The solutions used on doors to combat panic and emergency situations can differ immensely. The following questions must always be asked when planning a building: Can a panic situation occur in this building? But what is actually the difference between panic and emergency situations?
The reactions of large gatherings of people are always difficult to predict. This is particularly true if an emergency situation arises in cinemas, concert halls etc. In these situations, it is extremely likely that many of these people will behave irrationally. People who find themselves in a panic situation like this must be able to locate and use the panic doors without prior knowledge of the premises and without the use of tools or keys. Panic door locks must be designed so that they work reliably in even extreme situations, so that panicking people can exit the building safely. Automatic release when a dangerous situation is detected by electrically controlled escape door systems (e.g. a fire alarm system) can be specified, depending on the size and use of the building, to ensure that people can escape quickly.
When smaller numbers of people are involved, panic usually does not occur in dangerous situations. This is particularly true if these people are familiar with the premises, the emergency exits and the function of the escape door locks. This usually applies in office buildings and other places of work. Information, training etc. can instruct people how to react rationally in hazardous situations and to overcome their fear. The knowledge of the escape options enables people to react appropriately and to make clear decisions:
- Which route should I take?
- Which door should I use?
- How do I open it?
It goes without saying that, here too, it must be possible to open the emergency exit without using special tools or keys, as this equipment may not be available when the emergency occurs.