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HELP! My elderly mother is a prisoner of her door closer!

May 9, 2014 by · Comments Off on HELP! My elderly mother is a prisoner of her door closer! 

We received this plea from a correspondent: “My mother is 92 years old & living in sheltered accommodation.  They have fitted a door closer to her flat & she is now unable to get out or get back in alone.  I am urgently looking for a soft close device which she is able to open & close alone.  Doorstuff replied, “This is unfortunately a common problem when standard door closers are fitted to fire doors (to meet fire regulations) because they make the door too stiff for frail elderly people (young children in nursery schools face the same problem).  The recommendations of The Equalities Act (old DDA) with respect to opening forces on a door allow for quite a stiff door closer, because the Fire Regulation Legislation regarding closing forces has to take priority.  Standard door closers require much more force to open than they exert when closing, because their mechanism is inefficient.  A facilities manager would aim to fit one of the following two door closer types (in order of preference):-
Exidor 4870 Hold open / Free swing
1. Electromagnetic free swing door closers, wired into the fire alarm, these units only act as a door closer once the fire alarm is activated. Normal opening & closing of the door is totally unaffected by having one of these fitted.
2. Cam action guide rail door closer, using a more efficient mechanism design than standard hydraulic closers, the opening forces are reduced and get easier as the angle of opening increases.  The guide rail also helps with easing the opening forces.  Because the mechanism is smaller, the units are more discreet and usually come with an attractive cover as standard.

EXIDOR 4900 door closers, a Great British product

March 24, 2014 by · Comments Off on EXIDOR 4900 door closers, a Great British product 


Made by Exidor in the UK, the EXIDOR 4900 are in stock at Doorstuff. The Exidor overhead door closer range (4900, 4930, 4910, 4940, 4700, 4730, 4800, 4830 and 4820) are direct replacements for the old Jebron door closers and feature the unique high efficiency cam and roller action which is ideal for use where the Equality Act 2010 (formerly the DDA) and BS8300 – Approved Document “M” need to be considered. The cam and roller ‘gears’ the action of the door closer to provide the optimum opening and closing forces where they are needed – as the door is near the frame. The rapidly falling opening force makes the door easier to open, whilst an increasing closing force as the door nears the frame on the closing cycle, ensures safe, secure closing. Efficiency is expressed by describing the closing force as a percentage of the opening force. Therefore a 20 Newtons closing force and 27 Newtons opening force would give an efficiency of: 20÷27 x 100 = 74%. The greater the efficiency, the easier it is to open the door. Exidor’s cam and roller mechanism, with precision engineered parts and unique bearings, result in very highly efficient door closers.

Case Study: when Hi-Load hinges would have been a better choice

October 8, 2013 by · Comments Off on Case Study: when Hi-Load hinges would have been a better choice 


The hinge on the left is a stainless steel 4″ ball bearing butt hinge spotted on a fire door in the gents’ toilet of a busy Exeter department store.  The hinge on the right is a new stainless steel 4″ ball bearing butt hinge, pictured for comparison purposes.  The top bearing has collapsed, its ball bearings have been lost, the washer can be seen protruding out of the joint like a slipped disc.  The effect of this is that the whole weight of the door is resting on the centre knuckle which has compressed onto the collar below causing them to wear each other away.  The degraded state of this hinge increases the opening force potentially causing it to fall foul of the recommendations of BS8300 (DDA/The Equalities Act).  A Hi-load hinge, such as the Royde & Tucker H102 fixed pin hinge, would have been a much better choice for this door.  Why? 
1. The frequency of use for this door could be reasonably predicted to be very high
2. The width of the door was at least 926mm, a long lever (wide door) exerts more power at its axle (hinges) than a shorter one (or narrower door)
3. The door had a door closer, which increases the “adjusted door weight” thus; a door closer adds 20% to the weight, and a back check door closer adds an additional 75%

Is there a digital lock for panic hardware with a knob rather than a lever?

February 1, 2011 by · Comments Off on Is there a digital lock for panic hardware with a knob rather than a lever? 

No, the Exidor CL1 and CL2 outside access devices have a handle rather than a knob.  The Disability Discrimination Act calls for the use of handles over knobs, as they are easier to use.