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Can a fire door have an automatic opener?

Guest JimS

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Hi. We live in an appartment block in london. We are on the second floor and have the fire door right outside out door (there are 2 floors above us). Was wondering if we could installl a motion activated door or some kind of pressure sensor to automate opening and closing. Is this kind of thing possible and legal? Best wishes. Jim

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Fire doors are designed to be kept closed at all times to ensure their effectiveness in preventing smoke and fire entering the means of escape, in maintaining adequate fire compartmentation and to generally prevent the spread of fire.

However, it is recognised that in certain circumstances it is desirable to have self-closing fire doors kept open for practical reasons. Using a wedge is not acceptable because fire doors are vital as safety equipment that legally must be kept shut unless an approved system is used to hold it open that releases the door on activation of the fire alarm system.

As far as we are aware the only acceptable method of holding open fire doors is by using a device that meets the requirements of BS7273:part 4 and BS5839;part3 in its operation.

So if you fit an automatic opening device it must close immediately or on activation of the fire alarm. Correct signage must also be fitted to the doors and you should seek advice from a specialist manufacturer competent in fire door installation. FIRAS lists approved fire door installers.

You may also need approval for any alterations from your local authority building control and the building owners/occupiers. The building owner/occupier will have a fire risk strategy and any alterations to fire doors must be recorded.

Hope this helps.

Regards, Neil

Fire Door Inspection Scheme

London, WC1E 7BT

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  • 6 years later...

Can you have fire doors with sensors that shut when they detect smoke. My Mother lives in a McCarthy Sone flat and the fire doors are permanently open when she commented on this was told we are ok the doors sense the fire and shut themselves. I am concerned because they are open at night.

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