Acoustic Fire Door Retainers
One local Fire and Rescue Service has deemed them unsafe.
Acoustic fire door retainers work with your fire alarm system to close doors when your alarm sounds. They’re handy, as they can hold doors at different angles, and don’t need to be hardwired into your building. However, we were working recently with a Fire and Rescue Officer on a fire risk assessment when he mentioned, unofficially, that his authority no longer accepts acoustic fire door retainers as sufficient protection on escape routes to a primary fire exit. They have found them to fail when the tension in the fire door closer is too tight.
[Picture - acoustic fire door retainers may not work if fire door tension is too tight]
What if you’ve already got acoustic fire door retainers?
Assuming you can’t afford simply to replace them (which would be best), then to manage the fire risk, you should ensure that your fire doors are in full working order. (You should do this anyway, of course!)
Fire doors should be inspected:
- by a qualified person every 6 months
- weekly by your fire wardens as part of their regular housekeeping
What to look for in weekly fire door inspections
- The door should not take a long time to close. If it does, the tension is too tight and your door retainers may not work. In our opinion, the door should close within 11 seconds
- The door should close easily but not slam. If it does, the tension is too loose
- The smoke seals should be intact
- Intumescent strips should be in place. These swell when exposed to heat and prevent the spread of fire
- There shouldn’t be gaps of 4mm or more when the door is closed. This is roughly the thickness of a pound coin
- There shouldn’t be any foreign bodies obstructing the closing of the door
- The latch should work easily and be well lubricated
- Door hinges should have all their screws
If you find any of these issues with your fire doors, if you need a fire door inspection or if you’re worried about your acoustic fire door retainers, please get in touch with Jason Sugden on 01329 511995, or firstname.lastname@example.org