Why You Need A Door Closer

Posted on: 23.06.2022
Categories: DCD News
Silver overhead door closer with scissor arm on white door

Essentially, a door closer is a device that closes a door automatically, either after it opens mechanically or after someone has manually opened it. According to current regulations, they should be fitted onto any fire doors, to ensure that the door always closes correctly after opening, unless the door is designated as Fire Door Keep Locked, such as cupboards or small storage areas.

Doors closers are available in all price ranges, from budget models to more expensive units with features such as backcheck and delayed closing. They can be fitted to a multitude of different door types including both manual and automatic doors that require electromagnetic swing free or hold open functionality.

In this blog we explain the main types of door closers, the purpose, and reasons why you need to fit a door closer, and when you’d need to consider replacing an existing closer.

Door Closer Types

There are many different types of door closers available, including concealed units, so if your concern is maintaining clean and modern lines without having the mechanism visible then there is certainly a type available for you. This shortlist will give you a general idea of the types available:

Type of Closer View Closers:
Surface-Mounted Overhead Door Closers
Concealed in-frame Concealed Door Closers
Concealed in-floor Floor Springs
Concealed in-door Concealed Door Closers

Surface mounted door closers are the most common type as they are easy to install and have a variety of functions, power sizes, and fitting applications. Many overhead door closers are also available in a range of finishes to match other ironmongery installed on the door. The Arrow 624EM hold open/swing free closer is available off the shelf in four different finishes, including standard silver, satin stainless and polished brass.

Concealed in-frame closers like the Dormakaba RTS80 EMB transom concealed fire door closer can be installed to 1 hour fire doors. This heavy-duty electromagnetic door closer is ideal for use on high traffic doors in facilities such as hospitals and schools. It is available as a fixed power size EN 4 or EN 5 unit and is CE marked to BS EN 1155.

Concealed in-floor closers are known as floor spring door closers. They can be installed to single action and double action doors, and fire-rated doors. When a door is closed, floor springs are completely concealed and when open, only the cover plate is visible. Floor spring closers offer a discreet door closing solution and are designed for heavier doors in high-traffic locations such as corridors. The GEZE TS550NV has an adjustable power size of EN 3-6 and has backcheck function, adjustable latching action, and closing speed.

Concealed in-door closers such as the Perko Powermatic are used where aesthetics are an important factor on a project. The R100 chain type door closer has a fixed power size of EN 3 and is suitable for use on fire rated doors when installed with the intumescent kit. The Dormakaba ITS96 can also be installed to fire rated doors. It has an adjustable power size of EN 2-4 and requires a minimum door leaf thickness of 40mm for non-fire rated doors, and 44mm on fire rated doors.

In all situations and circumstances, your door closer should be fitted by a professional; if fitted incorrectly it may as well not be there at all! An ineffectual or poorly fitted door closer can cause a raft of issues so ensure you have a suitable model of door closer and that it is installed to the manufacturer’s guidelines and adjusted to suit the location and users.

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What Is The Purpose Of A Door Closer?

Fire Door Safety and Compliance

Fire doors form an integral part of the fire compartmentation of a building and must be closed in the event of an outbreak of fire. A door closer ensures that the door will close automatically after it has been opened. A floor spring, transom, concealed or overhead closer could be installed to a fire door if it has the correct certification. If hold open function is required on a fire door, install either an electromagnetic door closer or an electromagnetic door holder

Controlled Closing

Most closers feature dampers that offer a level of control over the force and speed at which the door closes. This cushion is especially crucial on particularly heavy doors.  Correctly adjusting the closure speed can prevent an injury to a child or a less able person; in fact, anyone who is unable to move quickly, even someone burdened with heavy shopping for example. Models such as the Dormakaba TS83 overhead door closer also feature delayed action function which allows users more time to move through the doorway.

Secure Closing

A door closer will ensure that your entrance door has closed securely after someone passes through it. This prevents your property from being left vulnerable to thieves or preventing unauthorised access etc. Fitting the correct door closer is especially important on doors fitted with access control. A door closer will ensure that the door returns to the closed position after opening, allowing the locking element to engage and secure the door. Doors using maglocks, electric strikes, or electric locks would all require a controlled door closing device to be fitted to provide secure closing.

Preventing Damage

Most closers have backcheck function which prevents the door from being opened too fast.  This can happen on external doors during high winds etc. when the door could blow open at high speed. The door blowing open at high speed, or being vigorously thrown open could damage either the door or the doorframe itself, which is costly. The Arrow 325VP is a heavy duty EN 2-5 door closer with adjustable backcheck and meets the requirements of BS 8300 and Approved Document M when fitted on door leaf widths between 825mm-950mm in EN 3.

User Safety

A door blowing open or opening quickly could hurt anything or anyone who is standing close by. Fitting a door closer with adjustable power size allows for site-specific adjustments to be made, to suit a particular group of users. The GEZE TS3000V rack and pinion door closer has adjustable power size EN 1 -4, and adjustable closing speed and latching action. The dampening action of backcheck function would also provide additional safety to users.

Once you have fitted a door closer it must be regularly checked and kept well maintained and/or adjusted periodically. This is crucial for any type of door closer fitted to a fire rated door.

You can shop our range of door closers online, or pre-order a copy of our new catalogue that includes our core range of overhead closers, emag closers, floor springs, and accessories.

When Do You Need To Replace A Door Closer?

As with anything mechanical, there will come a time when you will need to replace your door closer. Here are some examples of when you should consider installing a new unit, or replacing a component part: 

  • The door is no longer closing fully and adjustment has not solved the issue. The purpose of the closer is to ensure that a door shuts fully into the frame in order to maintain fire integrity and/or security. 
  • If the door is slamming it is possible that the hydraulic fluid or oil has leaked out or the valve seals are worn. If adjustment doesn’t work then it’s time to replace.
  • If you notice hydraulic fluid leaking. Without this essential fluid, the door closer will fail and this could happen at the point that you need it the most.
  • To keep your fire door closed fully into the frame, against any lock or latch fitted, thereby keeping smoke and fire at bay due to the tight seal between the door and the intumescent, and allowing you to exit the premises safely.
  • To prevent any unauthorised person gaining access to your property/premises either when you are there or in your absence.

Why Use A Door Closer?

The number one reason why you need a door closer is for safety. Whether it is to comply with fire safety regulations, building regulations, for the safety of your physical property, or your data, the safety of the building’s users, or all of the above. It is a relatively simple process to decide on the correct model for your requirements.

Read our complete guide to selecting the right door closer where we explain the different functions available, different closer mounting configurations, and considerations such as the location of the door and the type and volume of traffic.  

If you are not sure what model or function of door closer you need and want support from our knowledgeable experts, give us a call on 01305 263300 or email our sales team today [email protected].

Author: Door Controls Direct Posted by: Door Controls Direct

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