BS EN 179 - In more depth

The BS EN standards are a benchmark for product performance across several areas. Each standard is used to show that the product has passed a series of tests relating to that particular standard.

BS EN 179:2008

The standards include the following:

  • BS EN 1906

    - The European standard for Lever handles and knob furniture and only applies to items which are used to operate locks or latches.
  • BS EN 12209

    – The European standard for mechanically operated Locks and Latches. It covers both the physical testing of the locks as well as the method of operation.
  • BS EN 1154

    - The European standard for controlled door closing devices, measuring door closure performance.
  • BS EN 1155

    - The European standard for electrically powered hold-open devices. Relevant to electromagnetic door closure. This works in harmony with BS EN 1154, with CE marking mandatory.
  • BS EN 1125

    – The European standard for panic exit devices. This is where a panic device must be fitted where members of the public are present but have no knowledge of the exit or hardware. 
  • BS EN 1935

    - The European standard for single axis hinges used on doors and windows. 

But the standard we will be focusing on today is

BS EN 179 - which is the standard for 'Emergency Exit Devices'

The testing an evaluation will result in a 9 digit code. Because BS EN 179 and BS EN 1125 are both harmonised under the construction products directive and must carry the CE mark.

Here is a quick guide to how the BS EN 179 classification works. Remember each digit refers to a particular feature of the product which has been measured against the standards performance requirements.

Digit 1 - category of use

  • Grade 1 - Low frequency use. e.g internal residential doors, high care and low misuse
  • Grade 2 - Medium frequency use. e.g internal office doors, high use with some chance of misuse
  • Grade 3 - High frequency use. e.g public doors, little care and high chance of misuse

Digit 2 – durability

  • Grade 6 - 100,000 cycles
  • Grade 7 - 200,000 cycles

Digit 3 -door mass

  • Grade 5 - up to 100kg
  • Grade 6 - up to 200kg
  • Grade 7 - over 200kg

Digit 4 - fire resistance 

  • Grade 0 - Not approved for use on fire or smoke door assemblies
  • Grade A - Suitable for use on smoke door assemblies, based on the requirements of B1 annex B
  • Grade B - suitable for smoke and fire door assemblies based on a test which is in accordance with EN1634-1
  • Annex B has additional requirements for emergency exit devices to the grade

Digit 5 - safety

  • Grade 1- All exit devices are required to satisfy the essential requirement of safety in use

Digit 6 - corrosion resistance

  • Grade 3 - 96hr (high resistance)
  • Grade 4 - 240hr (very high resistance)

Digit 7 – security

Products covered by BS EN 179 have the opportunity of greater security than those covered by BS EN 1125.

  • Grade 2 - 1000 N
  • Grade 3 - 2000 N
  • Grade 4 - 3000 N
  • Grade 5 - 5000 N

Digit 8 - projection of device

  • Grade 1 - Up to 150mm projection (large)
  • Grade 2- Up to 100mm projection (standard)

Digit 9 - type of device

  • Type A - Emergency device with lever handle operation
  • Type B - Emergency device with push pad operation

Digit 10 - field of door application

  • Cat A - outward opening single exit doors, double door: active or inactive leaf
  • Cat B - outward opening slide exit door only
  • Cat C - outwardly opening double exit doors = inactive leaf
  • Cat D - inwardly opening single exit door only

Photograph of Laura Holland

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