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Many fire door closers “not fit for purpose” on non-insulated metal doors

A leading door opening solutions company has warned specifiers, installers and property owners to check if their door closing devices are suitable for non-insulated metal fire doors.

UNION, part of ASSA ABLOY Security Solutions, cautions that while many door closers are stated as approved for metal fire doors, this may only apply to insulated, not non-insulated, metal fire doors.

The company says that with around 80% of metal fire doors sold in the UK being non-insulated, many door closers are therefore not fit for purpose, leading to potentially disastrous consequences.

The correct fire door closers must be specified for non-insulated metal doors, which do not protect against heat transfer, only against fire and smoke.

If a door closer is filled with mineral semi-synthetic mix oil, it could ignite if it reaches a high enough temperature

If a door closer is filled with mineral semi-synthetic mix oil, it could ignite if it reaches a high enough temperature.

Although testing organisation Certifire has recently revised its certification to more accurately state the type of metal fire door for which a door closer is approved, many installers and specifiers are still not aware of this risk and of the dangers of fitting incorrect door closers.

David Hindle, door closer specialist at UNION, said: “We believe many door closers could have been incorrectly specified for non-insulated metal fire doors, which could pose a real danger to lives in the event of a fire.

“These door closers are not suitable for fire escapes or other applications where extreme heat could risk lives or cause serious damage to property. This is a hugely serious issue.”

UNION gives the following advice on dealing with this concern:

  • check all relevant Certifire documentation for any recent updates
  • check whether the documentation includes details on the type of fire doors that the door closer has been tested on
  • check for any restrictions on the type of metal fire door