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Solenoid lock in fire exit door

Guest Azanon

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We have been required to provide an Glass/Aluminium door with solenoid lock + manual lock. This Door is a fire exit & must be hold open for fire escape.

We have a concern about the use of solenoid lock in this condition and we wish to ask your opinion and recommendation for a design in compliance with building regulation.

Please note that then we have a option where the same requirement are asked but with a floor mounted automatic device (like Tormax imotion)


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You need a maglock system that is linked to your fire alarm system. Should the alarm be activated or your alarm system becomes faulty, the maglock will release your fire exit door. On top of this there are numerous ways of overriding the maglock with green buttons on the inside and keypads etc from the outside. See maglock example


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The Tormax imotion appears to be an automatic door opening device suitable for use on fire resistant doors. If this is a final exit door it doesn't need to automatically open, it only needs to be easily openable without the use of a key, which is a method Harry has suggested.

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  • 1 month later...
Guest MatthewOd

On exit that leads from my office block to the top of the main stairwell and on the ground floor exit to the same area there are double fire doors. One half of the door is linked to a magnetic push button release. The other side is permanantly locked closed.
There are two other emergency exits but are not the commonly used doors and would not be the primary route for persons in an emergency as they would go out the way they came.
Should these doors be locked (bolted / thumb bolts - no key required) or should both fire doors be linked to the magnetic release?



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I do not fully understand your description you say “One exit that leads from my office block to the top of the main stairwell and on the ground floor exit to the same area there are double fire doors” also “There are two other emergency exits but are not the commonly used doors.”

You enter the staircase at the top floor through double doors then down the staircase to the staircase ground floor what doors are you confronted with,

1. Double doors leading to the outside of the building?

2. Double doors into a foyer/hallway then doors to the outside the building?

3. Any other doors?

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  • 9 months later...
Guest JulieGalm

We are installing some maglocks in our facilities. A manual override (green button) will be located by each door. From a legal point of view, when activating the fire alarm, should this automatically override the maglock and open it? Or is it satisfactory when activating the alarm that the maglock remains locked. The fire alarm system is managed via a third party who then contact us to validate the emergency and then get the all clear to release all doors open?
I would highly appreciate your expert view on this issue.


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All the regulation states on this matter is Article 14 (f) of the Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005 which say's, emergency doors must not be so locked or fastened that they cannot be easily and immediately opened by any person who may require to use them in an emergency. You have to apply risk assessment to decide what is required and what is not.

The considerations are,

1. The type of maglock fitted and how you pass through the door when leaving the premises via this door,

2. The maglock needs to be failsafe, if the normal electric supply is interrupted the door should unlock.

3. Depending how you egress through this door and the direction of opening will dictate if you require a green box, or automatic opening of the maglock.

4. The number of relevant persons likely to use this door in an emergency.

5. The fire alarm or the loop covering this area may not open the maglock how do you open the door then?

6. If you open the door from the egress side by a number pad or security pass card or similar and a person arrives at this door not having the necessary how would they egress through the door?

7. You must always accept one of the devices/systems could fail and a backup is required.

Sorry I cannot be more definitive but there are many things to consider and I cannot guess or assume too much.

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  • 6 months later...
Guest PaulMi

Can you help with information about regulations applying to key code entry systems with regard to their operation during power failures and fire alarm activation
many thanks

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Access security systems, Electronic locking system on means of escape routes should be installed in accordance with BS 7273-4:2007 Code of practice for the operation of fire protection measures. Actuation of release mechanisms for doors.

UCL provide a fire safety technical note on this subject check out http://www.ucl.ac.uk/estates/maintenance/fire/documents/UCLFire_TN_001.pdf

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  • 2 months later...
Guest Lorna


I hope you can help me.
In one of our buildings we need the final fire doors to automatically lock after someone goes through it in the event of a building evacuation. Is it possible to have a lock on a fire door that automatically shuts after someone passes through it.
In a nutshell, we have a very secure building that we need the fire doors to automatically shut after the building has been evacuated. Out of office hours we simply do not have the manpower to ensure there is someone at each exit to ensure the doors are safe.
What lock solutions are the best for this scenario?

Thank you

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Hi Lorna

Normally, final exits don't require door closers, but in your case I would recommend door closers in conjunction with a maglock system where the user presses eg a green button to exit and the door will close again straight away.

Additional comment after Tom Sutton kindly contacted me: What I suggested will only work if the manual release button or similar is pressed for evacuation. If the magnetic lock is released due to the fire alarm system detecting a fire, the exit doors will remain unlocked until the fire alarm is reset! I am not aware of a solution in that case. Anybody else?


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If the occupants are familiar with the means of escape and it is not a place of assembly, you could as Harry as said fit a door closer with an approved nightlock if you have panic bars or pads they should be removed.

For additional security when the premises are unoccupied you could fit deadlocks or barrel bolts which would have to be opened or removed when the premises opens first thing and use a chain board. A chain board located in the manager office, is a board fitted with numbered hooks one for each key or barrel bolt so you can see at a glance that all the exit doors are open and only secured by the nightlatch.

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  • 7 years later...

Hi there, hope you are well.

If wondered if you could help. I work for a Security business and one of our clients required a new door at their property, as we dont specialise in doors first hand, we used a 3rd party (That has now been acquired by another company) to fit the door. On this, they have installed a Solenoid bolt and the door is the main access door to the building (Also a fire escape). There are no means of manual override from the inside so i believe that this needs correcting immediately. I just wondered what you would personally do in this situation?


Best Wishes



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