Adlington House, in Cheshire, is an apartment block designed for older people. The residents live in private flats, and continue to live independently, with the reassurance of tailored care and support available if required.
Something, however, started to restrict the residents’ feelings of freedom and well-being. Their fire doors, there to protect them in case of a fire, became a burden that made access difficult. Arthur Peace, a resident at Adlington House, shares his experiences.
“I nearly got trapped before I even got out of the door”
Arthur said “My wife had great difficulty getting out with her quad walker as the fire door would close too quickly on her as she walked through. I used to be able to hold the door open so she could get through but over 12 months ago I had a partial amputation to my left leg. It made it so much more difficult to help her.”
“A number of people who live here are disabled in some form or another, and the fire doors made it even harder to move around. People were regularly saying how they nearly got trapped before they even got out the door. One of the residents was even thrown across the corridor when she couldn’t get out in time because of the door closing quickly behind her. If she wasn’t good on her feet, the result could have been disastrous.”
Solving a problem, but causing another
As the residents were struggling, the maintenance team took the closers off the doors and held the doors back with a chain and hook when needing to open them to make them easier to handle.
“The chain kept the fire doors open for access when people were going in and out. But as soon as you released the chain, the door would close again too quickly and the noise it would make was considerable. There was just no control.”
The noise was loud when the door closed. “It was such a big problem. One night, my wife lost count of how many times the door slammed nearby. The noise got too much for us, and my wife pleaded ‘Can’t we do anything?’”
A desperate need for fewer headaches and more freedom
The residents were desperate for a solution, which would allow them to live without fear of the doors closing on them.
Adlington’s maintenance man saw Freedor in a nearby apartment block, and thought of Arthur. He told Arthur about the product and said it might be the answer to their troubles. Arthur said “My wife and I discussed it and thought it looked absolutely ideal, so we decided to go ahead. We were the first people to have Freedor installed here.”
Lives made easier in 25 minutes
Arthur was impressed with how quickly Freedor is to install. “The installer came and I actually timed him, it only took him 25 minutes to install.
I announced the addition of our Freedor to other residents, and with the aid of another resident Dorothy Smith, we compiled a list of people who were interested, they came to see how the product worked. Afterwards, they put themselves on the list, and in the following days the apartments had 15 installed. Now a big percentage of the apartments have Freedor.”
A “marvellous” product
The residents have seen many benefits to having Freedor installed. “Some people who have had Freedor installed have said ‘It’s marvellous’ and ‘It’s so lovely now we can open the doors easier.’”
“We have not had any problems and we can get in and out easily. It makes such a difference. My wife is very pleased.”
An easy solution that makes a world of difference
“The other advantage is it links with the fire regulations. We feel comforted that the doors will close if there’s a fire. When the fire alarm tests every Wednesday morning, we can hear the mechanism operating. It makes us feel safe to know that the door would close if there was a fire.”
“It’s just easy, I’m opening the door now as we’re speaking. I’m just standing here now, the door’s wide open, and I can feel the breeze.”
For more information, go to www.fireco.uk