Fire protection systems are a life-saving but often invisible part of any construction project. Though specific guidelines and standards may vary, the European fire protection industry is united in believing buildings must have properly installed fire protection systems that will protect people, equipment and the actual building from harm, should a fire start.
Fire safety has long been an area of concern for building managers. With fire legislations and various points of contact to consider, it’s important to make the right decisions to ensure the safety of all building occupants and visitors. And for that, selecting the correct door hardware is vital.
Yet, not all doors and frames are the same and requirements vary from site to site. Take door closers as an example. Closers have traditionally always played a key role in fire protection but with the modernisation of today’s buildings, users are on the lookout for innovative solutions that can offer them more, such as aided accessibility and facilitated movement throughout their facilities.
Hardware specialists recognise this, and can today provide one-box, CE-certified solutions that are designed to suit the various requirements of facility managers. From rack and pinion closers through to cam action, all can offer sustainable and budget-friendly solutions – making it more accessible and thus easier for more buildings to comply with today’s fire safety regulations.
In addition, for those looking to adopt innovative solutions, delayed action door closers are an option. Delayed action closers can be set to a maximum of twenty five seconds – allowing plenty of time for any building occupant to manouvre through access and egress points.
Leading solution providers have found this option eliminates any need for the closer to be disengaged by users, keeping themselves and other occupants safe in the event of a fire. However, with an increased number of options now available, it’s key that decision makers check for Declarations of Perfomance, ensuring the delayed action has passed testing and is suitable for use on fire doors.
When it comes to installation, installers now have the option to adjust the power of the closer itself. This helps determine strength and prevents over tightening that can break the seal on site, which could then cause the closer to fail.
For buildings with higher traffic areas, the development of electromagnetic hold open units – whether built within the closer itself or an independent unit paired with a mechanical closing device – can be installed. These solutions further reduce the wear on the door and hardware as they are designed to hold the door open during normal use, meaning they can be left open – legally. Connected to the buildings fire alarm system, on the sounding of the alarm or in the event of power failure, the electromagnet releases the door closer mechanism to close the door in the normal controlled manner. The reduction of wear means the need for replacement is greatly reduced, giving decision makers the ability to save money over the life cycle of any building. In addition – and in line with this year’s pandemic – these solutions are ideal for buildings that aim to increase airflow and reduce touchpoints.
With installation proving to be a sticking point for some, the latest innovations offer installers self-adhesive templates, making it an easier and quicker installation process. This further eliminates the potential for product issues, too.
Generally, innovation is a constant theme when it comes to door hardware – with the latest options designed to make it easier to comply with fire and safety standards. Put simply, today’s needs have developed and, for that, the latest developments in door hardware must prioritise those needs, while simultaneously making it easier for decision makers and installers to meet fire safety standards and keep users and occupants fire safe.
For more information, go to www.allegion.co.uk/en/index.html