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Push bar on door between premises

Guest Polly

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Guest Polly


We have an exit from the office that goes into the warehouse, I originally thought of this as a fire exit as it has a push bar on the inside but as it does not lead outdoors so does this mean it is classed as a fire door?  It has a handle on the outside and is used regular for access from the warehouse to the office and vice versa. I have had a health and safety advisor tell me we should not be using it. Is it ok for us to use this door as we do? should I replace the push bar handle with a normal handle if we are going to continue to use it regular?




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It could well be required to be a fire exit if travel distances to exits and numbers of staff involved warrant it. A fire exit from an area need not lead direct to the outside but can instead lead to a protected route (e.g. a stairway or corridor protected by fire resisting construction and doors) or into an adjoining fire compartment - in some warehouses the office block is separated from the warehouse by a compartment wall that is fire resistant (usually for an hour) so an escape route can legitimately go from a fire exit door into the warehouse and then through a final exit to outside in the warehouse wall.

You should have a competent fire safety adviser (not H&S, different subject!) look at the issue if you are concerned. If it looks like the door always had the panic bolt on it then that suggests that when the premises were built it was intended as a fire escape route and should be retained unless a fire risk assessment can justify otherwise.

If you aren't going to lock the door and just want to change the panic bolt to a handle for easier everyday use then that should be OK even as a fire exit unless more than 60 people are likely to need it.

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All doors you need to pass through to escape for a building on fire are fire escape doors; the last door that leads to outside the premises is a the final fire escape door.

All doors required to prevent the spread of fire are fire resisting doors, (fire doors) FD30/60 and can have an index "s” which means it must resist the passage of smoke as well.

All fire exit doors should have fasteners that allow the occupants to pass through easily and without the need for a key. Depending on the numbers likely to pass through a fire exit door and if there is likely to be a panic element, and then panic bars should be fitted, like in entertainment premises.

I cannot advise you whether you can remove the panic bar because I am not familiar with the circumstances but a standard lever handle could be acceptable. 

There is nothing special about a fire exit door they can be used in normal situations but they need to be easily openable and kept available at all times, not blocked when the premises are occupied. Some may need special fastenings and be signed if necessary.

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