How do I know my door closer will assist BS 8300?

As a designer and manufacturer of door closers, you might think that we’d only be concerned about the forces required to close a door. But the force applied to close a door corresponds directly to the force required to open that door. And whilst fire safety regulations dictate that fire doors must close completely and reliably, Equality legislation protecting the physically impaired demands that spaces are universally accessible. This means that choosing the correct door closer can often be a balancing act between allowing ease of opening and ensuring reliable closing. 

In juggling these competing priorities, our customers often come to us and ask: How can I be sure that the door closer I order will comply with BS 8300 regulations in situ? This is particularly challenging because until the door and its closer are installed, it is difficult to assess exactly what closing force will be required and what the corresponding opening force will therefore be.

Door opening requirements

British standard BS 8300-2:2018, in tandem with Doc M, provides practical guidance on how to meet the minimum standards required to comply with the Equality Act.: “…a door closer must produce an opening force of below 30N between 0º and 30º degrees and below 22.5N between 30º and 60º degrees…”. With this guidance in mind, we are often asked what power door closer do I need for a 60kg door to comply with BS 8300 requirements? Sadly, the answer is, it’s not that simple but in this blog we explore how you can make an educated estimate whilst making provisions for other factors that come into play once on site.

Weight is only one factor
Whilst it is impossible to accurately predict the eventual opening force of the door once installed, there are reasonable steps you can take to ensure that the final opening force of the door is enough to comply with the Equality Act and ensure that those who are physically impaired can still access facilities easily.

Whilst weight is a key factor that will inform which door closer you choose, it is not the only one.  Physics dictates that it is the weight combined with the width that dictates the starting point for your choice of door closer. For instance, a very wide 40kg door is a lot easier to open at the leading edge than a very narrow 40kg door.

A starting point
It is possible to estimate the power size required by looking at the weight and width of the door. The table below is a good place to start when choosing a door closer. 

Power size (EN)

Max door weight (kg)

Max door width (mm)

1

20

750

2

40

850

3

60

950

4

80

1100

5

100

1250

6

120

1400

*An abridged table based on guidance given in BS 1154

Do bear in mind that guidance states that fire doors should be fitted with EN 3 door closers as a minimum.

Other factors to consider

Of course we all know that when installing a door on-site, other factors come into play which often impact on door opening/closing forces: air pressures in the rooms on each side of the doorway, whether or not door seals are fitted, the quality of door hardware used, and potentially other factors. Therefore, a door closer will often need adjusting once the doorset has been installed.

Rutland recommendation
In conclusion, it is entirely legitimate to be uncertain as to whether a
door closer will assist with BS 8300 regulations or not (whilst also adhering to fire regulations), because it is impossible to predict all the contributing factors in the eventual environment. For this reason, we recommend making an estimate using the weight and width of the door and then using an adjustable closer, such as the TS.11204, that covers a power above and below the expected power required, in order to balance the competing demands of sufficient closing power and the correct ease of opening.

For a more detailed look at Equality Act guidance on door opening forces, read our whitepaper Ensuring compliance in door opening forces.

 

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