Author Topic: Electronically operated locks  (Read 1536 times)

Offline lyledunn

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Electronically operated locks
« on: November 04, 2023, 10:05:30 AM »
It is very common to have the main entrance doors to a social club controlled by electrical means. The doors are often required for MOE. NIFRS say that such an arrangement is unacceptable to them in any venue that has alcohol provision or public entertainment. It must be respected that they are enforcing authority and that irrespective of assessed risk, such arrangements should not be in place.
Following a query to them, they make no distinction between an electronic locking mechanism and the flat plate electromagnetic type door retainers that simply release on loss of power.
Even when connected as Category A system in accordance with BS7273 2015 A 2021, control of the doors by electronic means is unacceptable. This is all set out in NIFRS Advice Note 005 available on their website.
I look after safety in over 100 club venues many of which will fall foul of the Advice Note. I appreciate that it may only be advice but no venue wants to be flouting advice from their Fire and Rescue Service.

Offline kml

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Re: Electronically operated locks
« Reply #1 on: November 14, 2023, 08:15:09 PM »
Hi Lyle,

many thanks for almost single handedly keeping this forum alive.

The table in the NIFRS Advice Note is a straight lift from Table B2 BS 7273-4:2015+A1 2021( Selection of category of actuation for release of electronically locked doors on means of escape from buildings )As you said NIFRS are offering "Advice" and BSI are providing "Guidance" although, if there is the question of approval of an Entertainment Licence application, it may well become prescriptive.

Presumably you have looked at this as part of the Risk Assessment and found it acceptable. The advice note states that it is unacceptable in "many" premises which implies that it is acceptable in some.

All you can do is discuss with the local Fire Safety Dept who, I would imagine, will cling very tightly to Advice Note 5 and say "but...alcohol" whilst making hypothetical statements about the "man (or woman) in the curly wig".

As anyone on here is only too well aware, this sector regularly experiences multi fatality incidents around the world so the Enforcing Authority is always going to err on the side of safety.