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Open sesame: one swinghandle, multiple security levels

Especially in the railway industry, fire protection is of great importance. After all, the passenger is exposed to a potentially dangerous situation in the confined spaces of trains & Co. This is one of the reasons why the strict regulations on fire protection are reviewed annually throughout Germany. As an expert for hardware components in the rail sector EMKA has reacted to the current requirements and developed a flat swinghandle with interchangeable components. On the one hand, the new handle creates flexibility for the customer and, on the other hand, increases the safety level in hazardous areas as required.


After almost two decades of development, a fire protection standard for rail transport in the European Union came into force in 2013: the EU standard ISO 45545. Since then, strict minimum requirements for material properties have been in force not only throughout Europe but worldwide. Annual conferences (including the “Fire Protection of Rolling Stock” (FPRS)) are held to regularly review the state of the art in research and technology. The current requirements in the railway industry were last but not least the reason for the development of the new flat designed swinghandle by EMKA. The key feature of this handle: It has an extremely flat design and is equipped with interchangeable components. It is mounted only 9 mm on the cabinet surface and is therefore ideally suited for areas with narrow passages, in escape routes or for design-oriented enclosures.

Thomas Dettmar, product and project manager at EMKA, explains: “Very high-quality locking technology is often installed in hazardous areas, but the handles often stand too far away from the door and sometimes they are installed inside the seal. For example, engine room doors, for example, are almost always located in narrow passages with handrails. With our extremely flat swinghandle, which is installed outside the seal, we reduce the risk of people getting caught on the handles and injuring themselves. By installing it outside the seal, the handle is no longer in the direct danger or fire area and can be made of high-quality die-cast zinc. This also makes it more attractive for our customers in terms of price.”

Flat design, high flexibility

In addition, the new flat EMKA swinghandle has an ingenious feature: the divided recess is designed as a module in the lower area, which allows the modules to be exchanged from the front of the cabinet – without the need for time-consuming dismantling of the entire handle. The following interchangeable modules are available: profile half cylinder, Kaba cylinder, round cylinder, and various actuations.

The module technology makes the handle flexible for different security levels. In addition to use in rail transport, the swinghandle can therefore also be used in all common areas where different security requirements apply. For less stringent safety requirements, the handle can be combined with a simple tongue and actuation. If high-security demands are made, it is recommended to equip the handle with a DIN or Kaba cylinder and a bar lock for connection to a multi-point locking system. The latter gives the entire locking system additional stability. In addition, an integrated “scratch protection” prevents the handle from scratching the recess each time it is opened or closed.