Door Closer Adjustments: Why Are They Important?
Door closer adjustments are done when the door closer is installed and again whenever maintenance is necessary. Adjusting commercial door closers is an important task that should not be forgotten as part of routine maintenance on a building. There are three main reasons to remember why you should adjust door closers.
Door closers should be adjusted for at least the following three reasons:
- Building Security
- ADA requirements
- Life Safety
Door Closer Adjustments Are Important For Building Security
The first reason we mention about the importance of door closer adjustments is for a building’s security. It may seem strange at first to think that a door closer would affect the security of the building. All it does is control the door so that it closes when it supposed to right? The security is built into the locking mechanism not the door closer hardware right?
Actually, the lock is only effective if the door is closed and latched. That can only happen if the door closer is working properly. The door closer adjustments need to be correct so that the door will close and latch correctly whenever someone walks through the opening. The latch speed should be adjusted so that when the door closer is done functioning the latch is secure in the strike mechanism installed.
Door Closer Adjustments Are Important For ADA Requirements
Another important consideration for door closer adjustments is Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). This will ensure that persons with disabilities or other limitations will be able to operate the door. A door closer needs to be adjusted so that it doesn’t require a body builder to push it open and walk through. The resistance from the closer shouldn’t be more than 5 lbs of force required to open the door. Maximum force pertains to the continuous application of force necessary to fully open a door, not the initial force required to overcome the inertia of the door, according to ADA standards.
This includes the main speed and power of the closer spring as the door moves along the swing of the door. There are adjustments on the closer that allow you to control these aspects of the door closer. Fire ratings or exterior door locations may supersede this requirement.
Door Closer Adjustments Are Important For Life Safety
The final important consideration that we will mention here is adjusting door closers for life safety requirements such as fire ratings. If a door is fire rated it must be self-closing and self-latching. Even if there is a positive latching piece of hardware on the door, if the door closer is not functioning properly to close the door, then the latch will not serve its intended purpose either.
In the event of a fire, the door must be closed to prevent the spread of fire and allow for occupants to exit the building in a safe manner. All of the door closers along the path of egress must control the doors so that the path is unobstructed by fire, smoke or other dangers.
Additionally, in the event of an active shooter, it is important that doors that are meant to be closed and secured are working correctly. A closed and secured opening can save lives in such scenarios.
Make sure you take the time to properly adjust each door closer in a building. When they are installed, we ensure that they are functioning properly before completing the installation of the door. It can drastically improve the performance and safety of the opening.
If you are unsure if your door closers are working properly you can schedule a time for a troubleshoot with an expert from Beacon Commercial Door & Lock. If a replacement door closer is necessary we can provide a free quote.
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