Fire door swing operators

If your business uses a manual fire door, your customers and workers deserve an automatic one that can readily protect them when a fire starts. Stop the guessing and help give you customers the automatic protection they need to ask us for our fire door swing operator.

Our fire door swing operators give manual doors the expediency and efficiency of an automatic door, while providing the security and protection you need for your customers, clients, guests, and workers.

With our fire door swing operators, when a fire alarm is activated at your business, the fire door automatically closes at a rate that complies with all fire code regulations. Fire door swing operators from Horton Automatics are expertly engineered, skillfully crafted, rigidly tested and can be installed at any entrance.

Fire door swing operators are for fire doors that close rather than pull to make sure they close properly after using a fire door closer. A fire door closer is usually used on outward opening doors. A fire door swing operator is commonly used on inward opening doors.


Are you wondering what the difference is between a fire door operator and a fire door closer? Fire door operators are designed to allow doors to be opened manually. Fire door closers are designed to close the door automatically.

Which is better, a fire door closer or a fire door operator? Knowing the difference is key. To decide, you should look at things like building use and regulatory requirements.

A Fire door closes the door automatically using an electric motor whereas a Fire door operator is designed to allow manual opening of the door. As with most products, there are several considerations involved in choosing the best product.

While fire door closers are typically activated by heat, in some instances they can also be activated by smoke detectors or other sensors. The best solution in any given situation depends on factors like building use, regulatory requirements, and available space.

A fire door operator is a locking device used with a fire door to control the closing of the door or to keep it open in an emergency. A fire door closer provides automatic closure of a fire door under specified conditions. It is typically activated by heat, although some models can also be activated by patented “smart” smoke detectors and other sensors.

Door closers that have mechanical hold-open arms are prohibited on fire-door assemblies for the same reason. Any device used to keep a fire door in the open position must have an automatic release, so it will close if a fire occurs. These products are defined in the codes and standards as automatic-closing (or self-closing) devices.

The effect on fire protection is the most immediate concern. Many fire-door assemblies are required to remain locked until activated by an electronic signal. An open door could cause a fire alarm to be inadvertently activated, delaying the response of first responders or simply prompting them to evacuate the area rather than seek out the source of the problem.

Fire doors are not propped open for fire-safety reasons. They physically close because of the force of the water in a fire sprinkler. It’s a natural reaction to close when you see water, which acts as a hydraulic pump to seal a path of least resistance to the closest floor drain.

If a fire door is held open, it will eventually close burning materials that find their way into the facility. That’s not what you want when you’re trying to keep the flames from spreading to other areas!

If a fire door is being held open, it means that there is a possibility of a water-flow path to the sprinkler. Fire doors need to close, not open. Do you want to prevent a fire from spreading to other areas of your facility by closing fire doors? Call us today. We know how to close a fire door!

At one time, door closers that have fusible-link hold-open arms were common on fire-door assemblies. The hold-open arm incorporated a link that would melt when it reached a certain temperature, allowing the door to close.

Although fusible links aren’t prohibited by NFPA 80 Standard for Fire doors and Other Opening Protectives, the model codes don’t allow them in most locations. This is because a large volume of smoke could pass through the door before the link heated to the melting point. For the vast majority of fire doors.

The biggest reason why fusible links on fire doors have fallen out of favor is that they were overused in the past. More fusible links meant more hot smoke passing through fire doors before it was allowed to vent. It also turned firefighters into firefighters-who-sold-fireplace-doors.

Magnet holders are a type of fire-alarm release device that holds a door open allowing for the egress route within a building while a fire alarm is still in progress. For example, a sprinkler release system could be used to hold a door open until the sprinklers have been turned off thereby allowing occupancy to return to the area.

These units consist of an electromagnet in a housing, mounted on a wall or on the floor. The door also must be equipped with a door closer or other closing device. After the fire-alarm system is activated, power to the door holder is cut, and the door will close. The hold-open force for these products typically is between 18 and 40 pounds.

Magnetic contact holders are used to hold exit doors in an open position during emergencies. When the fire alarm system is activated, electricity to the magnet is cut off, causing it to release its hold on the door. The door will then close automatically. A typical magnetic contact holder can withstand 250 pounds before being pulled off of a steel door.

The use of magnet holders for fire alarm systems is approved by the NFPA, and can be found in NFPA 72. The basic features of a magnet holder device are that it must contain a permanently mounted electromagnet, a powered door closer or a manual door pull-cord to allow the door to be opened from the inside, and a power source to energize the electromagnet.

The power source normally is low voltage AC power from a wall transformer, or from a DC battery system. In most cases, there is an overcurrent protection device in series with the power source to prevent the electromagnet from draining too much current from the power source when extended periods without fire alarm activation occur.

The misalignment of magnets when two magnetic barriers are in proximity can result in corrosion of these units. Hold-open force is weak when the housings are mounted less than one inch apart. The door may not be strong enough to resist the weight of the fire doors, and the door could fall off its hinges when it swings open.

For wall-mounted units, some coordination is required when selecting the projection of the magnet housing and armature to provide the required amount of clearance. Chains and other creative methods for field-modifying a magnetic holder or armature should never be used, because they aren’t covered by the manufacturer’s listings. Floor-mounted units don’t require as much coordination but are more susceptible to damage because of their mounting location.

A single-point door automatically locks in any partially open position, while a multipoint door can be left in any position. A multipoint door also may be used in place of a cross-corridor door to create an access control system, but it would need to be replaced by a wider unit for wheelchair access.

A single-point door operates just like a multipoint door, but it is designed to restrict the opening only to a single point. Using this kind of door at a cross-corridor or stairwell exit point would not be a good choice because emergency personnel would have to squeeze by other doors in order to get through.

A single-point unit would be the preferred choice for a cross-corridor or stairwell door, so the door always is open fully and out of the way. A multipoint unit would be better suited for a fire door leading to a patient room in a health-care facility.

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