Abloy UK amends BS 7273: Pt4

Abloy UK is showing full support for the recent amendment by the British Standards Institution to BS 7273: Pt4 Code of practice for the operation of fire protection measures – Part 4: Actuation of release mechanisms for doors, to enhance security and provide safer means of controlling the unauthorised use of escape doors.

The amendment features an expert commentary that will accompany the standard so that it will now directly refer to ‘BS EN 13637 Building hardware – Electrically controlled exit systems for use on escape routes’ in respect of any electrically locked door on an escape route.

BS 7273 pt4:2015 covers the operation and release of electronically controlled escape doors, setting out recommendations for the specification, installation, commissioning, and maintenance of the electrical control arrangements to actuate mechanisms that unlock, release or open doors in the event of a fire.

The new expert commentary introduces a safe means of securing escape doors against unauthorised use, whether for general access control management such as read-in and read-out control or to improve security to prevent theft or terrorism etc.

A BS EN 13637 Exit system will achieve a best practice, safe and compliant solution in respect of current building regulations, without impeding the building occupant’s ability to escape in a real emergency.

The use of an EN 13637 Exit system provides full compliance with building regulations with a solution that is designed specifically for the purposes of electrically controlling an escape door, with state-of-the-art equipment with the durability of the ability to release proven, which satisfies the requirements to prove materials are fit for purpose and designed for the application.

Building owners must ensure their building is safe for all occupants, at all times, this means ensuring that all occupants can safely escape, and that the integrity of the fire compartmentation is maintained within the building.

The BS EN 13637 performance standard for an Escape Door System (EDS) ensures performance testing of the whole system and the individual components and consists of the electric locking device, the actuation element (push button, emergency release or touch bar etc.), and the system’s control element.

An EDS system incorporates self-monitoring to ensure no fault or component failure could keep the door locked. The EDS controller manages all integrated inputs from 3rd party systems such as access control and ensures that the default status is always to fail unlocked.

All system components must have been tested together and be compatible as a complete solution, installed following the manufacturer’s instructions. Substitutions are only permitted for any components if they fall under the scope of the initial testing.

The amendment creates a safer solution for electrified doors than the traditional Green Emergency Break glass type solution we have been used to, overcoming many of the issues that have previously resulted in a failure to release the door.

Roy Buckingham DipGAI, Regional Specification Development Manager for London & South East at Abloy UK, comments: “We wholeheartedly support the decision by the BSI to make this amendment to BS 7273:pt 4.

“The modification of BS7273 is a positive step forward in improving buildings safety. Previously, the standard was in conflict, and that caused confusion throughout the industry.

“The standard now aligns with BS EN 13637, which is a more complete solution for electrically controlled exit systems for use on escape routes. This is a fundamental change to the industry, and Abloy UK is available as trusted advisor on this and all other issues of access control compliance.”

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Rebecca Morpeth Spayne,
Editor, Security Portfolio
Tel: +44 (0) 1622 823 922
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