Door closers in Care Homes – A Must Read for Facilities Managers

Posted on: 13.06.2024
Categories: DCD News
Care home corridor with staff member and resident walking

Selecting and fitting the correct door closers within residential care homes for the elderly can be one of the many challenges that a facilities manager has to face. Having responsibility for fire safety measures from fire risk assessments through to product maintenance and replacement is a lot to oversee.

There is an array of products available on the market for fire doors in care homes. They have an emphasis on meeting current building and fire regulations and an essential need to maintain a homely environment for the residents that is both accessible and non-institutional. 

Door Controls Direct are able to offer a range of door closing solutions that will meet the many varied requirements of a modern care home whether it is holding fire doors open or keeping them closed at night.

Bedrooms – Where privacy is essential:

Bedroom doors are often one of the most problematic areas for facilities managers; ease of accessibility is vital but there needs to be a balance between safety, security, and privacy of the individual.

Free swing door closers such as the Arrow 624EM or Briton 996 can be useful in these instances. During general use they allow the door to move and be left in any position as though there were no control fitted.

These closers are electromagnetic and can be connected to the building’s fire alarm system. When the alarm is activated and the alarm sounds the power is cut to the door and it will shut just like a normal door closer to maintain fire integrity and compartmentalise the building to prevent the spread of smoke and fire.

You can watch our Arrow 624EM installation video and others for different brands and models of door closers on our YouTube channel.

Corridors – Where fire doors need to be held open legally:

Corridors and communal areas may require a different type of door closer – an electromagnetic hold open door closer. This works by holding the door open at a minimum 90° angle to allow passage for higher volumes of traffic through the door or moving large objects like beds and trolleys.

This is also sometimes referred to as “barrier-free” movement and the Dorma TS73EMF and GEZE TS4000E are good examples of these types of closers. In recent projects, the TS4000E has been architect-specified in P21 documentation front of house with a more entry level overhead closer for the back of house doors.

Once you’ve installed your chosen model, adjust it to suit conditions, users, and each specific door. See how to adjust the closing speed of the TS73EMF on our YouTube channel.

Hold open function is also available in a floor spring, concealed door closer, or a transom mounted door closer. All will comply with fire safety regulations to ensure safety and prevent the spread of fire, closing fire doors when the alarm is triggered. 

You can see the difference between hold open and swing free function in our video swing free vs hold open below.

Does it have to be a door closer?

To provide hold open function? No. 

Another popular alternative to electromagnetic hold open closers on high use doors is mounted magnets. These must be fitted in conjunction with a door closing device that is CE marked so that upon the magnet releasing the door closer will pull the door to the closed position. 

It is important to ensure that when fitting electromagnetic door holders they are fitted at the same height as the door closing device. If they are not, the door could bend or warp over time. This could reduce the fire door's effectiveness in the event of a fire.  You will still need a fire door closer of some kind to ensure that the door is closed when the magnet releases the door.

Dorgards in care homes are an easy to install, compliant choice to hold open fire rated doors. A wire-free solution, this fire door retainer doesn’t require the door to open against a wall, it holds the door open at any angle.

Dorgard on door

Compliance and Life Safety

When selecting electromagnetic hold open or swing free door closers for fire doors, you must always ensure they meet current regulations. This will include ensuring that they are tested to the correct standard (BS EN 1155 for electrically powered hold open devices for swing doors), that they have been third party tested by an approved test house such as Certifire, and can be supplied with CE/UKCA certification. 

Doing this will ensure that the product you are using is fit for purpose and meets all legal requirements which is a must for any facility. Providing legal, compliant solutions that allow for effective fire compartmentation and therefore time to evacuate in an emergency, plus a functional and user friendly experience 24/7, is the aim of any Responsible Person.

If you would like any assistance in selecting the correct door closers for your care home please contact one of our experienced team who will be more than happy to assist you in selecting the right product for your doors.

Author: Door Controls Direct Posted by: Door Controls Direct

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