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Jun 12 2011

Rainy Relay

Category: Egress,Panic HardwareLori @ 11:59 pm Comments (2)

<—  You know what that’s a photo of???  Rain – torrential rain, at our Relay for Life event this weekend.  It rained on and off for most of the relay, but it was REALLY bad at night.  Even the die-hard high school kids in the campsite next to ours ended up sleeping in a friend’s living room (all 24 of them!!).  Because we didn’t sleep overnight in our soaking wet tent, there were a couple of hours that we didn’t have someone walking the track, but I think we had people walking for more hours than any other team.  There were several hours that our team was almost alone on the track.  Yes, we’re crazy!  🙂

Regardless of the weather, it was a great event for a terrific cause, and I appreciate the donations I received from blog readers!  The relay raised over $175,000!

And…I even found some doors for you.  The stadium where the relay was held was recently re-built.  The bathrooms have panics, not because of the occupant load but for durability.  The gates surrounding the field also had panic hardware, but were secured with cable locks.

And just for fun, here’s a photo of my daughter Norah at the finish line.  She needs to perk up a little, huh?  —->

Here’s what the 2009 International Building Code (IBC) has to say about stadium gates:

1008.2 Gates. Gates serving the means of egress system shall comply with the requirements of this section. Gates used as a component in a means of egress shall conform to the applicable requirements for doors.

Exception: Horizontal sliding or swinging gates exceeding the 4-foot (1219 mm) maximum leaf width limitation are permitted in fences and walls surrounding a stadium.

1008.2.1 Stadiums. Panic hardware is not required on gates surrounding stadiums where such gates are under constant immediate supervision while the public is present, and where safe dispersal areas based on 3 square feet (0.28 m2) per occupant are located between the fence and enclosed space. Such required safe dispersal areas shall not be located less than 50 feet (15 240 mm) from the enclosed space. See Section 1027.6 for means of egress from safe dispersal areas.

Commentary:  Panic hardware is impractical for large gates that surround stadiums. Normally, these gates are opened and closed by the stadium’s ground crew that is constantly in attendance during the use of such gates. The safe dispersal area requirement provides for the safety of the crowd if for some reason the gate is not open. The safe dispersal area is to be between the stadium enclosure and the surrounding fence and the area to be occupied is not to be closer than 50 feet (15 240 mm) to the stadium enclosure.

In my opinion, the cable locks should have been removed while the stadium was occupied.  It wasn’t a question of security, since there were quite a few unlocked gates…I just think that it would be safer to have the gates free for egress.  Maybe I’ve been watching too many European soccer videos.

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2 Responses to “Rainy Relay”

  1. Edward Dueppen says:

    Lori – Sorry to hear about the great rain-out! But I am curious about the brand and model of those exit devices. We keep being told by various reps that no exit devices are designed for exterior use and warranties will be void if we install the standard exit devices outside. Any advice?

    Thanks, ED

  2. Lori says:

    Hi Ed –

    The panics on the gates are made by Detex. I checked their website and I didn’t see any reference to using them on exterior applications. They may have been selected because some of the parts are plastic. I don’t know what happens to the internal parts where the water inevitably flows in at the top of the touchpad. It will be interesting to see how they hold up – I’ll be keeping an eye on them.

    When I have an exterior application, my first choice is a Von Duprin 55 or 88 series crossbar device, because there aren’t a lot of internal parts to corrode and most parts are made of non-ferrous metals. I recommend setting the heads in a bead of sealant where they are attached to the door. I have also used Von Duprin 99 series devices on occasion, with weep holes drilled in the bottom of the mechanism tube, and a lot of lubricant to protect the internal parts.

    As for the warranty, Von Duprin handles this on a case-by-case basis. It would depend on whether the problem is directly related to the exposure or not. I don’t know of any problems with the projects I’ve done, but I think you’d have to expect the life-span to be reduced for any hardware that’s mounted on an exterior application.

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