Choosing hardware for fire exit doors

Push bars, pads, turning devices – how to choose the correct option

Outward opening fire door exits need to give people wishing to leave a building in the event of an emergency the ability to exit quickly, safely and efficiently. Choosing appropriate hardware to enable this to happen can sometimes be a difficult task. A guide to securing emergency exit doors has been provided on the IFSEC Global website.

The article, by Claire Rizos, addresses this issue – providing help and advice by stating what the law requires and then assessing the merits of the array of security hardware that may be considered as options.

Ms Rizos quotes The Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005 (specifically Part 2, Article 14 (2)(b)), which states

“in the event of danger, it must be possible for persons to evacuate the premises as quickly and as safely as possible.”

Outward opening fire doors

The article quotes the Department for Communities and Local Government as recommending “that that all doors on escape routes should open in the direction of escape, but states that this is particularly important if more than 60 people use them or they provide an exit from a high fire risk area.”

Fire door security fittings should be considered as a “hierarchy” advices Rizos, ranging from nothing at all – which is of course the safest option – through to glass bolts.

Security does of course need to be a consideration and panic bars are frequently seen as the best all-round option, particular in circumstances when larger numbers of people (widely accepted to be number in excess of 60) will need to access the door in an emergency.

Fire door components

The BWF Certifire website provides advice regarding “Essential ironmongery” in an article called Fire Door Components, which deals with door closers, locks, latches, hinges, knob sets and provided advice on the locating go letterboxes.