Specialist door openers ensure fire safety in a COVID-19-secure workplace, says CDS

News | December 2020

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While people are still being advised to work from home where possible, many, for whom it is not practical, are returning to the office in the new year, perhaps after months cocooned in their own space.

And for some companies, striking the balance between ensuring a COVID-19-secure workplace while complying with fire regulations can seem an impossible conundrum.

Reducing touchpoints and improving ventilation are two areas which workplaces need to address – but the solutions to both of those could mean leaving fire doors open, which is not only illegal but also potentially lethal.

CDS is able to help companies ensure they are fire safety compliant and recently oversaw a project which addressed this very dichotomy as part of a wider programme of fire safety measures at Nottingham Trent University.

It supplied more than 500 fire door retainers which provide an easy, safe and legal way to hold fire doors open and reduce the use of touch surfaces such as door handles and door plates. The plunger devices deactivate on hearing a fire alarm, shutting the doors.

As well as reducing touchpoints, the door openers have the added benefit of improving ventilation, another important factor in heling reduce transmission of the virus in indoor spaces.

Using door retaining devices may even have the knock-on effect of boosting mental wellbeing by enabling people who have been isolated for a long time to feel part of the wider workplace community. By keeping the doors open between departments colleagues can see each other at a safe distance and not feel they are, yet again, forced into an enclosed space.

CDS, which has a 33-year track record in the commercial and public sectors, can carry out a fire risk assessment to ensure workplaces comply with the Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005 and specify, supply and fit equipment which will ensure that COVID-19 compliance doesn’t compromise fire safety.