Escape doors – glossary for standards and terms

Escape doors are very important components of any large building. They consist of many components, have to meet different needs and are designed according to various standards. Here you will find a list of the most important standards and terms relating to escape doors.

Escape doors

Escape doors are doors fitted with locks and fittings in accordance with SN EN 179 or SN EN 1125 and optionally with electrical locking systems and controls in accordance with SN EN 13637. These tested escape components must be integrated in the different door constructions so that they fulfil the required escape functions.
The door manufacturer is responsible for the correct installation of the tested escape route components and thus the escape functions on the door.
To avoid misunderstandings, a number of collective terms used in the standards and with multiple variations are explained here.

Operating elements

Operating elements are called different things in different standards.
In SN EN 179, these are the «handle» and the «push pad».
SN EN 179 describes mechanical escape door components for emergency exit doors.
In accordance with SN EN 1125, these terms are «handlebar» and «push bar».
SN EN 1125 describes mechanical escape door components for panic doors.
To maintain clarity, the terms «handle» for SN EN 179 and «panic bar» for SN EN 1125 are used without excluding one of the described variants.


Door control terminal

The door control terminal includes:
  • Control elements
  • A latching «emergency button»
  • A resetting element, such as a key-operated switch
  • Different display elements

The door control terminal is not mentioned in SN EN 13637. Some other terms are used there too.


Terms used in SN EN 13637

Electrically controlled escape door systems in accordance with SN EN 13637 consist of at least the following elements (individually or combined):

  • Triggering element (corresponds to emergency button) for manual release of the electrical locking system for the exit
  • Electric lock for securing escape doors
  • Electric control for supplying, connecting and controlling the electrical locking and the triggering element
  • Pictogram, which is defined in both size and colour, and clearly indicates the function of the triggering element.

The following can also be integrated in the escape door system:

- Time delay with a defined delayed release of the escape door

  • Class t1 corresponds to a single time delay with a maximum of 15 seconds.
  • Class t2 corresponds to a double time delay with a maximum of 15 seconds and an additional maximum of 180 seconds.
  • The second time delay is only triggered manually from a security centre manned 24 hours (central escape route  control). For this, the situation in front of the relevant escape door must be visible directly or via video monitoring.
  • As an option, the time delay can be cancelled prematurely at any time in the escape control via an evacuation signal, for example fire control system, and the doors released.
- Mode for blocking the release for complete blocking of the escape door function

Authors: Werner Frei, Hanspeter Link