There is no question about it: doors in a kindergarten must be safe – in case of danger or an emergency – but they must also serve for easy self-rescue to the outside or to other secured areas. Particular attention is paid to the entrance door with its very special safety requirements for escape routes. The new technical regulation ASR A2.3 is causing quite a bit of confusion in this context. This article explains the situation, presenting innovative locking solutions especially for kindergartens and day-care centres.
Experience shows that children instinctively use the door through which they entered the day care centre as an exit, not only because of their thirst for discovery, but also in case of danger. This is why the entrance doors in kindergartens and day-care centres have to meet demanding requirements: sneaking out unnoticed must be prevented just as much as unauthorised access by strangers.
Technical rule causes confusion
So why not simply lock the door outside pick-up and drop-off times? This seems to be what the new Technical Regulation ASR A2.3 for workplaces – escape routes and emergency exits – now allows, albeit with a prior risk assessment in each individual case. But beware: a “lockable” door in the course of escape routes is a clear deviation from the legal requirements of the Workplace Ordinance and building law. It also contradicts the legally required “ability to release escape doors according to DIN EN 14351-1”.
The new regulation is also incomprehensible because there are already well-established solutions without manual release on the market that meet the legal requirements for escape route doors and fulfil the necessary legal certainty for operators, planners and fabricators. This includes the nursery solution from ASSA ABLOY with electrically controlled escape door systems and products in accordance with EN 13637 and EltVR (directive on electrical locking systems for doors in escape routes), which is clearly explained in this video.
Safe in an emergency, safe in everyday life
How well thought-out this solution is is shown in the video by the convenient and simple operation. In addition to the normal lock, the entrance door is secured by an electric escape door locking system. At a height of about one metre, a button is integrated into an escape route terminal. When it is pressed, the door opens and an alarm sounds. This way, children can open the door themselves in an emergency, but cannot sneak out unnoticed.
A second button at a height of 1.80 metres can be pressed by adults at any time to open the door in normal operation. This allows the door to be opened from the inside at any time to let people in or out of the day-care centre.