Kick the Wedge! - Checkmate Fire Solutions

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Kick The Wedge
Wesley Kent
Sales & Marketing Director
Agenda
Fireco Ltd
History of fire doors
History of the door wedge
Kick The Wedge
Rosepark Nursing Home
Door retainer legislation
Door hold open devices
Conclusion
Fireco Ltd
Established in 1994
Inventors of:
Dorgard
Freedor
Easydor
Deafgard
DMS
System X
Pioneers in wireless technology
Great Fire of London - 1666
•
The Great Fire of London started in the early hours of 2nd September 1666 at the end of a long dry summer and
after burning for 4 days had destroyed 80% of the city.
•
Although only 6 people died it was a national disaster and London acquired its first complete code of building
regulations and means for its implementation
•
On September 13th King Charles II issued a proclamation in which:
•
The walls of all new buildings were to be of brick or stone.
•
The main streets were to be widened to prevent fire spread
•
Existing narrow alleyways were to be considerably reduced
•
A survey of every ruin and ownership shown of every plot
•
Compartmentation between rooms using a thick timber door
Fire Doors
After the Great Fire of London the “Fire door” was born.
Buildings are compartmentalised to delay the spread of fire from one area to another.
Fire doors have two important functions in a fire;
•
When closed they form a barrier to stop the spread of fire
•
When opened they provide a means of escape.
•
Every fire door is therefore required to act as a barrier to the passage of smoke and/or fire to varying degrees
depending upon its location in a building and the fire hazards associated with that building.
•
A fire door required to provide resistance to the passage of a well developed fire must be fitted with intumescent
seals. These seals remain dormant under normal conditions but expand greatly in the heat of a fire to close the gap
between the door and its frame.
Door Wedge
•
The greatest threat to the spread of fire in a building is a held open fire door.
•
Ever since the first door was created, it is likely that human beings have understood how to use an object or device
to keep it open.
Heavy stones
Bricks or metal
Chunks of wood
Extinguishers
Chairs
•
All work to prevent a door from closing. It was Dec. 10, 1878, that a person was given credit as the inventor of
what is commonly known as the "door stop" or "door stopper."
Door Wedge Inventor
Very little is known about Osborn Dorsey. Even his first name is generally reduced to "O." by those
who surrender after attempts to learn more about this hard-to-trace gentleman. What we do know is
that Mr. Dorsey was a 19th century African-American inventor. The door stop was his most famous
invention. On Dec. 10, 1878, Osborn, or O, Dorsey received patent number 210,764 for this invention.
However the more common door wedge which we are more familiar with was invented in 1965.
Herbert Arenson
• Herbert Arenson filed for a patent on a wedge doorstop on Sept. 7, 1965 and the last patented
doorstop came on Oct. 15, 1991.
How door wedges are used
How many of us have seen something like
this?
For many years the hindrance to free
movement posed by a Fire Door has been
resented by companies and a business
culture, whereby it was acceptable to
prop them open, soon developed
How door wedges are used
The “British Standard Wedge”
If you haven’t seen one of these, you must
be new here!
Why is this a problem?
Fire doors are provided, at considerable expense, to
protect the safety of building occupants. In the event of
a fire, they stop smoke spreading into corridors and
stairs - provided they are shut. In this way they make
sure people have a protected route to get out of the
building, and they protect the building and its contents
against the spread of damage. Leaving fire doors
wedged or propped open disregards the safety of others.
It is also against the law
Merseyside Fire Brigade
Wedge Pledge
The ‘Kick the Wedge’ survey was carried out by independent researchers during 2007 on
behalf of Fireco Ltd.
Over 100 accredited UK Fire Risk Assessors, and individual Fire Safety Officers from the
UK’s Fire and Rescue Services answered fire safety specific questions relating to their
observations during fire safety audits.
This survey was designed to evaluate how effective the means of escape were in UK
businesses.
Rosepark Nursing Home
The fire at Rosepark Nursing Home in Uddingston, South Lanarkshire, broke out in a cupboard on 31 January
2004 and ripped through the building.
Fatal Accident Inquiry (FAI) determination by Sheriff
Principal Brian Lockhart lists a catalogue of
precautions including:
All bedroom doors to have had door closers and
smoke seals fitted to them
After years of research and test fires, it is proven how
effective fire doors with self closers would have been.
It is also noted that the residents wanted their doors
open.
Rosepark Nursing Home
Only two bedroom doors closed.
Closed bedroom doors would have starved the fire.
Some room doors had self closers but some had been
removed or disconnected, or were intact but the doors had
been wedged open.
Recreating the fire
With a closed bedroom door on the fire corridor in the
recreation area, the asphyxiant gas concentrations increased
only slowly. There was no discernable heat hazard and
conditions would probably have remained survivable if any
occupant was removed 30 to 50 minutes after the start of the
fire.
Door Retainer legislation
Door retainers must comply with standards and legislation. The purpose of a fire door retainer is to allow the door to be
held open, and to close in the event of a fire.
BS EN1155:
BS EN 1155: 1997, Building hardware, electrically powered hold-open devices for swing doors. This is a harmonized
European standard which specifies requirements for separate hold-open mechanisms incorporated in a door closer
intended to be used on fire/smoke doors.
BS7273-4
Code of Practice
BS 7273-4 concerns the interface (critical signal path) between fire detection and fire alarm systems with forms of door
hardware, including devices to hold open self-closing fire doors.
•
Category A
Fail-to-safe when 12 specified faults or disablements on the fire system occurs.
•
Category B
Fail-to-safe only when critical path wiring faults occur or when there is power loss to the fire alarm
•
Category C
As category B, but interface via another system.
Door hold-open devices
• There are now a number of ways to legally hold your fire door open
• Over the past few years new technology has allowed new and innovative ways to keep your fire doors
open
• Magnetic door retainers – Hardwired into the fire alarm
• Free swing door closers/retainers – hardwired and battery operated devices
• Battery operated door retainers – stand alone and radio linked products
Before installation, carry out a risk assessment and identify the type of fire door you are holding open.
Magnetic hold-open devices
•
•
•
•
Products that have been on the market for many years are magnetic hold open devices
Hardwired into the fire alarm
Magnet on the wall and the door
The magnetic current is cut when the alarm sounds
Free-swing Door Retainers/Closers
•
•
•
•
Free-swing door retainers/closer allow the fire door to “free swing”
Hardwired into the fire alarm system
Battery operated versions are now available
Ideal for bedroom doors in care/residential homes
Dorgard
Dorgard enables you to legally and safely keep fire doors open, by
allowing the door to close when the fire alarm sounds, preventing
the spread of fire and smoke. Installed onto the bottom of the fire
door in under 5 minutes, Dorgard is listening for a continuous fire
alarm of 65dBA or higher.
Dorgard
•
•
•
•
•
•
•
Wireless unit with fail-to-safe technology
Improves access throughout buildings
Complies with EN 1155 and accepted by the Fire and Rescue Services
Available in a variety of colours and finishes
Automatic night-time release facility
Adjustable sensitivity
CE marked
Conclusion
• Fire doors are an integral part of your building; they save lives and protect your property.
• Risk assess how fire doors in your building are used.
• Carry out a risk assessment on the type of door retainer you are using in line with legislation.
• Do not wedge open fire doors!
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