Commercial and public buildings are required to have emergency doors that provide safe egress if a fire or other type of emergency breaks out. Emergency exit door closers provide an important function in allowing a smooth egress while keeping smoke and fire at bay.

Types of Door Closers

There are three types of door closers: mechanical, electromechanical and electrohydraulic. These are to provide a controlled closing after the door has been opened.

  1. Mechanical – A compression spring releases the energy from opening the door to close it. The spring can be adjusted control the speed of the door closing as well as make the door harder or easier to open.
  2. Electromechanical – This can be used for automatic door openers. Some of these operators have sensors that detect movement and keep the door open until everyone is clear of the doorway. There are some models that have integral smoke detectors and remote door releases.
  3. Electrohydraulic – These are used with hydraulic doors in both manual and automatic operations.

Some emergency exit door closers have a back-check device that prevents the door from opening too fast. These are critical for external doors to prevent high winds from blowing the door open or closed. Closers have valves that can be adjusted to delay the closing and latching of a door opened as well as the closing speed.

Fire Codes

The National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) sets requirements for fire doors and related hardware. Fire doors are connected to the building’s fire alarm and their operation is taken over when the alarm activates.

An automatic operated door is required to disconnect from the power feed when the fire alarm is activated and so it becomes manually operated and cannot be held open automatically.

Fire doors must also have an active latchbolt to prevent pressure from a fire from pushing open the door. This prevents smoke and flames from spreading through the building.

Door Closers vs. Spring Hinges

Spring hinges lack the control of a door closer and need to be adjusted over time. Door closers are superior since they would prevent a door from slamming shut or not closing and latching.

The experts at Abington Locksmith can help you select the best door closer options for your business.

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