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achrn  
#1 Posted : 11 July 2019 13:45:35(UTC)
Rank: Super forum user
achrn

I hope I know the answer to this, but this is another of those 'someone says..." questions:

We are getting some refurbishment works done in our office.  The office has an occupancy of about 150 over three floors.  There is a front door into the building which opens into a reception area, and then a set of doors that goes from reception to a corridor that leads to the rest of the building.

We want to have locks on the door between reception and the corridor, so that when the building is vacant and locked, anyone breaking in through the front needs to defeat two sets of locked doors.  Our contractor has basically refused to do it and then wheeled out some statement from a building control person saying "the door should not be fitted with a lock but instead Panic hardware such as a push bar" (on an inwards opening door?)

These are not fire doors.  The corridor is not a protected compartment.  This is not a fire exit route (we have two fire escapes - one at each end of the building - both with compliant fire doors and their own final exit doors, one being an automatic releasing magnet one being a crash bar). The doors will be unlocked whenever the building is occupied (just like the front and back doors are).

If the statement I've been given is true, it is saying you can't have any lockable door in any workplace with more than 60 people.  Frankly, I don't believe it. (Also, if it's true, I better take the locks off the front door.)

I suspect the contractor has told building control it's a fire exit or a fire door on the edge of a protected compartment or some such.

Can you have lockable internal doors in a workplace with more than 60 occupants?

Hsquared14  
#2 Posted : 11 July 2019 13:50:21(UTC)
Rank: Super forum user
Hsquared14

Yes you can have locks on internal doors but without seeing your particular arrangement of doors I couldn't say yes or no for certain in this situation.  I would contact building control and ask them directly about your building and your plans.  I suspect the contractor may not have fully explained what the design is and so the Building Control Officer has gone back to default position which is no locks on fire doors on fire exit routes. 

Messey  
#3 Posted : 11 July 2019 15:10:49(UTC)
Rank: Forum user
Messey

Whilst I cannot comment on your particular case, its absolute nonsense that you cant lock an internal door within a building. That concept is sounds as long as you risk assess & record it properly. 

As for BC advice, its always worth challenging as they often get in wrong. 

I had an issue with a licensing authority who said that a pharmacy/off licence/general store was not allowed to have a mortise lock on the final exit at the rear, but MUST replace it with a rim lock. The said mortise lock was only for out of hours and in any case, a GP surgery was located at the rear, and 75% of pharmacy customers would access the shop via this route, so it would never be locked during business.

The LA were insistant and passed it to their BC dept for comment. They upheld the licensing depts insistance of a rim lock and refused pleas by me to consider the value of the drugs and alcohol required a strong lock. The insurance company also required a mortise as (I quote) " ...every teenager in the area would be inside every night!", but the local authority wouldnt budge. 

Its only when I invited the Police for their comment - and a scathing one it was too - did the local authority back down and agree 'in this case'. No apology

This is one of many BC cock ups I have come across, but the most simple to explain. Always change if you believe you are right 

thanks 2 users thanked Messey for this useful post.
A Kurdziel on 12/07/2019(UTC), jmaclaughlin on 16/07/2019(UTC)
hilary  
#4 Posted : 12 July 2019 09:09:18(UTC)
Rank: Super forum user
hilary

I would be inclined to go for a thumb lock door - key externally but a thumb lock internally.  If a person breaks in through some other point of access between locked doors and a fire breaks out for example, they would be stuck between locked doors with no means of escape.  You could argue that is their fault for breaking in in the first place, but still, charred remains will not be good for business.  

So, key access for entry, but thumb lock for exit would be my recommendation.

thanks 3 users thanked hilary for this useful post.
A Kurdziel on 12/07/2019(UTC), Martin Fieldingt on 12/07/2019(UTC), ttxela on 12/07/2019(UTC)
achrn  
#5 Posted : 12 July 2019 11:47:04(UTC)
Rank: Super forum user
achrn

Originally Posted by: hilary Go to Quoted Post

So, key access for entry, but thumb lock for exit would be my recommendation.


That's what I specified.  That's what the contractor has refused to install 'because it's illegal'.  I'm now arranging for building control to discuss it on site with me and the contractor.

A Kurdziel  
#6 Posted : 12 July 2019 12:38:51(UTC)
Rank: Super forum user
A Kurdziel

Originally Posted by: achrn Go to Quoted Post
Originally Posted by: hilary Go to Quoted Post

So, key access for entry, but thumb lock for exit would be my recommendation.


That's what I specified.  That's what the contractor has refused to install 'because it's illegal'.  I'm now arranging for building control to discuss it on site with me and the contractor.

????!!!!



A Kurdziel  
#7 Posted : 12 July 2019 12:42:46(UTC)
Rank: Super forum user
A Kurdziel

Our buildings have thousands of people in during the day and are in use 24/7. We have lost of locked doors, for very good reasons.  Where exactly does this contractor say this illegality comes from?

 

Edited by user 12 July 2019 12:43:37(UTC)  | Reason: spelings

Natasha.Graham  
#8 Posted : 12 July 2019 12:47:43(UTC)
Rank: Forum user
Natasha.Graham

Originally Posted by: A Kurdziel Go to Quoted Post

Our buildings have thousands of people in during the day and are in use 24/7. We have lost of locked doors, for very good reasons.  Where exactly does this contractor say this illegality comes from?

 


We do as well! Our doors are opened with a security access card and secured by mag locks which automatically release in the event of an alarm.  Our staff push a button to release the mag lock to exit the building so have no idea what this contractor is talking about! 

achrn  
#9 Posted : 12 July 2019 13:05:04(UTC)
Rank: Super forum user
achrn

Originally Posted by: A Kurdziel Go to Quoted Post

Our buildings have thousands of people in during the day and are in use 24/7. We have lost of locked doors, for very good reasons.  Where exactly does this contractor say this illegality comes from?

They've just said "because this is a fire door and a means of escape you can not have a thumb turn, you can have a push bar".  It's not a fire door, it's not a protected compartment, and it's not either of our designated escape routes.  The push bar would be on the inward opening side.

People could indeed choose to go through those doors to exit the building, but they would not be complying with our fire instructions if they did so.

They've then got a statement from building control "If there is likely to be more than 60 people in this space the door should not be fitted with a lock but instead Panic hardware such as a push bar. This is to ensure that
there is nothing to prevent the occupants escaping this area in a reasonable time, if your client wishes to have some sort of mechanism to prevent entry and the occupancy is greater than 60 they may wish to consider an access control system or a push bar."  As noted, I suspect building control have been fed duff information. 

The door in question will be unlocked whenever anyone is in the building anyway. We want it lockable so it can be locked in the same circumstances as the front and back doors are - when the building is empty.



Natasha.Graham  
#10 Posted : 12 July 2019 13:14:39(UTC)
Rank: Forum user
Natasha.Graham

Originally Posted by: achrn Go to Quoted Post
Originally Posted by: A Kurdziel Go to Quoted Post

Our buildings have thousands of people in during the day and are in use 24/7. We have lost of locked doors, for very good reasons.  Where exactly does this contractor say this illegality comes from?

They've just said "because this is a fire door and a means of escape you can not have a thumb turn, you can have a push bar".  It's not a fire door, it's not a protected compartment, and it's not either of our designated escape routes.  The push bar would be on the inward opening side.

People could indeed choose to go through those doors to exit the building, but they would not be complying with our fire instructions if they did so.

They've then got a statement from building control "If there is likely to be more than 60 people in this space the door should not be fitted with a lock but instead Panic hardware such as a push bar. This is to ensure that
there is nothing to prevent the occupants escaping this area in a reasonable time, if your client wishes to have some sort of mechanism to prevent entry and the occupancy is greater than 60 they may wish to consider an access control system or a push bar."  As noted, I suspect building control have been fed duff information. 

The door in question will be unlocked whenever anyone is in the building anyway. We want it lockable so it can be locked in the same circumstances as the front and back doors are - when the building is empty.

Sounds like they have completely misunderstood what you want and the requirements from the Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order!  

I suspect you're correct in that the contractor has told BC (incorrect) information that will get them the answer they want in the hope that you won't challenge it.

Messey  
#11 Posted : 12 July 2019 17:28:01(UTC)
Rank: Forum user
Messey

I rarely if ever recommend thumbturns as some people struggle with them - especially thouse with arthritic type complaints. What's wrong with a good old lever handle in 98% of ocassions.

There  is a school of thought that if you can't operate door furniture with a clenched fist, it might not be suitable

However, they are not 'illegal' !

achrn  
#12 Posted : 13 July 2019 07:43:39(UTC)
Rank: Super forum user
achrn

Originally Posted by: Messey Go to Quoted Post

I rarely if ever recommend thumbturns as some people struggle with them - especially thouse with arthritic type complaints. What's wrong with a good old lever handle in 98% of ocassions.

There  is a school of thought that if you can't operate door furniture with a clenched fist, it might not be suitable

I guarantee that neither the security guard who unlocks the door in the morning nor the one that locks it at night struggles to operate thumbturns.

As I've said several times: the door in question will be unlocked whenever anyone is in the building. We want it lockable so it can be locked in the same circumstances as the front and back doors are - when the building is empty.

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