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Guest Dave Haythornthwaite

Self closers in primary schools

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Guest Dave Haythornthwaite

Just done an FRA on my first primary school where understandably a lot of the doors didn't have self-closers fitted, presumably to prevent the little ones being knocked over etc. Finger Guards were also in place. But it got me thinking as these doors were opening onto escape routes is there any dispensation given anywhere for such establishments?I have had a quick look at the Government Guidance Doc but can't find any reference.

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As far as I am aware here is no dispensation given anywhere for such establishments, if fire doors are required then they must be fitted with self closers. A fire door that is not closed when a fire starts then it is not a fire door and will not perform its purpose.

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I've been auditing primary and secondary schools for several years and Tom is correct (as usual!)-unless it's an automatic fire door it must have a self-closer.

An issue that often crops up with manual doors is that the younger kids (primary 1-2) often have trouble opening them; usually an adjustment to the closer tension solves this.

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Both BB7 the old design guide for fire safety in schools & BB100 the current guide take a different approach to fire doors than you would see in other types of building.

Classrooms off a corridor that isn't a dead end don't require to be fire doors (unless an area of high risk like some labs) - so whilst they often still install fire door blanks with vision panels anyway they don't require self closers. 

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Thanks AB for watching my back, I was referring to fire doors but failed to consider that the doors that was being discussed were they required to be fire doors.

I think this is a lesson to us all, treat the internet with lots of caution. To answer questions, in most cases you need a lot of information that quite often is not there and you have to assume which can result in poor answers which are far from definitive. I think you should fully research and get your information from various sources and make up your own mind.

Bumper8 you put the mockers on me with your comments or was that meant to be sarcastic. 😉

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