Public building

Managing the flow of people

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Obligations for public buildings

Buildings with public access are required to comply with certain fire safety rules in order for them to be allowed to legally receive people on to their premises, either without charge or when levying an admission charge, other than staff working on site.

These buildings are diverse in nature and can be: stores, museums, hotels, schools, government offices or entertainment venues.

The thing you must remember is that from the moment the public enters the building, it must comply with the public building regulations for its category.

Different categories of public buildings

Buildings are divided into categories according to their capacity and the nature of their activity.

  • Category 1: covers buildings able to accommodate more than 1,500 people.
  • Category 2: covers buildings with a capacity of 701 - 1,500 people.
  • Category 3: covers buildings with a capacity of 301 - 700 people.
  • Category 4: buildings with a capacity below or equal to 300 people.
  • Category 5: depends on applicable thresholds and for a capacity below 300 people.

For more information go to:

Buildings and regulations

Alert and evacuate the building

This regulation has been drawn up in order to avoid or limit the risks posed when a fire is reported. The regulations aim to protect the building and make it compliant in order to avoid all risks. Buildings must be equipped in order to be able to react to an incident, alert people and evacuate the public without creating a stampede. The regulations are to be taken into consideration when a building is being designed to allow for evacuation should this be required.

Facilitate access by emergency services

At least one facade must be constructed facing the street or an open space in order to allow emergency services to access the premises easily and deal with an incident. Construction materials must be fire resistant.

Limit the risk of explosion

Toxic or explosive products are not permitted within public spaces and are subject to authorization if required. All parts of a building used by the public, such as elevators, emergency exits, service elevators as well as power supply, gas supply, heating and ventilation systems etc. must be safe to use and in perfect condition.

Mandatory alarms and evacuation plans in every public building

Every public building must be fitted with an alarm system, emergency exits, emergency fire-fighting equipment such as extinguishers and smoke extraction vents, as well as emergency lighting systems. All of these systems will depend on the size of the building.

An evacuation plan has a pivotal role and must be displayed on each floor and in each room with a capacity of more than 5 people, staff rest rooms, changing rooms and other public areas.

This plan details the mandatory evacuation route, location of emergency exits, location of emergency fire-fighting equipment and location of shutoff valves for cutting the water, gas and electricity supplies.

A record must be kept for every public building containing the dates of inspections and equipment checks, staff safety training and any work carried out to improve the safety of the building and its spaces.

Standards for emergency exits

EN 179

Emergency exit devices operated by a lever handle or push pad, for use on escape routes Our approved products: SPEAD LINE.

EN 1125

Panic exit devices operated by a horizontal bar, for use on escape routes. Our approved products: 20602 – AFORA – SPEAD Line with horizontal push bar.

NF S61-937

French standard authorizing the locking of emergency exit doors in public buildings. The locking system must comply with the standard in order to be installed. Our approved products: SPEAD LINE – LSS - Micrel V2IP – 27600 –VAP – VAP3 – SLB4 – Optima 169.

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