An article written for Glass Times magazine, September 2015 edition.
As a leading UK hardware supplier with one of the largest product catalogues, Carl F Groupco is well placed to cast its eye over trends in the fittings industry and observe which products take a high profile and similarly, the ranges that are equally important but seem to dip beneath the radar.
In this report from Carl F Groupco for Glass Times, one category that the company believes is deserving of more exposure is panic / emergency exit fittings. Carl F Groupco is keen to raise the profile of these all important products as they are essential items on the check list of most specifiers and are critical for meeting safety standards in public and commercial builds. A secondary reason that the company believes this hardware genre should have a higher status is the added value potential that these products offer to fabricators.
It is widely accepted that requirements for easy exit in the event of an emergency were recognised back in the late 1800s with references made to a tragedy in 1883 known as the ‘Victoria Hall disaster’ when, due to a bolted door at the bottom of a stairwell, over 180 children lost their lives. As a result, it is understood that the British government took legal steps to assert minimum standards for the safety of buildings, which evolved to building codes that addressed emergency exits and incorporated crash-bar requirements.
Emergency exit fittings have continued to evolve and today they have a firm place in any hardware portfolio. Staple lines in Carl F Groupco’s catalogue are FUHR Emergency Exit / Panic Door Gearing and Strand Antipanic Gearing.
FUHR products include the 870 and 871 Type 8 emergency exit locks for single or double doors. Featuring two steel round bolts, latch and deadbolt, the door set is capable of achieving the requirements of EN1125 for panic exit and EN179 for emergency exit. The 870 is a key operated lock with fixed knob handle to allow outside access. The 871 allows an external lever to operate the door lock which enables outside access – this is ideal for emergency exit doors that are in regular use during the day, but need to be secured at night. Both products can be opened from the inside at any time to provide an emergency or panic exit.
The FUHR range was one of the first to offer EN1125 compliance for panic exit hardware on double doors. The FUHR 870 three piece slave lock should be used alongside the 870 or 871 for the master door for double door applications. All FUHR hardware must be fitted with the CES free movement cylinder and FUHR panic bar to comply with CE standard requirements.
Turning to Stand, another leading manufacturer of panic and emergency exit hardware, Antipanic gearing supplied by Carl F Groupco are the EN1125 Motorised or Modular Touch Bar, EN1125 Modular Push Bar, EN179 Modular Push Pad and an Outside Access device. All Strand options are available with vertical or horizontal entry Pullmans providing two / three latch or bolt locking points. They can be fitted to timber, PVC, aluminium or steel doors.
Key features include the motorised or manual functionality of the Touch Bar design. The motorised version can be connected to a variety of entry systems to allow controlled access from the outside, plus an outside access device can be fitted to override in the event of a power failure. EN1125 accreditation ensures that the hardware is suitable for panic exits in public buildings.
A Push Pad for EN179 emergency exit applications where users are familiar with their exits and a Push Bar for EN1125 panic exit are also provided.
With the capability to provide comprehensive technical support, Carl F Groupco encourages anyone interested in panic or emergency fittings to talk to their sales or technical team.