Carl F Groupco's Considerations for Commercial Hardware

It is key to consider safety, security and the ease of use for those entering and exiting the building each day.

Written for The Locksmith Magazine, March/April 2022

The requirements for hardware used in commercial and public buildings involve major differences than those needed in residential and private properties. From schools and councils to offices and factories, a commercial or public building must follow the legal requirements set out for the safety of those inside the building. It is also key to consider not just safety, but also security and the ease of use for those entering and exiting the building each day.

As a leading distributor of window and door hardware, Carl F Groupco have put together the top considerations when installing hardware in commercial or public buildings.

Emergency and Panic Exit

The safety of those in the commercial or public building should always be first priority. Emergency escape door locks and bars, like the FUHR emergency and panic exit multipoint door locks allow easy escape in the event of an emergency. It is important to supply and fit fully tested hardware sets which includes the door lock, cylinder such as the CES free movement cylinder and panic bar such as the CISA FAST touch panic exit bar and not mix and match untested hardware sets.

Being aware and compliant to the standards applicable to the building type and use is also essential. British Standards for emergency and panic doors in commercial settings are split into two categories. BS EN 179 applies to non-public buildings where potential users have been fully trained on exits and how to operate the door. This is an emergency exit and small push pads, such as the Strand Antipanic push pad can be used. BS EN 1125 applies to public buildings or other premises where occupants may not be familiar with exit routes and hardware devices. This is a panic exit and hardware must be more visible and clearly signed with a full door width panic bar, such as the Strand Anitpanic modular touch bar.


Safety encompasses not only safe exit in an emergency situation, it is important to consider keeping the occupants inside the building safe while using the doors and windows. For offices over one storey, or university accommodation, window restrictors such as the CFGLock+ Cable Restrictor prevent the window opening more than 100mm, ensuring occupants are at no risk of falling. The Res-Lock Concealed Locking Restrictor provides a more hidden approach, with hardware concealed with the window frame, deterring potential tampering.


Another factor to take into account when selecting hardware is the security accreditations it is supplied with. There are many legal standards a piece of hardware must adhere to, but there are also additional security and quality measurements that many distributors and manufacturers choose adhere to. For example, at Carl F Groupco, we are members of the Secured by Design initiative, which is a police programme that works to provide safe areas for people to live and work. This initiative enables us to display the Secured by Design mark on recognised, tested security components, making selecting those of higher security easy. Carl F Groupco would always recommend fitting window and door sets that are fully tested to PAS 24 requirements to ensure compliance.


Additional considerations when choosing hardware for public places is to consider who will regularly be accessing the property. This may alter the types of hardware you choose. For example, in a school setting with younger children, hardware may need to come with additional security features to avoid easy access to outside spaces, or have the ablity to limit access from visitors.

If the property is being accessed by multiple people at once, it would be useful to consider using some form of electromechanical door locking system with integrated access control options such as key fob, key pad code, or fingerprint. This allows for all employees or users to have access, in a way that you can monitor entry and exit to the property, while restricting access to unauthorised visitors. The FUHR multitronic 881 door lock kit supplied by Carl F Groupco provides powerful electromechanical locking and flexible access control technology, adaptable to suit project requirements.

Selecting door and window hardware for commercial and public properties must be done carefully, to ensure any hardware selected abides by current legislation and requirements. Beyond that however, key factors of the type and use of the property tend to alter the needs again. As industry-leading distributors of window and door hardware, we are well-placed to provide bespoke solutions for commercial and public properties. The team at Carl F Groupco are always on hand to advise the most appropriate hardware solution for your project.

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