Fire doors are designed to prevent smoke, heat
and toxic gases from spreading around a
building. They are usually self closing and
can cause problems in premises such as schools, nursing homes and
hospitals etc. where they interfere with free movement. For example, in
residential care premises residents can be frail unable to open heavy
fire doors. It is not uncommon to find fire doors held open by
unauthorised devices such as wedges or even fire extinguishers.
There are many instances of people being injured
or killed in premises where fire doors have been
Apart from the obvious consequences of causing injury and death, the
perpetrators will probably be prosecuted, fined, imprisoned or both.
Unauthorised devices for holding fire doors open
are illegal however there are approved hold open devices that
can be controlled by a fire alarm system. Many different types of
magnetic hold open devices are available, some are hardwired to the fire
alarm system whilst others are wireless and can be relatively easily
There are different types of wireless door retainers and free swing door
closers. Free swing door closers do not activate until the fire alarm
sounds allowing the door to swing freely at all other times.