As most of you know, I love to see creativity and innovation within the door and hardware industry, especially if it helps to increase fire prevention and life safety. I received a video this morning, introducing a product that has been developed by two retired FDNY firefighters. It is a spring hinge with a fusible link, so in normal operation it acts as a typical hinge but when exposed to heat it closes the door.
According to current codes, corridor doors in residential occupancies like apartments, hotels, and dormitories are required to have a 20-minute fire rating, and must be self-closing and self-latching. But at some point in history (I’ll have to figure out when), this rating was not required, and I think those older facilities may be a great opportunity for a product like this. It could also be used on interior doors where it would be helpful to compartmentalize and control the fire.
A few years ago I stayed in a hotel that did not have rated doors on the dwelling units, and the doors were not self-closing. If a fire began in my room and I ran out and left the door open, the smoke and flames would spread freely, compromising the means of egress and making the fire much more difficult for firefighters to fight. This product was designed after many years of first-hand experience with these fires.
The creators of the product would love some feedback, ideas, and constructive criticism, and I know exactly who to ask. You!