Last edited 20 Nov 2020

Hold-open device

A hold-open device is a mechanism that enables fire doors to be held open safely and is commonly used to help deal with issues of fire door wedging or improving accessibility.

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 can be installed to hold the door leaves in the open position until they are released, either manually or in the event of a fire, at which point the door closes via the closing force of a ‘door closer’.

The operation of a hold-open device comprises:

In the event of a fire, the trigger mechanism releases the hold-open device, allowing the door to close.

The device can either be an attachment to the door or can be incorporated into the door closer. In the case of ‘delayed-action closers’, they are often installed as separate wall-mounted devices.

Devices should have a manual release mechanism so that the doors can be manually closed if necessary.

Hold open devices should comply with BS 7273-4:2015 Code of practice for the operation of fire protection measures – part 4: Actuation of release mechanisms for doors. This standard categorizes products into three installation categories; Standard, Indirect & Critical

Standard and Indirect installations should release the device upon;

Critical installations should release upon the above conditions as well as upon any failure of the alarm system.

Current 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.

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