Fire safety regulations require care settings to have heavy and self-closing fire doors on resident’s bedrooms. Whilst being a vital component of your fire management strategy they can lead to residents feeling trapped and isolated, unable to leave their bedrooms unaided. Many residents like to have their bedroom doors open, enabling them to see people passing, giving them the opportunity to engage in conversation throughout the day. Not being able to leave the bedroom independently or engage in conversation can lead residents to feel lonely and can impact on their self-esteem and mental wellbeing. Being able to leave their doors open makes all the difference to the independence of disabled or frail people and can aid in maintaining good mental health, which also has a positive impact on their general health, too.
Under the Equality Act 2010 reasonable measures must be undertaken in a setting to make it as inclusive as possible. This includes removing barriers that prevent people from accessing and using all parts of a building. This issue has led some care settings to resort to the illegal practice of wedging bedroom doors open, leaving residents vulnerable in case of fire and endangering lives. Managers of care settings hold the legal responsibility to ensure that they have a robust fire safety management system. Breaching the regulations of the Regulatory Reform (Fire Order) 2005 by wedging fire doors open could land managers with a heavy fine or even a custodial sentence. However, they also have a legal duty to ensure their setting is as inclusive as possible. Finding a solution to ensure that you are meeting both obligations is not as difficult as you might have thought.
Dorgard have developed a range of door retainers that are wire free, battery operated and easy to install. They will allow you to keep your fire doors open legally and will automatically release the door to close on the sounding of your fire alarm, maintaining a safe environment for residents, staff and visitors. With a range of Dorgards to choose from you will find a solution that is ideal for your particular setting. The original Dorgard is perfect for small to medium settings with normal or low noise levels. For a noisier environment, where enhanced sound recognition is beneficial, Dorgard SmartSound offers a great solution. If you have large premises or if you require the possibility to do a ‘one glance’ check that your system is working the Dorgard Pro can offer you the ability to manage up to 500 fire doors on one site. You also have the option of wiring the Pro into your alarm system.