Fire exits are an access route in times of need but they should be open at all times during working hours to ensure people can safely exit an emergency. Every building requires fire exits to be highlighted as part of their emergency escape plan but in many working environments, fire exits are misused. A fire door should remain closed until needed but many do use them especially in warmer weather. This in turn is a fire hazard and can cause serious issues in the events of a fire.
Panic bolts are used on fire doors that should always be kept locked unless needed in an emergency. We recommend these for private staff exits rather than for public use. The bolts keep the door shut unless the bolt is broken by the attached hammer.
Fire door key boxes are used to keep keys for the fire doors. When required, you can simply break the glass and get the key. Alternatively they can be used to store the hammers for the panic bolts. These help prevent easy access to the door and you can easily identify whether they have been tampered with.
Fire door push bars are the most common and probably easiest to understand. They shut after use and use is self-explanatory. These are useful if you use your fire doors a lot.
Fire door signs are a simple but effective way to ensure they are used in a correct manner. Instructing people to keep exits clear and to shut the door after use is a successful means of portraying said messages – people will normally listen to such advice. Moreover, you can purchase fire exit signs that guide people on how to open the fire doors in an emergency. Panic bolts are not as known as a push bar so instruction signs will be useful for those situations.
Fire door closers automatically ensure fire doors are closed after use. A door left open in the event of a fire will allow flames to spread at a quicker rate, endangering more lives.
Fire door retainers are a solution for small office or workplace spaces. If you work in a smaller environment, it is common on warm days to prop the fire door open for air conditioning. While this is not recommended, it happens and fire door retainers ensure this can occur in a safe manner. This retainer will at as the prop but in the event of a fire alarm, it will immediately close to prevent the fire spreading quicker. It is acoustically activated and so is a safe instrument to keep your fire exits secure.
Although fire doors should be easy to open in case of emergency, they only need to be free to access during working hours. If no one is present in the property, then understandably you can add extra security to ensure no one breaks in. Barrel locks and padlocks and chains are the most common measures for out of hours use; however these must be quickly removed again when the building is in operation.