Standard SN EN 13637

More planning options through the standard SN EN 13637 for electrically controlled escape doors

The standard SN EN 13637, valid in Switzerland since 2017, gives planners and installers more options than before when incorporating escape doors. Applying this standard can prevent misuse of escape doors without having an impact on the escape function. This is possible because the requirements of SN EN 13637 apply for electrically controlled escape door systems and not mechanical systems. They can be electrically locked and are now often integrated in the entire security system of the building. This means that escape doors can no longer be opened unnoticed from the inside.

Mechanical escape function

Purely mechanical escape door functions were previously and are still covered by SN EN 179 and SN EN 1125. SN EN 179 describes mechanical escape door components for emergency exit doors with handle. SN EN 1125 applies for mechanical escape door components on panic doors with panic bar. Although electromechanical locks can also be used in these cases, the escape function always remains purely mechanical. The electrical functions only serve for monitoring or access control for entry against the escape direction. They must not influence the mechanical release function.

Electrically controlled escape function in accordance with SN EN 13637

Since the launch of the SN EN 13637, an emergency exit or panic door can also be electrically locked and controlled in escape direction, for example via access control.

In words, SN EN 13637 is titled: Building hardware - Electrically controlled exit systems for use on escape routes - Requirements and test methods. It defines requirements that enable safe escape through an escape door. There must be a maximum of two actions required for releasing the electrically controlled escape door system.

Structure of the electrically controlled escape door systems

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

  • Triggering element for manually releasing the electrical lock for the exit
  • Electric lock for securing escape doors
  • Electric control for supplying, connecting and controlling the electrical locking and the triggering element

A pictogram is also specified, which is defined in both size and colour, and clearly indicates the function of the triggering element.

The following can also be integrated:

  • Time delay with a defined delayed release of the escape door
  • Mode for blocking the release for complete blocking of the escape door function

In our next article you can read more about "Time delay for doors in escape routes".

New requirements when resetting the doors in home position

Other new requirements of the standard relate to the conditions for resetting the doors from escape mode to the home position:

1. If the escape door was released with an escape door control via the emergency button of the door terminal, the reset must take place on the door with a key or other means required for identification. This guarantees that only authorized persons can carry out this reset, who also check the correct initial position of the escape doors on-site at the same time.

2. If the escape door was released with a central escape door control, the reset can also take place via the central control. Requirements:

  • The emergency button on the door terminal was not pressed.
  • The release lasted for at least 60 seconds.
  • The escape door was not opened after the central release.

Authors: Hanspeter Link and Werner Frei