

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