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Chris Chambers

Fire Door Signs Mixed - Pairs of Doors

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My job involves the specifying of fire door signage for new doorsets and one anomaly is what to use when working with pairs of doors where each leaf has a different operation. The legislation is clear in determining the type of sign for the 'door' but less so when the 'doors' are not identical. Here's what I do, would appreciate any feedback:

Equal pairs with identical characteristics are simple - signage should be the same on each door, 'Fire Door Keep Shut', Fire Door Keep Locked' or 'Automatic Fire Door Keep Clear' (to suit). It's typical to see '...Locked' signs to the corridor/visible side only. There is some advice suggesting that 'Automatic Fire Door Keep Clear' can be fitted to only the side visible when the door is held open, however as these could technically be double action and held open from either direction (rare but not unheard of), I would always use these and '...Shut' signage on both sides.

Equal or unequal pairs where door operation (hardware) is different between leaves are a little more complicated as the signage should reflect what each leaf is doing.

For example: Pair of doors with primary leaf fitted with closer and secondary leaf bolted shut.

I've seen these specified with 'Fire Door Keep Shut' signs on just the primary leaf. I've also seen the same signs on both doors. I don't see either as being correct.

The signage most suited for this configuration would be 'Fire Door Keep Shut' to both sides of the primary leaf and 'Fire Door Keep Locked' to both sides of the secondary leaf. 

Now imagine the same doors but with a door closer fitted to the secondary leaf. This should also dictate a change of signage (for that door), to give 'Fire Door Keep Shut' on both sides of both doors.

 

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I consider your comments acceptable except the one about "Pair of doors with primary leaf fitted with closer and secondary leaf bolted shut" and as it is illegal (article 14 RR(FS)O) it should be treated as a door without a lock, as it may appear you are condoning the situation. It should be reported to the enforcing authorities for them to consider what action to take.

There is a video showing what happens when people escaping are confronted by a double door where one is locked showing the unsuccessful attempts to open the locked door.   

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Guest Gemma

Hi Tom,

Do you have access to this video?

Also on a separate note, when I active my weekly fire alarm test at what point should I reset the Fire Panel. Im in a 6 storey building.

 

Thanks

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The fire was in a Nightclub fire in Perm footage, Russia and at least 109 people died. Check out http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gxCU0o4WtpE 

The purpose of the test is to ensure the fire alarm is working, each call point is tested over a period of time, and every person in the premises can hear the alarm. I would consider 5/6 seconds should be sufficient, any longer people will start complaining about the noise, any less people may not have sufficient time to hear the alarm. Another point is that it must be done at the same time and day so if it is a short alarm, the residents know it is a test fire alarm, but if it continues it could be an actual fire, consequently the residents should be made aware of this. 

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