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Expected Winter Whiteout Means Autos Should Be Checked

11 February 2019

Carrying out weekly checks on automatic doors in the run-up to the UK’s envisaged “worst winter in 70 years” is being urged by experts from GEZE UK.

Weather forecasters are predicting that a polar cold snap could bring the longest whiteout Britain has seen since the 1950s – not the time to find that automatic doors are no longer working properly.

GEZE UK’s service director Steve Marshall says that ensuring doors are properly maintained and working correctly will help reduce heat loss, reduce the chances of water ingress – minimising the chance of slips or trips – and reduce carbon footprint and C02 levels into the building.

He advises estate and facilities managers to put in place weekly checks to ensure that doors open and close with maximum efficiency.

“If the doors form a secure entrance proper maintenance is essential to ensure that the door leaf or leaves close fully on to locks or magnetic locks to maintain security,” he said.

He recommends a ‘ten-point plan’ to keep doors in tip top condition.

This includes:
1. Making sure that any operator running tracks or the path of travel that a door follows is clear of debris including snow and grit
2. Checking brush strips or sealing strips are present and in good condition
3. Visually inspecting the operation of the door and ensuring that it opens and closes in a 20-25 second cycle time depending on the application
4. Ensuring that the door is brought to a full close and if required engage with any locking systems
5. Making sure that sensors are clean and free from damage
6. Testing of any push button activation devices to ensure door opens and closes efficiently
7. Inspect for any loose or damaged drive arms which should be reported immediately
8. Visually inspect the door for any damage including breakages to glass and report immediately
9. Listen to the operation of the door any unusual ‘metal on metal’ scraping which may indicate a problem that will result in failure of the door later. Again, this should be reported immediately
10. Visually inspect the door and identify if there is any scraping of the door directly on the floor In addition, ‘dutyholders’ need to prepare for snowy and icy conditions and minimise risk.

The HSE’s Approved Code of Practice (ACoP) L24 for the Workplace (Health, Safety and Welfare) Regulations notes in paragraph 96 that this might include “gritting, snow clearing and closing off some routes, particularly outside stairs, ladders and walkways on the roof”.

Carrying out risk assessments before the bad weather arrives is the best course of action, it recommends.

Adds Steve: “Generally, weather conditions in the UK tend not to be so severe but during the winter months we should prepare for the worst and hope for the best.

"Carrying out this simple ten-point plan throughout the year should help keep automatic doors working at their best and keep anyone walking over our thresholds safe and secure.”


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