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Guest V Warren

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Guest V Warren

We have a commercial property (offices) front door that is currently not interfaced with the alarm. This is because the building is unmanned and in the event of a false alarm out of hours the building's security would be compromised. In the event of a fire tenants would need to use the break glass or green release button to open the front door. There are other fire exits within the building, so the front door is not the only means of escape.

We have a tenant disputing this set up as they say if everyone was lying on the floor with limited visibility how will they know where the break glass is and is demanding we interface the alarm so the door automatically releases when the alarm sounds. 

For security and insurance reasons, together with the fact there are other means of escape, we are reluctant to change the set up but are mindful we want to be compliant and I would appreciate some advice.

Our testing company have suggested we are, provided all the tenants know the exit procedure, but our tenant is arguing their independent fire officer has said this is not correct.


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Building regulations, the fire safety guides and the relevant British Standard BS7273-4:2015 all support your tenant's fire risk assessors standpoint in that doors used for escape with access control works should

- fail to open on power failure

- have a double pole isolator to the lock supply for emergency release (the green break glass)

- interface with the fire alarm system

As you should have a fire risk assessment for your common areas your competent assessor would be best placed to advise if you can deviate and putting the justification in your FRA. You shouldn't have false alarms either out of hours, this would indicate an improperly maintained system or poorly designed one or poor management allowing an environmental trigger to occur.

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