The Ins-And-Outs Of Door Closers

How to choose the right door closer for your application

Door Closers play an important role in the overall fire safety of your building or premises, but with so many different configurations available, it can be hard to know which one is right for you.  Today we’re going to take a closer look at the features available in a door closer to help you decide which unit is right for your application.

Overhead or Concealed?

Overhead door closers are widely preferred over concealed door closers, as a concealed closer requires a large section of the door to be cut away to house the body of the closer, thus reducing the fire integrity of the door. 


Door closers are assigned a size or “strength” between 1-7 based on the size and weight of door they are capable of controlling.  Higher numbers correspond with the ability to control heavier doors.  Door closers are assigned either a fixed power size (e.g. Size 2) or an adjustable power size (e.g. Size 3-4).  An adjustable power size is popular for applications where the strength required is not known at the time of purchase, as these can be adjusted during installation.

Hold Open

Some door closers feature a Hold Open function, which means they are able to hold open the door at a 90 degree angle until closed manually.  We recommend you consult with your local building authority before fitting these to you building as they may not be suitable for certain applications, such as fire doors.

Closing Speed

Many door closers allow for the closing speed of the door to be manipulated to suit the needs of your staff and patrons. The four features which impact the speed of the door movement when opened or closed are delayed action, backcheck, adjustable closing and adjustable latching.

  • Delayed Action:
  • Door closers that feature a delayed action function are ideal for wheelchair accessible buildings.  They allow the door to remain open for a predetermined amount of time before closing, making it easier for the elderly or those in wheelchairs to pass through the opening before the door begins to close.
  • Backcheck:
  • A door closer with backcheck functionality slows the door in the last few moments when it is opened fully, to help prevent from damaging the wall or door.  It should be noted that a backcheck facility places extra strain on the door hinges, so make sure you fit your door with suitable hinges.
  • Adjustable Closing:
  • Adjustable closing action refers to the speed at which a door closes from the open position until a few inches before the door shuts (i.e. when it hits the latching zone).  For buildings with wheelchair access, a door closer with which allows for the closing speed to be modified is highly desirable.
  • Adjustable Latching:
  • The latching zone is the last few inches before the door hits the latch.  For heavy fire doors where the closing speed has been slowed down, you may want the latching speed to be faster to ensure the door closes properly.


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