Creating safe and accessible environments for its senior residents is a priority for Living Care – a provider of quality retirement villages, nursing homes and hostels for Australia’s older generations.

When it was looking to update seven of its hostels around the New South Wales region recently, a fundamental part of the upgrade was to select and install door closers that not only adhered to stringent building codes but also facilitated freedom of movement throughout the premises for all residents.

Ben Gambrill, Building Services Manager of Living Care, explains: “We were looking for a solution that would enable our frail and elderly residents to be able to easily open a door without force, and yet in case of a fire, automatically close under mechanical pressure.”

Ben and his team explored a number of different manufacturers’ door closers before choosing DORMA’s TS 73 EMF.

“Other products we looked at either didn’t meet fire standards or required considerable maintenance time. The TS 73 EMF door closer from DORMA appealed to us as it met our needs from a safety and access perspective; enabled us to adhere to legislation outlined in the Building Codes of Australia; and requires very little ongoing maintenance.”

Nearly 300 TS 73 EMF door closers have now been installed throughout Living Care’s hostels and have proved to be reliable.

Building regulations state that a sole occupancy unit, such as a bedroom, which opens onto an egress route, must close upon automation when a fire alarm sounds or when power fails.

For Living Care hostels, where residents’ safety is paramount, the rooms are one hour fire-rated (meaning a fire can be contained within a room for up to one hour) significantly reducing the risk of fire spreading should the worst happen.

As well as providing a safe environment, DORMA’s door closers help with residents’ mobility - vital for their independence and self-esteem. “The door closers makes life easy for our residents - particularly those who have walking aids.”

He adds, “It is essential that they can easily and comfortably manouvre between their rooms and other parts of the building.” He says residents have no complaints about the doors: “You wouldn’t even know there are closers on the doors as there’s no pressure or weight!”

TS 73 EMF - Comfort and safety combined

Implementing a safe fire door solution in an environment that is occupied by people with disabilities and the aged can pose conflicting ideals.

But DORMA’s TS 73 EMF free swing door closer bridges this gap. Equipped with a free-swing arm assembly, the DORMA TS 73 EMF can be used where doors are required to operate normally i.e. functioning in the same way as door without a door closer.

If the door leaf is opened wide (min. 75°), the closer spindle is held in this position by the electromagnetic hold-open device in the hydraulic closer body. Then when the alarm sounds, or power fails, the required fire door barrier is kept intact by closing the door. TS 73 EMF free swing door closer is a combination of hydraulic door closer and electromagnetic hold-open unit.