How can holding open doors prevent the spread of COVID-19?

Reducing the spread of germs and bacteria has never been more essential in the current climate. Holding open internal doors provides an easy and effective method of infection control within your building, but it is important that this does not impact your fire safety.

Reducing door handle contact
A study by the New England Medical Journal, which researched the survival of coronavirus on a number of surfaces, identified that the virus was still detectable on hard surfaces such as plastic and stainless steel 72 hours later. While regular cleaning can help combat transmission, the inevitable use of door handles means that they can quickly become a hotspot for the spread of germs.

Improving visibility and aiding social distancing
While lock down restrictions remain uncertain, social distancing measures are expected to stay for some time. Holding open internal doors facilitates social distancing by allowing improved vision when entering or leaving a room, or when travelling through a corridor. Not to mention the post-COVID etiquette of whether or not you should hold the door open for the person behind you!

Increasing ventilation
Workplace guidance published on 11th May 2020 identified ways employers and employees can work safely during the pandemic. One of the recommendations included the requirement for increased ventilation which can be achieved by opening windows and doors.

The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) said, “Good ventilation can help to minimise the risk of spreading coronavirus, so focus on improving general ventilation. Where possible, consider ways to increase the supply of fresh air, for example, by opening windows and doors.”

The solution
Geofire’s Agrippa door holder allows a door to be hygienically held open in a fixed position, preventing the need to touch the door handle. The Agrippa door closer’s free-swing feature allows a door to be held open at any angle. Using ‘listen and learn’ technology, the Agrippa suite of products will automatically release the door on the sound of the building’s fire alarm.

Wedges or homemade devices should never be used to hold open a fire door and is illegal should a fire occur. Building operators have a legal responsibility to ensure fire doors are not illegally wedged open to ensure that they can prevent the spread of smoke and flames. The Agrippa wire-free fire door holder and closer are fully compliant to the requirements of BS 7273-4 for standard actuation of fire doors, and third party tested and approved to EN1154 and EN1155.

Andy Collinson, CEO at Geofire, said, “Wedging open a fire door removes its ability to stop the spread of fire, putting lives at risk. There are legally compliant solutions readily available if ease of movement around a building or increased ventilation is required.

“From new builds to listed buildings, we have products to suit every installation; conventional hard wired, radio wire free and the Agrippa fire door holder and closer allow ‘dual mode’ installation, meaning you can install straight from the box and programme our innovative ‘listen and learn’ patent technology at a more convenient time.”

To learn more about Agrippa and how it can help infection control within your building, visit: