Fire doors are a vital part of fire safety and can only do their job in preventing the spread of fire and smoke if they are closed. A few minutes of ‘propping’ a door open can lead to grave consequences. If a fire door is wedged open this means that a fire can spread, at worst it will slow down the fire and smoke so people can be evacuated safely, at best it will save lives and protect the building from damage.
Keeping a fire door shut can hold a fire in a room for up to 30 minutes, which would usually give Fire and Rescue Service the time to respond and be attending the fire before it has a chance to spread. This critically gives people time to escape or seek refuge, and also allows the emergency services a safe and protected route into the building. It is even possible that an insurer would not pay as a result of fire doors being left open and there are penalties for not following the rules. A Norwich Landlord was jailed for 21 months and the Humber Landlords Association were fined £100,000. Fire doors are there for a reason and must be kept closed
There are lots of reasons that people wedge open fire doors, we all know they can be a pain when you are carrying a tray of drinks or if you are trying to navigate big heavy luggage. They can be a struggle if you are in a wheelchair or pushing a buggy and now on top of everything else; we are all aware that touching door handles can transfer germs on to our hands. With the rise of Covid-19, more and more people are reluctant to touch door handles as they are afraid of contamination, however, where fire doors are concerned, it is not a solution to avoid germs by wedging a fire-door open.
There is a simple solution with a device called StepNpull® The Foot Handle, a foot operated door pull which mounts on any commercial latch-less wood or metal door, and gives the user the option of pulling the door open with their foot instead of the door handle. It is the perfect solution for providing a touchless passage through a door. The surface area of StepNpull® which is in contact with the door face is small and the bolt through fixing is the same as those used to fix pull handles to door leaves. Therefore, following the users own risk assessment, this simple device can be used on fire doors. Don’t use the Corona-virus pandemic as an excuse for keeping your fire doors open, it is not an excuse as fire is a killer and germs can be avoided by providing a solution in the form of hands free door opening – StepNpull® The Foot Handle