Printed from the blog of Lori Greene, AHC/CDC, CCPR, FDAI
Email:, Blog: or

Dec 31 2009

Same Hotel, Different Day

Category: Doors Gone Wrong,Egress,Fire DoorsLori @ 12:38 pm Comments (5)

Hotel Push PullsLuckily, we are safely home and the hotel didn’t catch on fire, but I did take a quick tour of the place before we left.  Almost none of the fire doors that I looked at were code-compliant, and I wasn’t being nitpicky.

The door to our room had spring hinges and would not latch even from the fully-open position.  Even the STAIR DOORS didn’t latch!  The pairs of doors on the ballrooms had astragals which prevented the use of one door until the other door was open.  The coordinators weren’t working properly, so the “wrong” door was able to close first and prevent the other door from closing.  Damaged or defective hardware had been replaced with products that were not acceptable for use on a fire door.

The place is a tragedy waiting to happen, and the hotel is part of a very large family of hotels.  I’ve sent an email and I will escalate it if I don’t get the appropriate response.  I don’t go around reporting every little code issue I see, but I can’t just let this one go.

If you can tear your eyes away from the orange tutu at left, you will notice that these doors separating the ballroom area from the guest rooms have push plates along with a strike and a scalp plate without a latchbolt.  RED ALERT!!

Hotel Strike Hotel Scalp Homemade mag-holder extension. At least they didn't paint the labels, but where's the fire exit hardware? Hotel Pair

Hotel Deadbolt Hotel Stair Loose Screws Exit stair serving the ballroom area...seems like it should have a panic, no? You know it's cold when your iPod ices over!

5 Responses to “Same Hotel, Different Day”

  1. Jess says:

    hey Lori, seems some people dont know or find a cheap workaround for things, non latching is NOT acceptable for fire or security. the cause of no latching, is either sagging doors or improper adjustment/installation of the door closer.

    appears here that the closers in use are NOT IR products(appears to be Sargent, as I recognize the arm and cover), and appears what happened was that the installer forgot about setting the arm at 45 degrees pre-load during installation (closer is under tension when door is fully shut)

    I remind closer installers once again, READ THE INSTRUCTIONS THAT COME WITH YOUR CLOSER!

    to FIX this issue, remove arm from frame and remove the arm screw on closer and set it at a 45 degree angle away from the door (point arm towards hinges) and remount arm to closer pivot and reconnect arm end to frame.hey

    simple way to put it, if the closer’s pivot shaft is SQUARE (Norton, Yale, Ryobi, LCN 1000 series) you pre-load the arm to 45 DEGREES

    if arm shaft is HEX (6 sided shape such as found on LCN 4000, and GEZE TS-5000(european closer) 15 degree pre-load is required. some brands are slight different from others, that’s why I always say, always read the instructions that come with it no matter how simple or graphical they look, they are packed in the box with the closer for a reason. that’s one pet peeve I have, if I check the arm for looseness or pre-load and the arm falls off in my hand (has happened once, at a technical school I fixed doors at, same brand of closer as pictured in these image too

    Lori, tried maybe conveying your concerns to the maintenance manager about how you feel about the security/safety issues you spotted?? maybe they don’t realize how big of an issue it is to keep things safe and up to code,

    sometimes this makes me wonder, just how often are hotels given a building codes/ fire exit door inspection, or whats recommended?

    sorry if boring, but figured I would spill some knowledge on arm pre-loading of door closers,


  2. cda says:

    and the Ipod???

    Come on what brand hotel is it ??????????????

    • Lori says:

      The frozen iPod was just to say, “It’s @#$% COLD in Vermont!” 🙂

      I can’t tell you the hotel brand because I need to keep myself out of trouble, but I WILL continue to follow up on it.

  3. cda says:

    smoke detector on the furr down looks a little low!!!!!!!!!!!

  4. Andy Lindenberg says:

    Not a big surprise. Almost every hotel I’ve stayed in has had a number of violations. They never get proper inspections. I know they get frequent CofO inspections at regular intervals, but the ones doing the inspecting obviously don’t know, or overlook the fire doors. We in the business are the only ones who seem to care……until it’s too late. It’s a shame.

Leave a Reply