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Health and Safety Services


Image of a Dorgard


The Dorgard is a battery operated, acoustically activated fire door hold open device. The Dorgard performs its function by a rubber plunger/stopper that interacts with the floor directly or a designated floor plate to hold a fire door open.

In the event of the fire alarms sounding, the integral audio-electronic device inside the Dorgard signals the plunger to retract, allowing the self-closing fire door to close normally. The Dorgard is battery operated and can be installed and operated alongside existing fire alarm systems.

Operations Procedure

The Dorgard is operated through a foot-operated plunger and release mechanism. Proper usage of the Dorgard can be achieved by following the procedures listed below:

  1. Hold open the fire door to the required position to align the plunger of the Dorgard to the designated floor plate.

  2. Stand sideways to the door.

  3. Using your foot, press down on the black knob. Greater foot pressure may be needed depending on the force from the installed door closers or type of floor surface present.

  4. Whilst depressing the black knob, pull the door gently in the direction of closing.

  5. Once the plunger has been locked in place, remove your foot and let go of the door.

  6. Before leaving the building at the end of the working day, ensure that the Dorgard is released via the foot-operated release mechanism triggered by lightly kicking the black knob towards the door and pushing the door towards opening.

Other operation of The Dorgard will retract its plunger and automatically release every 7 days as part of its preset self-testing routine. One weekly release of the Dorgard to no apparent noise should be accounted as normal routine function of the device.

During normal operation, the Dorgard continuously monitors all functions. If at any time it detects a possible fault or maintenance issue, it will revert to Fail to Safe in which the Dorgard will no longer operate as a hold open device. The device will also emit a series of beeps serving as a continuous warning. Staff should report any issues to the helpdesk at extension 2001 to arrange for maintenance.

The Dorgard operates on batteries which are estimated to last for 6 months (less in a noisy environment). In the event of low batteries, the Dorgard will revert to “Fail to Safe” and staff should contact the maintenance team as above.

In the event that you discover a Dorgard that did not automatically release after a fire alarm activation of a minimum of 30 seconds, the issue should be reported to the maintenance helpdesk.

Dorgards must not be fitted to fire doors without the explicit permission of the Health and Safety Advisor.

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Health & Safety Services, Birkbeck, University of London, Malet Street, London WC1E 7HX. Tel: 020 7631 6218, email: