How To Avoid Trapped Fingers In Fire Doors

Recently, the British Association of Plastic and Reconstructive Surgeons (BAPRAS) issued a press release calling for the use of doorstoppers to reduce the estimated 50,000 children whose hands and fingers are injured by closing doors every year.

The call was prompted by The Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents (RoSPA), who reported that every year 30,000 children trap their fingers in doors, with more than 1,500 of these needing surgery and one in six resulting in amputation.  These can be injuries which give lifelong problems.

It is of course good to see an esteemed body such as BAPRAS calling for action to be taken to reduce these type of accidents. With this being such a common type of injury children suffer, it is not surprising that a bit of time spent looking into this could really help reduce this – and avoid NHS costs too.

One idea put forward by BAPRAS was to use ‘C’ shaped foam products that stop a door slamming and trapping little fingers, thus reducing the number of injuries.

It is a simple and potentially very useful item, and we certainly think it could help reduce the number of terrible injuries children suffer to their fingers. However, the idea put forward by BAPRAS didn’t mention that such items must not be fitted to fire rated doors.

While no-one wants to see children suffering such injuries, fire doors that cannot close put a greater number of lives at risk. On that basis, despite the well-intentioned idea put forward by BAPRAS, nothing must be allowed to obstruct a fire door from closing. If you are using a form of anti-finger trap product on a door that does prevent the door from closing fully, please check it is not a fire door – if it is then you must remove the anti-trap product immediately.

However, it is possible to have a fire door that won’t trap and injure fingers. The ASSA ABLOY DC700G-CM slows a fire door down in the last few degrees before reaching the frame. When fitted with this unit you literally cannot slam a fire door shut – it stops and then gently and silently controls the door leaf into the frame (which also makes it perfect for places where noise control is also important, cinemas, theatres or hotel rooms).

The DC700G-CM was designed to solve the very real problem of trying to stop fire doors being responsible for finger related injuries. It’s excellent for schools or retirement homes – places where less abled people or the elderly would struggle to open a fire door and are easily injured if anything goes just slightly wrong.

If by using the DC700C-CM we can help reduce the number of children attending hospital with finger-related injuries, we will have spent our time well.