Self-Closing Fire Doors

October 2023

In high-rise communities, doors from units to hallways are required to be closed except when entering and exiting a unit.

While closed doors keep odours and smoke from entering common areas from units, their primary purpose is to ensure any fire and resulting smoke in a unit does not escape to hallways and other units thus putting more lives and property at risk.

The Ontario Building Code states that every door in a fire separation shall be equipped with a self-closing device designed to return the door to the closed position after each use.  Condominium corporations are responsible for maintaining life safety features in their building.

Building residents may circumvent this important fire safety feature by using a wedge to hold the door open.  They may choose to remove their door closer which makes the door look more aesthetically pleasing, facilitates adding design features such as trim, or makes it easier to enter or exit while carrying items or using a walker, cane or wheelchair.

Unit front doors are part of common areas and should be maintained by the corporation.  Periodic door closing mechanism adjustments are necessary to ensure doors close properly without too much force.