Escape Hardware

When you are in the unfortunate circumstances of an emergency situation, you need to be able to escape as fast as you could, say in the event of a fire. Especially if there are larger numbers of people in the building, you will require escape hardware that is designed so that individuals can find the hardware on the exit door and are fairly easy to escape with.

Importance of Escape Hardware

Escape hardware should not only serve the purpose of making an escape as easy as possible, but also prevent unauthorized individuals of gaining entrance to the property or building. In South Africa, buildings with 25 or more individuals are usually required to have hinged, outward-opening doors as fire escape and emergency exits. In these larger buildings, doors are required to be able to open by sheer bodyweight (meaning that no hands should be required to open the doors, it should open by simply leaning against the doors with your body). These doors should be fitted with the correct emergency escape hardware. In smaller buildings, less than 25 people, where there is no special fire hazards, a latch lock fitted with a normal handle or a thumb-turn may suffice for escape doors, assuming it is easy to operate.

Escape Door Rules & Regulations

Emergency doors should be able to open easily and from the inside of the building and should be self-closing. For emergency and panic situations individuals should be able to open the emergency exit doors without assistance from a special tool or key. Many companies have ‘fire drills’ ensuring that the people occupying the building knows how to operate the door and how to proceed to the exit doors in a case of emergency.

The following is NOT allowed on an escape doors according to regulations:

·         No locks that require a key to open the door from the inside

·         No escape doors should ever be deadlocked

·         Break-glass ‘fire-bolts’ are suitable for use in areas of public assembly

·         Any lock or device which requires a key or special skills to open

·         No keys which are housed in boxes with glass fronts

Escape Hardware Services in Cape Town

The exit door on which the escape hardware is located should normally always open in the direction of the escape path. At AAA Locksmiths in Cape Town (We also have locksmiths in Somerset West, locksmiths in Bellville and Locksmiths in Claremont) we have fully trained and equipped staff to recommend and install escape hardware in your building. We are able to advise you on which devices to use in various scenarios.