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BS EN 179 (2008) & BS EN 1125 (2008) – Panic Devices Legislation

BS EN 179 – Emergency exit devices
This standard covers devices to be used in emergency situations where people are familiar with the emergency exit and its hardware. Because of this, a panic situation is most unlikely to develop. Devices operated by a lever handle or push pad may therefore be used.

BS EN 1125 – Panic exit devices
Experience relating to escape from buildings and general safety have made it desirable that doors at final exits in public buildings, places of entertainment, shops, etc should be fitted with panic devices operated by a horizontal bar. The emphasis for products covered by this standard is on safe exit rather than security.

British Standards Institution publications can be obtained from:

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SCOPE – BS EN 179
The main purpose of the performance requirements of this standard is to give safe and effective escape through a doorway with one single operation to release the device. However, escape can require prior knowledge of the operation of the device. This is consequently considered suitable for locked doors on escape routes only where panic situations are not foreseen.

SCOPE – BS EN 1125
The main purpose of the performance requirements of this standard is to give safe and effective escape. This should be possible through a doorway with minimum effort and without prior knowledge of the device. I.E for locked doors on escape routes where panic situations can be foreseen.

CLASSIFICATION
BS EN 1125 and BS EN 179 classify panic and emergency exit devices by using a 10 digit coding system. A similar classification applies to all building hardware product standards so that complementary items of hardware can be specified to. For instance, a common level of corrosion resistance, category of use, etc. Each digit refers to a particular feature of the product measured against the standard’s performance requirements and test methods.

Digit 1 – Category of use
Only one category is identified, that being – grade 3. It states: high frequency of use by public and others with little incentive to exercise care.

Digit 2 – Number of test cycles
Two categories of durability are defined:
– grade 6: 100 000 cycles
– grade 7: 200 000 cycles

Digit 3 – Test door mass
Three categories of test door mass are identified:
– grade 5: up to 100 kg
– grade 6: up to 200 kg
– grade 7: over 200 kg

Digit 4 – Fire resistance
Three categories of fire door resistance are identified:
– grade 0: Not approved for use on fire/smoke door assemblies
– grade A: Suitable for use on smoke door assemblies, subject to satisfactory assessment of the contribution of the panic/emergency device to the smoke resistance of specified smoke door assemblies

– grade B: Suitable for use on fire/smoke door assemblies, subject to satisfactory assessment of the contribution of the panic/emergency device to the fire resistance of specified fire/smoke door assemblies.

Digit 5 – Safety
All panic and emergency devices have a critical safety function therefore only the top grade – 1 – is identified

Digit 6 – Corrosion resistance
Two grades of corrosion resistance are identified according to EN 1670:
– grade 3: high resistance (96 salt spray hours)
– grade 4: very high resistance (240 salt spray hours)

Digit 7 – Security
Products covered by BS EN 179 have 4 identified categories and generally have the opportunity of greater security against forced opening than devices covered by BS EN 1125.
BS EN 179
– grade 2: 1 000 N
– grade 3: 2 000 N
– grade 4: 3 000 N
– grade 5: 5 000 N

BS EN 1125
Only one category of security is identified:
– grade 2: 1000 N panic devices are primarily for the operation of a door from the inside. Safety considerations will always be given priority over security.

Digit 8 – Projection of device
Two grades are identified relating to the projection of the device from the door face:
– grade 1: projection up to 150 mm (large projection)
– grade 2: projection up to 100 mm (standard projection)

Digit 9 – Type of device
Two categories are identified for each standard:
BS EN 179
– type A: emergency device with lever handle operation
– type B: emergency device with push or pull pad operation

BS EN 1125
– type A: panic device with push bar operation
– type B: panic device with touch bar operation

Digit 10 – Field of application
EN179
A: Outward opening – Single & double exit doors; active & inactive leaf
B: Outward opening – Single exit door only
C: Outward opening – Double exit door; inactive door
D: Inward opening – Single exit only

EN1125
A: Outward opening – Single & double exit doors; active & inactive leaf
B: Outward opening – Single exit door only
C: Outward opening – Double exit door; inactive door

CE MARKING

Panic and emergency exit devices intended for use on escape route doors are covered by a Construction Products Directive mandate issued by the European Commission. Consequently, these standards are regarded as “harmonised” standards. Compliance with them should be supported by suitable evidence, allowing for the application of the CE mark.

For more information and guidance on CE marking, take a look at our blog piece: Creating Clarity Around CE Marking.