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Five tips to manage social distancing and limit contact with doors

960 640 Stuart O'Brien

Installers and specifiers are still not fully aware of the many options available to them to help manage social distancing and limit direct contact with ironmongery and doors, says the ASSA ABLOY Opening Solutions UK&I.

In line with a recently updated guide from the Guild of Architectural Ironmongers and Finishes and Interior Sector, which outlines how business owners can use partitioning and ironmongery to help manage social distancing, ASSA ABLOY says its portfolio means its products can help with these issues in a number of key ways. 

“During these times, it’s no surprise that installers and specifiers are being asked about the most suitable products to fit,” says Eryl Jones, Managing Director of the ASSA ABLOY Door Hardware Group. “It’s critical to advise decision makers on practical product choices, which not only meet the needs of the here and now, but which also provide long-lasting, compliant solutions too.

“For existing hardware, the truth is nothing will beat a regular and thorough cleaning routine. However, for new installations, there are a variety of considerations that installers and specifiers will want to bear in mind when advising their customers. Here are our top ironmongery tips on how to manage social distancing and limit contacts with doors.”

ASSA ABLOY has outlined 5 top tips to help:-

  1. Seek specialist closing devices

To minimise contact with a door, many will be tempted to keep doors held open. This, however, must not be done with fire doors, but this challenge can be overcome with electromagnetic hold-open units. Connected to the building’s fire alarm system, these will automatically release in the event of a fire, helping to keep people and property safe.

ASSA ABLOY’s DC300G-HF door closer is commonly specified for these applications, with the option to not only choose hold-open but free-swing functionality too. This enables the door to operate without any resistance, so it can be left open in any position. However, just like with the hold-open feature, should a fire alarm be activated, the electromagnetic feature will release the door and ensure it’s closed securely.

2. Provide personalised keys

Users sharing keys can quickly increase the spread of bacteria and germs. An access control system that employs individual keys puts a stop to this, and simplifies key management too. Electromechanical solutions use high-end micro-electronics and programmeable keys and cylinders to overcome this challenge.

ASSA CLIQ Remote is one such system. A popular, award-winning solution, it allows all users to have their own personalised keys for doors, eliminating the need to share keys. A recent success story has been with the Hean Castle Estate, with ASSA CLIQ Remote ensuring managers stay in control of access rights across the site at all times. Another long-term benefit of the system, according to Trustee David Lewis, is its flexibility. “As the Estate expands, the ASSA CLIQ® Remote system can grow with it,” he says. “The system is now simply part of the infrastructure of the Estate; should we need more cylinders or padlocks added to it, then this is an easy and hassle-free process.”

3. Adopt anti-microbial solutions

Anti-microbial solutions, or ‘touch-safe’ as they’re often called, offer a proven way of preventing bacteria from spreading. In the current climate, it’s unsurprising that installers and specifiers are receiving an increased number of enquiries about these solutions. It’s worth noting that these products might not offer the best long-term solution, as they can lose their potency over time. Nevertheless, they are easy to install and cost-effective.

Customers might also want to consider anti-viral copper tape products, which simply wrap around a clean door handle, for a quick, temporary ‘touch-safe’ solution. For example, UNION has developed GripSafe to meet this need, which has been proven to inactivate 99.98 per cent of corona viruses.

4. Don’t forget about ancillary products

When considering ironmongery and doors, it’s can be easy to forget about other ancillary products that can help limit and mitigate the risks of spreading bacteria. If there are concerns around products that could provide surfaces where bacteria may collect, then concealed products offer an assured solution. From concealed hinges to concealed door closing devices, ASSA ABLOY has a range of products available for guaranteed peace of mind.

Another factor to think about is signage. Given the current climate, specifiers may want to consider signage relating to hand washing and sanitising, social distancing, and other measures that can be taken to prevent the spread of germs.

5. Making sure products are up to mark

While not directly relating to helping manage social distancing or limiting contact with doors, the final tip is on product marking, as it’s vital that solutions with the appropriate product marking are being specified and installed. With the new UKCA and UKNI marks introduced from 1 January 2021, it’s crucial that installers and specifiers understand the implications for products that do not have the correct marking in place. Not only will product marking be invalidated, but the potential implications for all those involved throughout the supply chain could be very serious, including significant fines and penalties.

ASSA ABLOY says it has taken all the appropriate steps to ensure its products have undergone the correct third-party marking for goods being sold into Great Britain or Northern Ireland. Those with questions or concerns around ironmongery product marking should not hesitate to contact the ASSA ABLOY team to discuss in more detail.

ASSA ABLOY rolls out digital access management for critical infrastructure

960 640 Stuart O'Brien

ASSA ABLOY Global Solutions has launched CIPE Manager, a new access management solution for critical infrastructure protection.

CIPE Manager allows organisations to manage all their keys, locks and access rights from any location, with a cloud-based management system. CIPE Manager connects with every locking solution in the Digital portfolio for Critical Infrastructure Protection by ASSA ABLOY Global Solutions.

These currently include the keyless ABLOY BEAT, the electromechanical PROTEC2 CLIQ, as well as the high-security mechanical ABLOY master key systems.

Mervi Hiltunen, Business Development and Solutions Director, ABLOY Critical Infrastructure, said: “The digitalization in access management continues to move businesses towards more cloud-based applications. A survey conducted by IFSEC Global and ASSA ABLOY in October 2020 indicated that while 65% are still using localised, internal servers to manage their systems, 35% of end-users have already moved to cloud-based software. This development is also seen with wireless access control going beyond the buildings and is reflected in our customers’ needs for secure and comprehensive cloud-based management solutions for infrastructure and asset protection.”

CIPE Manager is designed for day-to-day operational use by security, operations and facility management who control and manage access rights to their organisations’ critical infrastructure sites and facilities. Typical sectors include energy, water, telecom, oil, gas and rail, ports and airports.

CIPE Manager includes a highly visual map-based user interface that provides a clear overview on the variety of locking points. With CIPE Manager the user can connect the organisation’s mechanical, electromechanical and keyless locking solutions in ASSA ABLOY Global Solutions’ digital portfolio for critical infrastructure into the same system. This allows extensive situational awareness and efficient access and key management.

The user interface is browser-based, allowing the management of keys, locks, and access rights remotely from any location with most mobile devices or desktop computers.

The administrator using CIPE Manager can grant and revoke access permissions to people according to their roles, e.g. job task or organisation. In addition to easy access management, the solution offers extended reporting and tracking features with full audit trail data.

Hiltunen added: “CIPE Manager provides digital convenience, control and security that simplifies managing daily processes, adding operational efficiency and complete situational awareness. With this new addition to our digital portfolio, we now offer complete protection for our customers’ entire critical infrastructure requiring mechanical, electromechanical and keyless access solutions. I’m excited to see the possibilities CIPE Manager has for extending our capability to become the preferred infrastructure access management provider for our customers.”

CIPE Manager is licensed and delivered to customers as a SaaS (Software as a service) solution, continuously updated and supported by ASSA ABLOY and ABLOY Critical Infrastructure teams.

ASSA ABLOY targets secure retail rooms with Code Handle

960 640 Stuart O'Brien

ASSA ABLOY has unveiled its Code Handle solution for retailers looking to secure rooms in busy public spaces.

The solution targets spaces that contain valuable stock or sensitive information, which need to be protected from unwanted intruders, members of the public and any other opportunists. It says Code Handle ensures those working in retail outlets can secure private rooms in a cost-effective and easy way.

A handle with a built-in PIN-pad, Code Handle offers a convenient access control solution for those that need to keep private rooms separate from public areas. Access is granted to authorised individuals via a four-digit code on the handle’s keypad. Code Handle also automatically locks when a door closes.

ASSA ABLOY says that unlike other access control systems Code Handle can be quickly and easily installed or retrofitted. It is battery-powered and so requires no wiring, and works together with an existing locking unit for ease and convenience – users can keep the current cylinder or lock, and upgrade almost any interior door to Code Handle by simply securing it in place with two screws.

Offered with a master code and up to nine different user PINs, Code Handle delivers many benefits over key-operated locks. Not only do organisations have to keep track of keys, which can amount to a great deal of wasted admin and time spent monitoring these, but there is also the cost of getting new keys cut or locks changed should any keys become lost or fall into unwanted hands. Should an employee move on, the PIN for a room can be immediately changed to a different one.

Eryl Jones, Managing Director of the ASSA ABLOY Door Hardware Group, said: “It goes without saying that retail businesses must ensure thieves and other opportunists cannot access private rooms where valuable stock or sensitive information is stored. Public areas with high levels of traffic can be hard to police, but Code Handle delivers a cost-effective and hassle-free solution to protect these rooms from unwanted visitors.

“Complete with a great looking modern design and offered in both left and right-hand options, Code Handle also requires little maintenance, with up to 30,000 cycles provided for each battery. Users also never have to worry about whether they have locked the door when exiting a room, as Code Handle does this automatically.

“Ultimately, Code Handle offers organisations an affordable and secure solution for protecting private rooms from intruders and other members of the public. For those with private rooms that open out onto public-facing spaces, Code Handle is a simple and convenient choice, which can be quickly installed with minimal hassle.”

WHITE PAPER: ASSA ABLOY explains why retailers should care about inclusive design

960 640 Stuart O'Brien

ASSA ABLOY Opening Solutions UK & Ireland has published a free white paper for building owners, developers and facilities managers of retail buildings, offering best practice advice on the guidelines governing inclusive design and the risks of not complying with these. 

When talking about inclusive design, many people immediately think of those with a disability or specific, specialist requirements.

While inclusive design encompasses the needs of these people, its key objective is to make a site inclusive for all, no matter what. In fact, despite public perception and the wheelchair being the symbol for accessibility, less than 8 per cent of disabilities require the use of a wheelchair[1].

Whether it’s the elderly, disabled or children, everyone should be able to access and use a building and its facilities easily and safely.

However, evidence across the building industry suggests there is still a great deal of confusion and non-compliance surrounding the guidance governing inclusive design. This includes Approved Document M, the Equality Act 2010 and, crucially, BS 8300-1 and 8300-2:2018, which sets out how buildings should be designed, constructed and maintained to create an accessible and inclusive environment for all. It applies to both new builds and refurbishments.

As a result, the white paper seeks to offer clear advice on why building owners, developers and facilities managers should be demanding building solutions that adhere to these standards.

Not only should people be able to access and use a building and its facilities easily, comfortably and independently, but key market drivers – such as an ageing population and consumer buying power – mean those that do not prioritise inclusive design will face ever-increasing challenges that damage brand reputation and could lead to costly legal disputes.

The white paper covers what the guidelines governing inclusive design state, as well as providing a detailed overview of the considerations for door opening solutions.

In addition, while fire safety has always been critical, incidents such as the Grenfell tragedy have highlighted how this issue cannot afford to be an afterthought in buildings. Therefore, the white paper includes how to specify door opening solutions that not only meet the requirements outlined in the guidelines for inclusive design, but how to ensure these meet the necessary fire safety standards too.

“Ultimately, there is a duty of care to make sure an environment is inclusive to all,” explained Eryl Jones, Managing Director of the ASSA ABLOY Door Hardware Group. “Whether it’s accessing an environment or ensuring individuals are able to safely exit a building in the event of a fire or other emergency, the importance of solutions that prioritise inclusive design cannot be overestimated.

“The UK government states that by 2037, those over 65 will account for nearly a quarter of the population. It also says that 6% of children, 16% of working adults and 45% of adults over state pension age are disabled, with disabilities that affect mobility, lifting and carrying being the most commonly reported. Our buildings need to be designed to meet the needs of everyone, and choosing the right door opening solution is critical to this.

“By not creating an inclusive environment, the impact on consumer spending and brand reputation is significant, too. Research from disability charity Purple found that businesses are losing approximately £2 billion a month by ignoring the needs of disabled people. The ‘grey pound’ also accounts for £320 billion of annual household spending, with the over-50s holding over three-quarters of the nation’s financial wealth. As a result, the fallout of building design that does not place inclusivity at its heart is clear to see.

“Rather than simply considering what the legal requirements around inclusive design are, building owners, developers and facilities managers should instead be looking at this as a real opportunity. The benefits include greater consumer loyalty and spending opportunities, as well as increased differentiation, credibility and brand awareness. Our new white paper aims to demystify what the guidelines governing inclusive design state, while making clear why this is an issue that those responsible for retail buildings should care about.”

Douglas Masterson, Technical Manager at the Guild of Architectural Ironmongers (GAI), added: “It is refreshing in the current climate to see accessibility being placed firmly on the agenda through this white paper. At the moment, the headlines are rightly dominated by fire safety – following the Grenfell tragedy – and on-going issues related to the Covid-19 pandemic. While these are of huge importance, accessibility must always have room in any discussion relating to the construction industry.

“This paper states: ‘All those involved in the design and construction of a building should not simply be working towards inclusivity but demanding it every single time.’ The GAI is firmly in favour of this statement, and the correct specification of hardware in a building must have the issues of accessibility and inclusive design at its heart.”

Bob Perry, CEO of the Door Hardware Federation (DHF), comments: “It’s really good to see such an important message being highlighted in this white paper. Our society is changing – both in its demographics and its attitudes – and it is clear that any company that fails on inclusivity will be left behind. At the same time, however, the requirements around inclusive design are somewhat opaque and there is still much confusion in the industry.

“What this white paper from ASSA ABLOY does is present everything the industry needs to know about the issue. It outlines the relevant standards, explains what they really mean, and tells them exactly what they need to do to make sure their door hardware is compliant. On behalf of the DHF, I recommend that it is essential reading.”

To download the white paper for free, please visit

Industry Spotlight: Consumers growing increasingly fond of smart door lock technology, new report claims…

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With the smart home security technology market expected to be worth an approximate $58.68 billion by the year 2020, according to research from, it is evident that the technology, which is primarily used for public and office buildings is transitioning to the home market – in particular, digital locks.

The Smart-Home Security Report 2016: The Growing Market for Smart Door Locks‘ report, which is sponsored by the Swedish lock manufacturer, ASSA ABLOY, analyses the consumer demand for smart-home technology – despite its infancy– by collecting  ‘hundreds’ of responses from potential owners of home-automation products from across Europe, the Middle East and Africa regions.

In relation to access via the installation of digital locks, 50 per cent of respondents would consider ‘remote access’ to be ‘very important, and 87 per cent ‘somewhat important’, and the aesthetic and further functionality testing was also acknowledged with questions and statements such as; ‘what can be offered for disabled people and people with learning disabilities?’; ‘needs to fit common door types and vandal-resistant’; and ‘cyber security has to be the highest level’ were also brought forward as suggestions to researchers.

The report states: “Many survey respondents were excited about the concept of incorporating digital locks into the home. Typical comments include: ‘This would be an amazing addition to any home’; ‘digital locks are the future. With the integration of apps for use with a smartphone they can allow emergency one-time access, which will prove invaluable in both home and commercial settings’; and ‘digital locks are easy to operate and more secure’.”

In addition, with regards to changing access rights to a smart door lock, the difference between both options was very tight, as 23 per cent said they would prefer this functionality via a smartphone/app, and 16 per cent via at the actual device/door. With this said, 61 per cent did state that they want the flexibility of both options.
Download the full White Paper here