How can you effectively secure fire exit doors while maintaining safety and compliance with regulations?

Are your fire exits secure, can they sometimes be used for the wrong purpose?

Securing fire exits can be a tricky task, as it involves balancing safety and security alongside access and evacuation considerations. There are various options to explore, and specific rules governing the type of hardware that can be installed and where it can be fitted.

Safety is paramount, as fire exit doors must remain readily accessible for quick egress during emergencies. However, this accessibility also presents an opportunity for unauthorised access, theft, arson, or security breaches if the doors are left unsecured.

It’s not uncommon to find emergency exits propped open by fire extinguishers, which can be an open invitation for unauthorised individuals to enter the building. Therefore, it’s crucial for security teams to promptly identify and address such situations.

Fastlane’s Door Detectives have been installed in numerous buildings to monitor traffic through emergency exit doors and alert personnel when necessary. Door Detective uses infrared optical detection to monitor fire exits independently of an access control system. When a door is opened, and someone passes through, the Door Detective detects the unauthorised access event and the direction of travel.

In cases where a fire exit door also serves as an entrance, Door Detective can integrate with the access control system. This integration allows authorised individuals to enter using methods like proximity cards while monitoring for tailgating events. When access control is not used for fire exits, the Door Detective continues to monitor the doorway and alarms are triggered only when someone enters the building through the fire exit without authorisation. Plus, our Sidegating® technology can now be added as an option as part of our Door Detective Plus range.  This technology means the unit is able to detect two people attempting unauthorised side-by-side dual entry.

The Door Detective system can also sound an alarm, notifying nearby personnel of an intruder, or it can operate silently, with alerts visible through Fastlane Connect, a web-based monitoring system. Combining this with CCTV cameras can provide real-time footage to identify the cause of a breach, especially if someone creates a safety issue as a diversion to gain access through open emergency exits following an evacuation.

Additionally, Door Detectives contribute to building tallies after an evacuation, providing insights into the accessibility of emergency exits throughout the building. Tracking the number of people using each exit informs future improvements to emergency procedures, including exit accessibility and staff allocation.

For more information about Fastlane Door Detective, or our range of turnstiles and applications, or to schedule a private product demonstration at our showroom in Feltham, West London, please contact the team at +44 (0)20 8890 5550 or email