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Fire Doors, Emergency Exits & Escape Mechanisms

The fundamental building blocks for a safe and secure environment at the work place

What is the difference between a Fire Door, Emergency Door (Fire Exit) and an Escape Mechanism?

It is quite common for people to mix and match the terminology of each one but there is quite a difference between each role.

Fire Doors

Fire Doors are generally internal doors that help prevent the spread of fire and smoke. These are graded in terms of how long they will last before they breach. They are a technical product designed to protect the escape routes of a building whilst also providing a safe refuge for a predetermined time. We are one of the few companies in the UK certified under the Q-Mark scheme for both Fire door installation and Fire door maintenance.

Emergency Exits

Emergency Exits are normally the last exit point on an escape route out of a building. The primary aim of an emergency exit to is to give a clear, reliable exit point for the occupants of a building in an emergency. They are generally designed to open in the direction of escape to ensure that they open out in the direction of a safe point of refuge. Emergency exit doors should never be blocked and if secured then they must be able to be released in an emergency when the building is occupied. Emergency exits can be used as main entry and exit doors and be included as part of correctly specified locking system or access control system. Two different standards apply to emergency exits - BS EN 179 and BS EN1125 – we can advise, install and maintain to both standards.

Fire Exits

This term is often used (incorrectly) to describe an emergency exit.

Escape Mechanisms

Simply put they are the mechanisms that allow a door to be opened in an emergency. Various types are available but it is important to understand their differences in relation to meeting the requirements of the different standards BS EN 179 and BS EN1125. Correctly specified emergency exit systems will meet the need for security, safety and conformance to standard thus ensuring occupant safety and reduced liability.

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