Printed from the blog of Lori Greene, AHC/CDC, CCPR, FDAI
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Oct 15 2009

In Case of Smoke…

Category: Funky Applications,Reader Photos,SmokeLori @ 10:57 pm Comments (4)

In case of smoke...I’ve seen plenty of inventive hold-open devices on fire-rated doors, but I’ve never seen instructional signage to go along with them!  Coincidentally, I received photos of a chain hold-open and the signage for a chain hold-open on the same day from two different people.  The photos are not from the same facility or even the same country for that matter.

Chain Hold-Open

Maybe I’m naive, but in some cases I think people don’t even realize that they’re compromising life safety for the sake of convenience when they make these modifications.  Even more evidence of why the annual inspection of fire doors is a positive step forward.

Signage photo courtesy of Brendan Daley, Horner Commercial Sales.
Chain holder photo courtesy of Eyal Bedrik, Entry Systems Ltd.

4 Responses to “In Case of Smoke…”

  1. Jess says:

    i agree with you Lori, don’t hold-opens for exit doors have to be at least on an alarm(if electrical) or FUSED LINK (mechanical, such as on closer’s arm)system??? a chain in a way is a LINK but it don’t melt at a specific temperature,

    i would suggest to the person using the gray door with chain, since i notice that in the picture they are using an LCN 4040 (appears to be that) closer, that they could put on a hold open arm (the one with fusable link) or put closer on push side of door (room side)

    instructional signage if read by someone that don’t read or understand English can result in injuries or death. fire door hold opens should be an automatic action (no instruction) such as with electrical or fusable link hold open.

    • Lori says:

      Hi Jess –

      Most of the codes don’t allow fusible link arms in a means of egress any more, but you’re right – there are products that release on fire alarm or smoke detection, like the LCN 4040SE or 4310ME/4410ME. There’s even a battery-operated hold-open device (the Glynn Johnson Sensaguard) that can sometimes be used depending on the fire alarm code requirements or AHJ approval. It has an on-board smoke detector and releases when it senses smoke or when the battery dies. The door has to have a separate closer which closes the door when the Sensaguard releases.

      – Lori

  2. Bob Caron says:

    Our industry has been so good at concealing all the life safety improvements to doors, frames, and hardware, that the general public has no idea why their doors are the way they are. Anything that appears to be an inconvenience is just that.

  3. Jess says:

    Glenn Johnson Sensaguard….rings a bell, in middle school a woodshop teacher I had made me a a booklet of the holder-stops section of his master catalog and at very end featured the Sensaguard as well as door size charts (even for sizing a door using pivots (such as a door using Rixson floor closer or hager support hinges) as well as cross-reference charts for other brands of holder/stops

    all those closers and holders (such as G.J. Sensaguard and LCN 4040SE and 4310ME are all electromechanical means of hold open(LCN’s have built in closer)

    LCN 4040 SE= single point hold open/release/closer
    LCN 4310 ME= multi-point hold open/release/closer

    makes sense about fusible link arms, as they don’t release in electrical failure and they only release after temp reaches about 150-200 degrees in the building or room the closer is in.(usually when its too late to stop a fire from spreading)and not as soon as the fire alarm is activated or power goes out because of shorted circuit.

    ……just HAD to spill some more knowledge here

    speaking of Glenn Johnson…….I have a friend having THAT VERY NAME….. wonder if maybe my friend has some explaining to do (that he’s been making holders/stops since the 6th grade LOL)

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