- Project plans
- Project activities
- Legislation and standards
- Industry context
Last edited 13 Sep 2017
A hold-open device is a mechanism that enables doors to be held open electronically.
The can be fitted to fire doors under certain circumstances. Fire doors are important in terms of providing proper fire separation, and preventing the spread of fire and smoke, but in some situations it may be inconvenient or undesirable for fire doors to be closed all the time. Closed doors can negatively impact upon the inhabitants, such as in a care home or school, or can present hazards where there is busy traffic circulation.
A hold-open device comprises:
- A trigger mechanism which processes the signals issued by the fire alarm.
- A fire alarm.
- A hold-open mechanism – typically a door closer with electro-magnetic hold-open.
- A power supply.
Fire risk assessment and guidance restricts the use of hold-open devices to applications where there is an automatic fire detection and warning system which incorporates smoke detectors, and which is designed to protect the building’s escape routes. The door must close in the event of:
- Activation of a smoke detector.
- Manual activation of a fire alarm.
- Any failure of the alarm system.
- Any electrical power failure.
A manual release push-button must also be provided so that the doors can be manually closed if necessary. It should typically be coloured red, with ‘Close door’ visibly displayed, and positioned in the immediate vicinity of the door, i.e. not concealed when the door is in the hold-open position.
 Find out more
 Related articles on Designing Buildings Wiki
- Automatic fire detection and alarm systems, an introductory guide to components and systems BR 510.
- Automatic release mechanism.
- Door closer.
- Fire detection and alarm systems.
- Fire door.
- Fire Door Inspection Scheme.
- Fire safety design.
- Fire stopping.
- Free-swing door closer.
- Installing fire doors and doorsets (GG 86).
- Means of escape.
- Self-closing device.
Featured articles and news
Re-establishing human relationships with the natural world.
Post-occupancy evaluation of completed construction works.
Seven steps to defining a digital twin.
Achieving air tightness in buildings.
What are the benefits of smart homes for Millennial end-users?
How dynamic briefing can result in an efficient project.
Achieving sustainable roads funding in England.
Your chance to comment on the draft BS 851188 - flood resistance products and flood protection products.
Rebuilding could take 20 to 40 years.
RSHP’s high-rise residential towers win a tall buildings award for excellence.
BSRIA study reveals strong growth in 2018.