Setting the standard

Pat Jefferies of Abloy UK, discusses evolving British Standards and new products available that can help achieve compliance with ease.

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British Standards are always evolving, with some 2,676 standards published by the British Standards Institution (BSI) last year alone, taking the current total to a vast 39,196[1].

When it comes to standards relating to escape and access control, the introduction of electronic and smart systems has complicated matters further, making it even more challenging to keep compliant.

This is especially true for fire and escape doors, with revisions and additions to standards created on an ongoing basis to ensure the regulations keep up with advances in technology.

There are a number of current standards in place that relate to escape and access control, which are essential to ensure the safety and security of the occupants of a building.  

Door standards

These include BS179 Emergency Escape (for when the building occupants are aware of the building environment), BS1125 Panic Escape (for environments used by the general public) and the new standard BS13637 Electronically Controlled Exit Systems for use on escape routes.  

These standards state that even if a door is electronically controlled for access there must be a compliant mechanical means of escape in an emergency. In the case of fire doors this is essential to provide fire protection, to compartmentalise a building and to protect the escape routes allowing time to evacuate.

This is also a critical function to achieve dynamic lockdown in a terror situation - offering the ability to shut off certain areas to terrorists and allow egress to ensure the safety of staff and the public.

It can seem challenging to adhere to these standards while specifying the best access control solution for an application, however there are a number of products that guarantee compliance.

Electric locking

The market-leading Abloy range of electric locks includes motor and solenoid locks, which are the most effective forms of electric locking, and also ensure compliance to the mandatory fire and escape standards.

Solenoid locks, like the Abloy EL560, work by controlling the handle and are suitable for access controlled doors of public buildings, offices, schools or hospitals, and external doors of apartments. Motorised locks, like the Abloy EL520, work by drawing the bolt back once a proximity card or device is presented offering a hands free solution. Both locks automatically relock upon closing, but still comply to escape standards.

Smart integration

When it comes to smart integration, Abloy also provides a solution that offers connectivity across a range of locks. CLIQ® Connect has revolutionised the flexibility, time-saving and ease of use of remote access control.

Recently shortlisted for the Benchmark Access Control Innovation Award, the innovative CLIQ® Connect technology enables PROTEC2 CLIQ® keys to be activated wirelessly through a smartphone using Bluetooth 4.0 technology.

PROTEC2 CLIQ® allows for the remote management of disparate or large electronic master-keyed sites at any time, from anywhere in the world. The system provides comprehensive audit trails on locks and padlocks and the ability to invalidate lost or stolen keys, thereby assuring secure key management at all times.

The connectivity provides a real-time audit trail on non-wired products such as padlocks and cam locks, and access rights can be granted to the user on-site. Users will see a return on their investment from the combined benefits of time saved, increased efficiency and the substantially improved level of security.

So, although keeping compliant can seem daunting, there is a range of high quality, high security products out there that can not only be combined to create bespoke solutions, but also ensure compliance to the latest building regulations and standards.

To find out more about the current standards and legislation in place relating to escape and access control, book a place on the Abloy Academy by emailing We still have places available on Abloy Foundations Courses in September, October and November for this year.