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Sep 26 2016

NFPA – Fire Safety for People with Disabilities

Category: Accessibility,EgressLori @ 12:24 pm Comments (0)

emergency-evacuation-planning-guideLast week I received questions from two different facility managers about egress requirements the evacuation of people with disabilities.  More than 43 million Americans have a disability, so it’s very important to have a plan in place for how to safely evacuate ALL building occupants in an emergency.

The codes have changed over the years with respect to accessibility.  Back in the early 90’s it was more common for certain routes to be established as the accessible egress paths, which would be required to meet the accessibility standards.  Now, the IBC requires almost all doors to be accessible, with some specific exemptions like construction sites, highway tollbooths, and walk-in coolers.

Even if all doors in a building meet the requirements of the applicable accessibility standards, it may not be possible for everyone to exit independently in an emergency.  NFPA has published educational materials (available here) regarding emergency evacuation for people with disabilities, and recently updated the NFPA Emergency Evacuation Planning Guide.  This guide can help facility managers create a feasible plan for emergency evacuation, and it’s available for download at

Sep 23 2016

FF: Hygienic Handle

Category: Fixed-it Friday,Health Care,Locks & KeysLori @ 12:13 am Comments (23)

microban-pullAlex Howe of Allegion sent me today’s Fixed-it Friday photo of a piece of hardware he recently saw on a restroom door.  Although I have never seen this product before, the Microban cover on the pull made it pretty easy to track down.

It’s designed to keep the pull handle clean, by automatically changing the disposable cover each time the pull is used.  It is also available as a horizontally-mounted product that’s more like a traditional lockset (but looks like the product in the photo).

Along with the potential germ-avoidance benefits I thought about some potential issues…would building occupants know how to use it?  Will facilities replace the cartridge of covers and the batteries, and what about the waste generated?  Is it aesthetically-pleasing enough for architects to specify it?

The other thing is…if someone leaves the bathroom without washing their hands, and you avoid contact with their germs because of the plastic, what about the next thing that person touches?  I can’t imagine that every door handle in the facility would be of this type.

I’m not being a Negative Nelly…I’m a big fan of innovation and I like to avoid germs if possible. (Please wash your hands, people!)  I’m just wondering if anyone has experience with this product or something similar.  If you do, tell us about it in the reply box!

There’s a Youtube video here that explains how the product works.  Thank you to everyone who told me about the misspelling in the video, but it’s not my video so I can’t fix it.  I appreciate that you all have my back though!  🙂

As always, let’s keep our comments constructive. 

Sep 22 2016

Intro to Keying Terms (Video)

Category: Locks & Keys,VideosLori @ 12:08 am Comments (13)

Last night, my oldest daughter told me that her science assignment was to explain how inclined planes are used in keys.  She had researched it, and described how the pins go into the cuts on the key, and of course I had to supplement her education with TMI about shear lines, master pins, bitting lists, etc.

I love master keying!  I’m sure I drove our locksmith crazy (Hi Louise!), asking if I could help in the shop.  One day one of my coworkers (Hey Don!) taught me how to shim a cylinder, and I was a natural!  I shimmed my first cylinder while answering a code question on the phone.  🙂


I admit (despite my immediate love of keying)…keying terminology can be confusing.  So we made a whiteboard animation video to help explain some of the common terms.  Enjoy!

The rest of our whiteboard animation videos can be found on the Allegion Training page, or on the Videos page of

What other topics would you like to see addressed in future videos?

Key animation by Stian Berg Larsen.

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