Rolling Doors and “Spontaneous Closure”

© 2005 Door & Access Systems
Publish Date: Winter 2005
Author: Joe Hetzel
Page 70


Rolling Doors and “Spontaneous Closure”

A local industrial facility recently informed us, “Our safety department believes it is unsafe to walk through an open rolling door.” They say that rolling doors are subject to “spontaneous closure.” Can you help me reply?

Concerns about non-fire-related “spontaneous closure” of rolling doors are unfounded. When properly maintained, rolling doors will operate predictably and reliably. They can be opened and closed manually or electrically, per the manufacturer’s instructions.

In a fire condition, when the automatic closing device is activated, a properly maintained rolling steel fire door will close from the fully open position. Thus, a rolling door is designed to “spontaneously close,” but only if it’s a fire door that is activated by a closing device.

In the unlikely event of a failure-related spontaneous closure, the door would probably be opening or closing. Thus, pedestrians should not pass under a rolling door when the door is moving. When the door is in the fully open position, rolling doors should not spontaneously close, even if a part fails.

Anyone who operates a rolling door should be trained about safe and unsafe operation. Improper operation of a rolling door–or any door–can result in door damage. If the damage is not repaired, a rolling door may not perform as intended, particularly if it’s a rolling steel fire door in a fire condition.

Rolling door maintenance should be a part of any facility’s regular maintenance plan. Such facility maintenance should include periodic inspections by a trained door systems technician. As with your car, rolling door maintenance should be performed regularly. Don’t wait until service is needed.