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Query - Escape Door with fail secure strike lock and BGU override


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I have a quandary.

We have a demise within a multi tenanted building that we want to keep secure as the corridor is used by multiple patrons (card fob to gain entry) and have made the access system FAIL SECURE in the event of a fire alarm, power failure or BGU override from the secure side.  It is also an escape door with the BGU on the direction of escape side of the doorway, so our staff can escape into the common stairwell.  This is not a final exit door.  

Is the use of FAIL SECURE legal? Given there is a BGU to override from the secure side in the direction of escape travel







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Not as a matter of course, building regulations guidance, fire safety guidance and the appropriate British Standard (BS7273-4) all deprecate such an arrangement.

There is scope to deviate from the usual requirements, such as in places of detention, but there needs to be a risk assessment that can demonstrate why a deviation still gives adequate safety.

Recent changes to the law mean if you follow official guidance you are presumed to comply with the law so a prosecution will likely fail, but if you don't you are presumed to have failed to comply unless you can provide a robust defence as to why you do. This doesn't mean you can't deviate from guidance - there are lots of situations where this is done and can be justified (I do this for clients in some situations) , but you need to make sure you can back it up and are aware of the liabilities of such a route 

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