Four important considerations for doors along escape routes

When planning doors along escape routes, there are many decisions to make in order to find the suitable technical solution. The building operator expects a solution that is not only practical, but also saves lives. The following four considerations will help you here:

Doors

The number of escape doors, their position and the door width are important aspects. The selection is based on the size of the area where people gather and the maximum number of people that can be in the area at the same time.

Escape door locks

Panic door locks should usually be used in areas designed to hold large numbers of people. If only a small number of people are usually present in an area, emergency exit locks are sufficient. Regardless of the design of the emergency exit lock* to be used, cost should never be the only criteria during selection. After all, the goal is to protect human life.

Public buildings

Architects, bidders, authorities and other people who make decisions concerning the design and fittings of a building have a shared responsibility to protect human life. In schools, theatres and other public buildings, measures must be taken to guarantee safety in panic situations, if a fire breaks out or in other emergencies. This requires outwards opening escape doors, which are fitted with suitable escape door locks.

Doors with fire and smoke protection requirements

Smoke and fire doors integrated in smoke and fire protection zones prevent fire and smoke from spreading from one fire protection zone to another. These doors must be fitted with locks which keep the door closed for fire protection purposes even in deenergised state. To this end, escape door locks or escape door systems suitable for use on fire and smoke doors must be used. The equipment must comply with the specifications of the door manufacturer.

 

*These are locks that enable the doors to be opened from the inside at any time and by anyone.