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The Security Event

30 April - 2 May 2024
NEC, Birmingham


Security Cameras

27 Mar 2024

Access and Escape Ensuring Compliance

Assa Abloy Stand: 5/F50

If a critical event such as a fire or terrorist attack does occur and the correct solutions are not in place, it can result in substantial fines, custodial sentences, and most importantly, the loss of life.


However, the importance of an emergency escape system is often underestimated because emergencies and tragedies are only highlighted when escape systems do not work. With this in mind, what factors need to be considered when specifying a solution to ensure life safety?

Dynamic lockdown

The risk of terrorism has increased significantly in recent times, posing a security challenge for many organisations. Procedures must be developed to provide a quick response to any fast-moving incident, meaning sites can be dynamically locked down.

Terrorism threats could include a bomb, firearms or weapons attack, and the danger may be located directly at the premises or in the surrounding areas.

To achieve ‘dynamic lockdown’, an organisation will need the ability to quickly restrict access and egress to a site or building - or areas in the building - through physical measures in response to a threat, either external or internal. The aim is to cordon off areas to prevent the attackers from accessing them, and stop people moving into zones that may be of danger.

To ensure an organisation can achieve ‘dynamic lockdown’ it should practice procedures just as they do for a fire alarm, or in conjunction with a fire alarm practice. If staff are regularly trained, they will be familiar with safe locations and escape routes and will be able to take fast action in the event of an attack.

A key aspect of achieving dynamic lockdown is ensuring the correct access control systems are in place. The safety of the people who use the building is the main concern, however doors must still allow for easy access and egress for daily usage.

Emergency access points must feature the correct security solutions to allow for easy egress in the event of a terror attack. General security must also be considered, to protect against non-terror threats such as burglary and vandalism.

Setting the standard

When specifying an access control solution, it is also vital to factor in the current British standards.

These include BS EN179 Emergency Escape for when the building occupants are aware of the building environment, BS EN1125 Panic Escape for environments used by the general public, and BS EN 13637 Electronically Controlled Escape 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.

Electric locks vs door magnets

Electric locks and door magnets are commonly used for access control, but which solution is superior in terms of ensuring life safety, meeting standards for compliance, and energy efficiency?

Electric locks work by controlling either the latch or the handle, or by motorising the bolt back once a proximity card is presented or a request to exit device is used.

This ensures that only authorised personnel can gain access to the building, and the system will prevent any unauthorised persons from entering.  This is ideal for exit and fire rated doors within the interior of premises such as business offices, public buildings, hospitals, and schools.

Electric locks also offer energy and emission reductions in comparison to door magnets. There are also safety benefits to be gained by choosing an electric solution, including removing the fire risks associated with the installation of door magnets on fire escape points.

Door magnets require an alarm or ‘request to exit’ mechanism to allow egress in the case of a fire, whereas an electric lock offers a compliant solution.

Motorised electric locks do not feature a handle – which is the most vulnerable part of a door - making them a hands-free solution that is perfect for emergency exit access control. So, when many people need a swift and smooth exit from a building a motorised lock improves the flow of traffic through the door.

In addition, solenoid and motorised locks only use electricity when the door is being opened or closed. In most instances doors will be closed for a far greater amount of time than they will be open, meaning electric locks are an energy efficient solution too.

Electric lock options

Abloy UK offers a selection of compliant electric locks that are ideal for panic and escape doors. Our range includes motor and solenoid electric locks - which are the most effective forms of electric locking – and also electric strikes.

Spearheading the range is the Abloy EL560 solenoid lock, which works by controlling either the latch or the handle, and the Abloy EL520 motorised lock that works by motorising the bolt back once a proximity card is presented or a request to exit device is used.

Packages that include cylinders, door closers, concealed door loop and handle sets are also available to offer a complete compliant, cost-effective and energy efficient solution, that maintains a high level of security whilst allowing for easy access and egress from a building.

Escape Door System

Going one step further towards a digital access solution, the innovative Escape Door System (EDS) from Abloy UK offers easy access and egress while ensuring compliance, security and the ability to implement dynamic lockdown procedures.

With the EDS, it is possible to provide a compliant solution for an escape door when read-in / read-out access control is specified, combining the three components required for BS EN 13637.

These elements must be tested and certified together as a package to ensure compliance and safety; Blocking, Control and Trigger. Blocking is provided by a fail-unlocked locking element that does not require any mechanical input to operate.

The Intelligent Control within the EDS allows connection to fire alarm systems or other building control systems to ensure escape in an emergency, and the Trigger unit incorporates a key-switch and a push button that tells the controller to release the locking mechanism to allow safe escape.

The EDS also helps organisations achieve dynamic lockdown, allowing specific zones that may be at risk within a building to be cordoned off, while still allowing escape. 


The E100 Wireless Aperio Escutcheon is another innovative access control solution from Abloy UK, offering protection against fire, smoke, and attack. When tested as part of a compliant doorset, it meets standards BS EN 1634-1 to restrict the development and spread of a fire and protect escape, BS EN 179 for emergency exit devices, as well as PAS 24 to resist attack from an opportunist burglar.

The E100 utilises RFID and BLE technology, and can be easily integrated into any access control system to secure doors without the need for cables. It can be used with all mortise locks in wooden, steel and tubular-frame doors.

A popular choice for internal doors receiving medium to high traffic, the E100  offers a convenient combination of free exit from the inside with automatic locking on closure from outside.

As well as being quick and easy to install, The E100 is a cost-effective solution, using standard batteries rather than constant power from a mains connection demanded by wired access doors.

Help is on hand

With so many standards to factor in, specifying a compliant access control solution can seem like a challenging task, but help is on hand. The Abloy Academy and Digital Access Solutions Academy offer free courses on a wide range of topics, including emergency and panic escape compliance.

The Foundations and Foundations Plus courses are designed to train installers, security managers, end users and specifiers, giving them the skills and knowledge to ensure maximum safety and security while helping to save lives in an emergency.

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