Escape routes: Practical guide to standard-compliant planning of escape door locks

Getting out of a building rapidly and safely in an emergency can save lives. Building regulations and fire protection regulations therefore require that, when planning escape routes in a building, a precise distinction is made between possible panic or emergency scenarios. The technical solutions for the locks for planned escape doors vary accordingly, so it is always a challenge for architects and building planners to select the right escape door lock in accordance with the current standards. The brochure “Protecting lives and property” provides a clear guide with general information on escape door locks in escape routes and useful tips and decision support for basic demand planning.

Escape and rescue routes and emergency exits are important safety installations so that people can rapidly get outside or into a secured area in case of danger. They play a great role in the planning of safety technology in public buildings, administrative and office complexes as well as in private residential complexes. Escape routes are at the same time subject to strict standards. Architects and planners therefore assume a great deal of responsibility for the national implementation of the so-called harmonised standards for escape doors and their locks. This is why planning and decision support, such as those compiled by ASSA ABLOY Sicherheitstechnik GmbH in its current guide on the topic of escape door locks in escape routes, are a valuable source of information. They are also an ideal supplement to working with manufacturers and implementing specialist service providers.

Making escape routes more secure

In addition to the requirements for safety from danger, site security is at least as important as personal safety when planning escape routes and rescue technology. The risk assessment must take into account a wide variety of causes for security risks in escape routes. This includes, above all, high staff turnover in a building, access by external parties (including temporarily) as well as any kind of manipulation or negligent behaviour in general. Therefore, the main focus of securing escape doors and escape routes should be on preventing knowing or unknowing misuse. The manipulation and unnoticed opening of escape doors, for example to allow entry to unauthorised persons or to carry out criminal acts, can be made more difficult by special security systems for escape routes. On the one hand, these secure against uncontrolled entry and exit of persons, but on the other hand they ensure that escape route doors are reliably released in the event of an emergency and open for unimpeded escape.

Innovative escape door solutions comply with all current and also European product standards and offer the safety-related requirements for hazard security and burglary protection. For a good overview of the various technical requirements and developments, the guide offers helpful tips and checklists for safe handling. It also lists the most important and, above all, serious sources of information.

Well planned for all doors

The earlier the topic of escape routes and their technical equipment is incorporated into the planning of new building construction or conversion work, the better special requirements and networking can be implemented. The ASSA ABLOY guide uses a question matrix and panic risk assessment to clearly illustrate the selection of suitable security systems for doors in escape routes. The information in the brochure is complemented by a detailed chapter on what must be observed in the structural implementation and how the performance classes of the EN standards differ from each other. Consultation with a competent consultant is recommended for other specific questions arising from the risk assessment and planning of escape door locks in residential complexes, office buildings or public institutions.