We’ve all seen it. Someone struggling to get through a door with a closer so vicious that it seems determined not to let them through. Or a fire door that doesn’t latch because the closer isn’t strong enough. That’s why choosing the right sized closer for a door matters so much – if the closer isn’t right, the door won’t function correctly.
We’ve all seen it. Someone struggling to get through a door with a closer so vicious that it seems determined not to let them through. Or a fire door that doesn’t latch because the closer isn’t strong enough. That’s why choosing the right sized closer for a door matters s much – if the closer isn’t right, the door won’t function correctly.
Lots of factors need to be taken into account when selecting the size of closer for a door – the weight of the door, the prevailing environmental conditions, air pressure, the use of the door, and, critically, the width of the door.
Accessibility: using a closer that is too strong for the door can result in a door that is very difficult to open, especially if it is not opened at the leading edge as is so often the case when people are struggling with shopping, buggies, wheelchairs or walking aids. And these doors are often being rejected by Building Control Officers or being altered to power down the closer, negating CE Marks and making the door intrinsically unsafe. Very few specifiers seem to realise that powering down a size 3, CE marked overhead closer makes the CE Mark null and void and potentially puts them in a risky situation regarding liability should the worst happen: that’s why it’s vital to size the closer correctly first time.
Compliance: The Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005 (the FSO) came into force in October 2006 and brought the common parts of blocks of flats within the scope of mainstream fire safety legislation for the first time. Since flat entrance doors are critical to the safety of the common parts in the event of a fire within a flat, the FSO requires them to be fire-resisting and self-closing.
The strength or size (opening and closing force) of the door closer is critical to this. The closer must be strong enough to close the door and latch it reliably to comply with fire regulations. But it should not be so vicious that residents fight to open it – often getting so fed up with struggling to open their own front door that they will often attempt to disable the closer – leading to the door not complying with fire requirements. A vicious circle. The current standard for fire doors (BS EN 1198) states that, on fire doors, a size 3 closer must be used, regardless of the size of the door. But in real life this means that many doors are not actually complying with UK Building Regulations because they are not usable by all.
Fire: an effective closer (along with hinges, locks, latches, and seals, signage) is an essential ironmongery for a fire door: it’s one of the elements that makes a fire door a fire door. It makes sense because a fire door can only work if it is closed. Approved Document B (Fire safety) in England and Wales, Section 2 in Scotland and Part E in Northern Ireland, require fire doors to be fitted with a self-closing device that will fully and reliably close the door from any angle. This doesn’t mean, of course that the door needs to slam shut: it needs to close and latch effectively and reliably, every time. Choosing the right size closer will achieve that.
We often supply sample closers on projects so that tenants can get a real sense of how their door will work in actuality, not on an architect’s drawing, resulting in a door that works effectively for everyone.
Apartment entrance doors are often narrower than standard and that’s why it is not always appropriate to specify a Size 3 closer. That’s why we are delighted that our 4001 and 4002 jamb-mounted concealed door closers have become the very first size 1 and 2 door closers to receive CE marked accreditation. This makes them the perfect easy-to-open door closer device for residential fire doors. The Astra 4001 and 4002 concealed door closers have been designed by Astra specially for narrower FD30 & FD60 residential fire doors. Suitable for use in Buildings Regulations approved document M applications where a lower power closer is required, these door closers facilitate access for all and make them safe, effortless, and practical in everyday use.
If you want help on selecting the right closer, or even a sample for your project, just get in touch, we are the experts after all! Call O1772 796901 or drop us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org