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electro magnetic locks on doors in residential care premises


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Hi All

In a residential care home with electro magnetic locks can you advise on the following. The home has areas with people who have mental health issues.  As such these wings are secure and staff and visitors enter via key pads - entering the numbers.  The locks fail to the open on power failure and on operation of the fire alarm system.  To escape staff can aid residents out.  I have noticed some homes also have green break glass overrides adjacent to the door as well.  Are these additional overrides really necessary?



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Some care homes (particularly those where dementia & other mental disorder service users reside) have the local overrides and no fire alarm interface to facilitate controlled evacuation as if all the doors (including final exits) fail open at the same time there is a real risk of service users wandering off out and coming to harm.

Building Regulations requires the trinity of failsafes on mag locks - power failure, fire alarm interface, local double pole break glass override & the DCLG risk assessment guides list them also.

Risk assessment can potentially dispense with some of these, but must justify why this is acceptable and not an increased risk.

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Hi Anthony B - thanks for your reply.  I looked in the DCLG resi care guide but did not find much other than :

Page  94: - Means of escape – security

It is accepted that in many care home situations conflicts between the needs for means of escape and security may arise, particularly in premises which provide accommodation for people with mental illness, where it may be essential to maintain a high level of supervision during an evacuation.

In areas where security is important a properly designed and managed interface between staffing levels, installed fire safety measures and security measures should be sufficient to permit staff controlled evacuation systems. Any solution proposed, that includes security controls on escape routes, must be discussed and agreed with the relevant enforcing authorities, care provider and other relevant bodies.

However the DCLG GUIDE Healthcare Premises (does not apply to resi Homes) but P138 has a lot of useful info.

Based on this the green over rides are not a must.



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