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Escape Door Hardware

Here Scott Copeland, Category Manager from leading specialist supplier, IronmongeryDirect reveals some of the key products for escape doors and how to make the correct specification.

Balancing the needs of both occupant security and the ability to provide safe, fast evacuation can be a tough job for door specifiers and fitters. As lifesaving pieces of equipment, it is vital to understand the different types of escape door in order to make the correct specification for these projects.

Panic escape doors

These doors are designed for use in any public building such as schools, hospitals, airports, retail and leisure facilities, where the occupants must be able to easily and effortlessly operate the door and escape even if they are unfamiliar with the building, its emergency procedures or how to use the exit devices.

BS EN 1125:2008 provides guidance on the use of panic escape doors for these environments, which should be fitted with products that are easy to operate with either hand, therefore minimising panic in an emergency. Approved devices, all available from IronmongeryDirect are:

Push Bar (also called Panic Bar)

Specifically designed for members of the public to use even in unfamiliar surroundings, these are ideal for high-traffic premises where large numbers of people will need to evacuate a building as quickly as possible.

IronmongeryDirect stocks solutions that consist of just a bar as well as sets with additional components such as bolts and /or latches for additional security. For example, the Exidor 305 Single Door Panic Bar with mortice actuator, is suitable for installations on timber doors up to 1220mm wide and is supplied with a mortice plate.

Touch Bar

A touch bar does not swing away from the door on its release, so the risk of people getting arms or clothing trapped behind the bar is reduced. The swing-free design is also less intrusive, so considered by many as more visually appealing.

IronmongeryDirect ranges several models in this design including the Briton 571 Single Door Touchbar Panic Latch. A robust modular solution for mid to high end specifications and suitable for timber doors up to 200Kg, this device has been designed to make installation simple. It features a Fast Fix cable system to connect Pullman latches to the operating unit, simple snap on covers and easy adjustments of the door cable system.

As a minimum, push bars and touch bars must be installed where more than 60 people are likely to use the exit. The hardware must be CE or UKCA marked and the device must cover at least 60% of the leaf width.

Emergency escape doors

Where building occupants are familiar with the emergency exits, a panic situation is less likely to occur and for these applications, BS EN 179:2008 outlines the devices that allow for safe escape during an emergency. This type of door is installed in non-public areas, such as low occupancy offices where employees undertake regular fire drill practices. In order to comply with BS EN 179:2008, emergency escape doors should be fitted with either a push pad or lever handle that are quick and easy to operate.

Push Pads (also called Emergency Pads)

For premises where there is a maximum of 60 people, these devices feature a small pad to push to release the door and are offered ether as standalone push pads, or with locking points such as bolts or latches.

For example, the reversible Arrone AR883 Single Door Push Pad Latch is suitable for single timber doors of any width and is finished in satin stainless steel. CE marked and tested to BS EN 179, the device is also Certifire approved.

IronmongeryDirect is the UK’s largest online supplier of ironmongery to the trade. With over 18,000 products in stock including everything from specialist mortice locks and latches, to cylinders and access control hardware. Locksmiths can choose from a range of flexible delivery options to meet the needs of their busy schedules, including free next day delivery on orders over £45 ex VAT, same day delivery to postcodes in selected areas of London and the East of England, as well as click and collect from 6,500 pick up points across the UK.