Everything You Need to Know About Automatic Door Closers

In the realm of fire safety equipment and fire protection methods, there’s all manner of systems and products that can play a key role in keeping your people and your property well-protected from the potentially devastating risks of fire. The automatic door closer is one such fire protection product, and the team at Elite Fire are going to detail what they are, how they work and why they’re so important to fire safety. 

fire door keep shut

What are automatic door closers?

An automatic door closer is officially described as a “device that closes a door, at any angle, against a door frame”. These devices are designed to be able to overcome resistance from things like latches that would otherwise prevent a door from closing. 

What are the benefits of automatic door closers?

external fire door

Automatic door closers can help prevent the spread of fire and smoke in a property, which can potentially save lives. Any closed door will help to hold fire back, at least for a period of time, and so leaving them open – something we do every day – can actually hamper fire safety. Automatic door closers, then, serve as something of a contingency feature for when somebody accidentally leaves a fire door open.

Another benefit of automatic door closers is that they can be fitted to most fire-rated and non-rated fire doors. This means they can be installed in almost any area of a property. Additionally, these hinges close the door slowly, eliminating the risk of injury.

Do I need automatic door closers?

Whether or not you need automatic door closers depends on the type of property you have and the type of doors within said property. Fire doors, for example, are designed to hold fire and smoke back to allow people time to escape, and therefore they must be shut at all times unless there is an emergency. Therefore, all fire doors should be fitted with automatic door closers so they aren’t left open either on purpose or by accident.

Let’s look at the rules regarding different types of properties and automatic door closers:

Residential properties

Automatic door closers are not a legal requirement for private residential properties, except if you have a door that leads to an internal garage. No other doors are required to have a door closer fitted.

Houses of multiple occupancy (HMO)

In an HMO, certain areas must have fire doors fitted, and those fire doors must have automatic closing devices installed. If a door leads to external fire escape stairs or any other type of fire exit, it must have an automatic closer fitted to it. 

What are the alternatives to automatic door closers?

fire door keep shut sign

Certain buildings can make use of ‘free swing door closers’ – similar to automatic closers, but with a key difference; they can be wired up to a fire alarm system to ensure they close fire doors and keep them shut as soon as the alarm sounds. Unlike automatic closers, free swing closers do not keep the door shut at all times – they allow for the door to be opened easily outside of an emergency situation. 

Fire doors and automatic door closers are the perfect partnership when it comes to passive fire protection, and at Elite Fire we’re proud to be able to install fire doors and door closers for customers around the UK. We can install internal and external fire doors with a range of finishes to ensure they match your decor whilst keeping you safe. For more information about our fire door installation services, or to find out more about our other offerings, get in touch with us today.

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