Second escape route – in case of emergency gas springs open the escape hatch
Escape hatch as emergency exit from the basement – when unlatched the gas springs open the hatch on their own and clear the way to the outside
Safety is a must. Therefore, in the Café Vreiheit in Cologne (Germany), the company Karl Heinz Schaaf, Vorbeugender Brandschutz Köln (preventive fire protection) established a second emergency exit in the cellar – via an emergency hatch. Important: After having been unlatched, the hatch has to open on its own, without anybody’s assistance for the opening. DICTATOR calculated two gas springs for this about-16-kg-heavy hatch, along with their fixing points, which ensure a problem-free function. The hatch not only has to open on its own, it also has to remain open at 90°, so that in case of an emergency and a possible subsequent panic the emergency exit is open. And it must be also possible to easily close it by hand.
Another vitally important requirement regarding the functioning of the gas springs hides behind the wording “after being released the hatch has to…”: Then the gas springs should open the hatch immediately without any manual assistance. But, if the hatch is locked by a bolt lock, wrongly dimensioned gas springs would press the locking bolt upwards against the guide with the consequence that the bolt gets jammed and it is no longer possible to pull it out. Therefore the gas springs were dimensioned so that the bolt can’t get jammed, but they are still strong enough for opening the hatch.
To make sure the escape hatch perfectly functions for many years, the gas springs have to open the hatch in a cushioned manner. Otherwise, the hatch would knock open, thus damaging the hinges and the gas springs in the long run. Therefore, these gas springs feature damping on extending stroke. But closing the hatch again should require only a little force and for this reason there is no damping on compression stroke.
This way, the customers of the Café Vreiheit can enjoy their breakfast, lunch, coffee and dinner in peace .