External Fire Doors are more commonly called fire exits and are designed to provide a safe means of escape for occupants of buildings which have caught fire, without vital time being lost unlocking the exit door.
Why Choose External Fire Doors?
For the most part, External Fire Doors are a statutory requirement and serve as fire exits that enable staff or visitors to buildings to quickly and safely evacuate a building. Owners of buildings have a responsibly to install fire exits and are not permitted to lock them from the inside in case people become trapped within a burning building.
The difficulty for property owners is that whilst an Exterior Fire Door must be easily opened from the inside, there is generally a security requirement for the door to be locked in a way that prevents those on the outside from gaining access to the premises. The Fire Safety regulations do recognise that building owners need to protect and secure their premises while still fulfilling their duty of care towards occupants of buildings to ensure that External Fire Doors allow easy opening from the inside.
Making a Choice
Choosing suitable External Fire Doors to act as fire exits will depend to a large extent on the use to which a building is being put. Buildings which house large numbers of people, and particularly buildings where those present are unfamiliar with the building and its escape routes, will want to choose fire exits which are clearly labelled and simple to operate. For example, the 'push bar' models which most people are familiar that only require pushing down on the bar for the door to open.
The External Fire Doors UK industry does offer alternatives to the 'push bar' system with pads and buttons alongside the door which release the opening mechanism. These systems are ideal for premises with limited numbers of staff and where the staff can quickly become familiar with the way in which these types of Exterior Fire Doors operate.
Owners and operators of buildings will recognise their statutory duty, as well as their moral obligation, to protect staff, customers and visitors to their premises by installing External Fire Doors that can be quickly and easily opened from the inside to facilitate an evacuation should an emergency arise