Open sesame: helping seniors operate fire doors
Even when a door closer is set at the lowest spring strength recommended for a fire door, traditional doors in aged care facilities are often too difficult for elderly residents to use. Arthritic or other debilitating conditions mean that assistance is often needed for such basic tasks as simply opening the door.
The answer is a door closer well-designed and manufactured to exacting standards, and tested and approved on fire doors in accordance with Australian Standards. A door fitted with a closer must be hung on good quality, aligned hinges so that it swings freely and without bias.
Traditionally, rack and pinion technology has been utilised, but there is now a unique application on the market that goes one step further. The only solution of its kind in our market, ASSA ABLOY’s Lockwood 2636FS Free Swing Surface Mounted Door Closer is designed to feature the use of Free-Motion functionality and the unique benefits of CAM Motion Technology. This technology allows for a door to swing freely and with no resistance, rendering the control body ineffective when supplied with power.
The benefit of this is that it allows for hydraulic free operation in applications where users may be impeded by forces produced by conventional door control, such as in aged care, healthcare or educational institutions.
If the power supply is disrupted – by the fire indicator panel, a remote switch or actual power failure – the door closer becomes instantly active and cycles to the closed position, for utmost safety.
This makes the technology a perfect solution for all facilities that specify fire- and smoke-rated doors, which require door control to be fitted. It is particularly ideal for aged care applications, where frailty or disability is so frequently an issue. With the Free Swing CAM-Motion Door Closer, a facility’s residents can use the door with absolute minimal resistance, as the CAM-Motion technology also offers easier and lighter operation when the closer is engaged.
Simply put, in a powered state a clutch mechanism disengages the arm of the closer, but when the power is cut the door closer will continue its closing cycle. Of course, this follows the deployment of all necessary safety and evacuation procedures, but is vital in areas designated for fire and smoke containment.
As our population ages, the need for hardware solutions that are respectful of the specific needs of aged care applications is increasing and a Free-Motion Door Closer with CAM-Motion technology is a prime example of solution targeted innovation for this application.
Beyond aged care, there are plenty of other applications where free-motion technology can be employed such as healthcare, institutional applications and office doors.
There is also a possible application in education settings where this technology has the potential to assist in providing doors that can be easily operated by children, but also provide automatic closing solutions as part of institutional lockdown procedures.
To date, the technology has been warmly welcomed by specifying architects and fire engineers who say that the only comparable safety solution is to install a sprinkler system over the nominated fire and smoke rated doors in a facility.
The Lockwood 2636FS series closer has been successfully tested up to four hours (depending on the type of doorset) on fire door assemblies in accordance with Australian Standard AS1905.1:2005, Part: Fire Resistant Door Sets.
When it comes to specification details, the closer has an adjustable spring strength range of size EN3-6 for doors up to 1400 millimetres in width and with a maximum opening angle of up to 160 degrees. It is operated by 24V DC and draws a low 90mA of power consumption.
It is suitable for pull or push side applications and features independent valves, which control the closing and latching speeds. These can be readily adjusted on-site when required. It is also suitable for left or right-hand doors.
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