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BS EN 1906:2012 Lever Handles and Knob Furniture

Views: 0     Author: D and D Hardware     Publish Time: 2022-08-22      Origin: D and D Hardware

Understanding the standard BS EN 1906:2012

Building hardware – Lever handles and knob furniture

What does the term “door furniture” mean?

Door furniture is a term in general use meaning handles that operate the wide variety of locks and latches in today’s market place. The locks could be either mortise (let into leading edge of the door) or rim (surface mounted). The furniture has to suit the type of lock specified. Upright mortise locks usually require lever handles. Knobs might be used on upright locks with deeper backsets, or on horizontal locks, to ensure the user will not ‘rap’ their knuckles against the doorframe whilst operating the knob.

It’s rare to specify knobs on commercial contracts these days, due to the introduction of the Equality Act 2010, as well as BS 8300:2009. Public buildings and workplaces must be accessible to people with disabilities, and knobs can pose problems for many users, because of the need to both grip and twist. A lever can often be operated by a closed fist, or even and elbow, making its operation much easier for many people BS 8300 states “it should be possible to operate all door opening furniture one-handed. Without the need to grasp or twist” It also states “Wherever possible, door opening furniture used in conjunction with locks and latches should have a lever action. Knobs with a spherical, circular or similar design… are difficult to use by people with limited dexterity, arthritis or a weak grip.”


The European standard specifies the performance requirements and test methods (i.e. durability, static strength, operating torque, corrosion, safety, etc.) for sprung and un-sprung lever handles and knobs for doors on backplates or roses. It applies only to lever handles and knobs that operate a lock or latch. The standard has 4 grades of performance. Compliance with the standard ensures a margin of strength in excess of that needed for normal operation. The standard has additional graded safety requirements where a high risk of failing exists.

EN 1906 Lever Handle


Almost all European architectural hardware standards follow a common format to help ease their understanding by users. Each product is classified under a number of performance headings and, generally, these are the same for all products. All products are “marked” with a size or more digit classification coding which shows, in fine detail, just what levels of product performance are being claimed for the item. The classification system when applied to all items of architectural hardware, will enable complementary items all to be specified to, for instance, a common level of corrosion resistance, category of use, door mass, etc. BS EN 1906 classifies door furniture by using an 8-digit coding system as described above.

Digit 1 – Category of use

Four grades are identified:

Grade 1: medium frequency of use with a high incentive to exercise care and a small chance of misuse e.g. internal residential doors;

Grade 2: medium use by people with some incentive to exercise care but where there is some chance of misuse e.g. internal office doors;

Grade 3: high use by public or others with little incentive to exercise care and with aa high chance of misuse e.g. public office doors;

Grade 4: high use on doors which are subject to frequent violent use, e.g. football stadiums, oil rigs, barracks, public toilets, etc

Digit 2 – Durability

Two grades of durability are identified:

Grade 6: medium use – 100,000 cycles.

Grade 7: high use – 200,000 cycles.

The tests undertaken to achieve these grades involve the application of additional forces to the door furniture in order to simulate the conditions of use likely to be experienced in the field.

Digit 3 – Door mass

  • No requirement

Digit 4 – Fire resistance

Five grades of fire resistance are identified and shall receive the extension “1” for an optional door cycle test:

Grade 0: no performance determined;

Grade A: for use on smoke-control doors;

Grade A1: for use on smoke-control doors, tested with 200,000 cycles on a test door;

Grade B: for use on smoke-control and fire-resistant doors;

Grade B1: for use on smoke-control and fire-resistant doors, tested with 200,000 cycles on a test door;

Grade C: for use on smoke-control and fire-resistant doors with requirements for fire protection inlays in backplate, rose and escutcheon;

Grade C1: for use on smoke-control and fire-resistant doors with requirements for fire protection inlays in backplate, rose and escutcheon, tested with 200,000 cycles on a test door

Note: Grades B or C means that the furniture has been included in at least one fire/smoke door test. This is not an indication that the furniture can be used on any fire/smoke door. Test evidence must be checked by a qualified person to ensure that the door types are sufficiently similar for the result to be transferable.

Digit 5 – Safety

Two grades of safety are identified:

Grade 0: normal use

Grade 1: safety application – to qualify for this grade, handles must have high strength handle – to- plate and plate-to-door fixing and / or handle-to-spindle fixing, such that they would withstand a person grabbing in other to prevent falling. It is recommended that only Safety Grade 1 furniture is used at the top of cellar steps or other staircases.

Digit 6 – Corrosion resistance

Five grades are identified:

Grade 0: no defined corrosion resistance

Grade 1: mild resistance – minimum requirement for internal use grade 2: moderate resistance

Grade 3: high resistance – minimum requirement for external use

Grade 4: very high resistance for use in exposed marine atmospheres or very polluted industrial environments.

Grade 5: extremely high resistance

Noted: Products intended to develop a natural patina (such as bronze or brass) are not required to comply with any requirements.

Digit 7 – Security

Five grades are identified:

Grade 0: not approved for use on burglary resistant doors

Grade 1: mild burglary resistance.

Grade 2: moderate burglary resistance.

Grade 3: high burglary resistance.

Grade 4: extra high burglary resistance.

Note: The main requirements include resistance to drilling, plates, or escutcheons to help protect the lock and support the cylinder. They must be resistant to removal from the outside of the door and make provision to minimize the cylinder projection to a maximum of 3mm. Full details of the requirements can be found in Annex A.

Digit 8 – Type of operation

Three operation types are identified:

Type A: spring assisted furniture.

Type B: spring loaded furniture.

Type U: un-sprung furniture.

Below is an example of D&D Hardware lever handle:

The following marking denotes a lever handle for use on a door that has a high frequency of use and is subject to frequent violent use. It is not for use on fire door assemblies and for use where safety is important . It has a very high corrosion resistance and not approved for use on burglary resistant doors. It is of the spring loaded type, high durablity of 300,000 cycles.

Modern Door Handleinternal door handle

Related Standards

Other standards related to BS EN 1906 include:

BS 8300:2009+A1:2010 Design of buildings and their approaches to meet the needs of disabled people.

BS EN 1303:1998 Cylinders for Locks

BS EN 12209: Locks and Latches

BS EN 1670:1998 Corrosion Resistance

BS EN 1634-1: 2000 Fire Resistance Tests for door and shutter assemblies

lever handle

Information from GAI Guide to Standards

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