Top Things to Consider When Choosing Hardware for Commercial and Public Buildings

The requirements for hardware used in commercial and public buildings mean major differences than those needed in residential and private properties.

The requirements for hardware used in commercial and public buildings mean 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 leading distributors of window and door hardware, we 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 handles, 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.

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. 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. 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 with a full panic bar such as the Strand Anitpanic modular touch bar.


Safety encompasses not only safe exit in an emergency, it is important to consider keeping the occupants inside the building safe. For offices over one storey, or university accommodation, window restrictors. The CFGLock+ Cable Restrictor prevents window opening more than 100mm, ensuring staff 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 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 suppliers and distributors choose to stick 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 SBD mark on recognised security components, making selecting those of higher security easy.


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

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 options for fob, code, or fingerprint access control. This allows for all employees or users to have access, in a way that you can monitor entry and exit to the property. The FUHR multitronic 881 Door Lock Kit supplied by Carl F Groupco provides powerful locking ideal for all situations.

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. For more information on any of our range of products, or to speak to one of our experts to discuss your unique requirements, get in touch on 01733 393330 or email Alternatively, you can fill out our online enquiry form.

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