Fire doors

The Fire Safety Order (FSO) has not been relaxed in any way, and all fire safety measures must be suitable and sufficient. Review your fire risk assessment (FRA) regarding the current situation.

The only way a fire door can be held open is with an automatic device, such as a magnetic hold-open device, automatic free-swing door closer or a Dorgard™.

The Dorgard™ is a battery operated acoustic listening device. It hears the alarm sounding and releases the door.

They have some limitations and rules to its use. It should not be used on self-closing fire resisting doors if the door forms part of a protected stairway enclosure. However, where a suitable and sufficient fire risk assessment has been undertaken, and the self-closing door may cause major difficulty to those within the building, consideration may be given to using one

In all circumstances where the use of this device is required, the following criteria should be met:

  • A fire alarm system is maintained at the point of fitting. It must comply with the relevant clauses of British Standard 5839 : Part 1 or equivalent EU Standard is fitted and 65 dB(A).
  • There is a system that incorporates automatic smoke detection equipment throughout the area of the building immediately surrounding and adjacent to the point of fitting. Alternatively, smoke detectors are provided approximately 1m from each side of the door to which the device is to be fitted.
  • In the event of the fire alarm becoming inoperative, the doors fitted with Dorgard™ devices should remain closed until the fire alarm is fully operational.

The Dorgard™ cannot be fitted in buildings if:

  • a voice evacuation fire alarm system is fitted.
  • an automatic fire detection system comprising solely of heat detectors is fitted.
  • an automatic fire detection system comprising of heat and smoke detection is fitted, with heat detectors surrounding the door to which the Dorgard™ is to be fitted. The Dorgard™ fittingis acceptable in these circumstances if smoke detectors are provided on each side of the door.
  • reduced fire alarm audibility levels have been agreed.

The following general management procedures apply to all installations:

  • All devices are released in the event of fire alarm failure or the system being in the fault mode.
  • Fire doors with Dorgard™ should be closed at night.  Devices should have the ‘night time’ release facility enabled and / or doors should be manually released at night.
  • Prior to the installation of a Dorgard™, a decibel reading of 65 decibels, should be taken of the fire alarm, in the exact position where the Dorgard unit will be sited when the door is in the open. If the reading is below 65 decibels and the unit is still required, more fire alarm sounders need to be connected to the fire alarm system until it's loud enough to activate the Dorgard™.
  • Written confirmation should be added into your FRA, stating that the device will function upon the operation of the fire alarm system and that 65 decibels are maintained at the installation point.
  • The device should be fitted by a competent person to ensure it's fitted and works properly.
  • Each door fitted with a Dorgard™ should be tested by a competent member of staff at least once a week. Operate its mechanism to ensure correct operation of the device and the door closing device.