The simple answer is no!
It is hazardous to the people / equipment in the buildings, voids compliance, often voids insurance and is also illegal.
That being said, there are a number of solutions as mentioned in this article which show how you can legally keep a Fire Door open via various electronic solutions.
Some solutions are simple to install, and others are slightly more complex, however, can provide greater flexibility / control of the door.
A Fire Door is designed to slow the spread of heat, smoke and fire from one environment to the next.
A door left wide open simply can’t protect to the standards needed for that door. This can sometimes be up to 240 minutes. No matter how well the door has been designed, reducing the spread of heat, smoke or fire for 240 minutes with the door wide open is simply unrealistic.
Smoke travels very quickly, which is a key cause of injury and death when a fire breaks out. Being wedged open also allows a much greater volume of air to circulate, therefore potentially feeding any fires.
Actively propping open a Fire Door is directly reducing the safety of the building, and surrounding buildings.
It is therefore quite common to hear of fines and sometimes even court cases when it comes to these violations. If an incident were to happen, and doors were left propped open, then this will certainly be mentioned in the case.
There are a number of instances where holding a Fire Door open might be advantageous.
More often than not, Fire Doors are propped open illegally out of selfish convenience. People weigh up in their heads that keeping it open for a short period of time is worthwhile for the draft or ease of carrying goods, and assume at some point it will miraculously close itself.
Whilst there are an ever increasing number of solutions developing on the market, there is a common theme that runs throughout.
The vast majority of the solutions will release a door once the device detects a fire alarm going off.
Once the door is released, the door then relies on either a mechanical device to shut the door, such as a mechanical closer, or via a powered device such as a powered door closer.
Most systems rely on a battery-operated release mechanism and then use a non-powered mechanical door closer to do the work of closing the door. This means minimal time of installation and limited infrastructure changes.
There are however more flexible solutions which are mains powered, and that are linked with various Access Control Systems. These systems can lock doors to allow greater flexibly when it comes to the control of access of an area. Access rights can then change once an alarm goes off.
Some of the common search terms people look for when researching these various technologies are as follows:
With that being said about the various terminologies, here are some of the most common devices we install within a commercial environment.
Being one of the most popular solutions, as it’s relativity cheap to buy and easy to install.
Given that it’s surface mounted, it can be applied to many door types.
Similar to an Acoustic Fire Door retainer, the magnetic variant will trigger on a fire alarm going off. The difference here, is that the door is held by an electromagnet.
Providing a more flexible solution, whilst not being too costly, a Free Swing Overhead Door Closer combines the technology of multiple platforms into one solution. Coming in battery and mains driven variants to suit client needs.
There are many solutions which fit under this section, however the principles are simple.
Within this system you have devices that trigger when there is a fire, actioning the automatic closing of the door. However, during times when there isn’t a fire alarm going off, sensors can activate the opening of the doors, without the need of pressing any buttons, or opening any doors manually.
The trigger to open the door could be a PIR sensor (motion) or could be PIR in collaboration with Access Control Media. This Access Control Media can limit the users access rights, to certain areas, in normal operation.
Whilst this solution is the most complex, it certainly provides more flexibility, and ease of use.
More information, please see our page on Hands Free Access Control.