This post was printed in the January 2012 issue of Doors & Hardware
Delayed egress hardware prevents a door from being opened from the egress side, usually for a period of 15 seconds. This type of device is often used to prevent theft, while maintaining life safety. The system is most commonly comprised of an exit device incorporating delayed egress features, or an electromagnetic lock and power supply, one of which would contain delayed egress circuitry. When the device is actuated, the door remains locked on the egress side for 15 seconds, and then releases to allow egress.
Before specifying or supplying delayed egress hardware, you must verify that it is allowed to be used in the applicable occupancy classification, and be aware of the other code requirements that pertain to the use of this product. The requirements vary depending on whether you are referring to the International Building Code (IBC) or NFPA 101 – The Life Safety Code. There may be additional local requirements as well.
NFPA 101 allows the use of delayed egress hardware on all occupancy types (low or ordinary hazard), with some conditions that must be met if it is used (see Table 2). Conversely, the IBC does not allow the use of delayed egress hardware on doors serving Assembly, Educational, or High Hazard occupancies. This means that for jurisdictions enforcing the IBC, delayed egress hardware would not be allowed in schools or in Assembly occupancies like libraries, which would otherwise be prime locations for this type of hardware. In this case a local alarm could be used to deter use of the door, but no delay would be allowed by code. A variance may be granted for certain types of Assembly occupancies such as museums, but the process for obtaining the variance must be followed and documented.
Refer to the following tables for the requirements pertaining to delayed egress hardware, and note the subtle differences between codes. When specifying or supplying delayed egress hardware, verify which code and edition are to be used and the occupancy classification of the project, then apply the appropriate requirements to ensure that your installation is code-compliant.
|Table 1: Delayed Egress Hardware – Code Comparison|
|Code:||International Building Code||NFPA 101|
|Editions:||2003, 2006, 2009, 2012||2003, 2006, 2009|
|Occupancy Types:||Allowed in all occupancies EXCEPT A (Assembly), E (Educational), and (H) High Hazard.||Allowed in all occupancies (low and ordinary hazard) with some conditions for use. Refer to Table 2.|
|Products:||Approved, listed, delayed egress locks||Approved, listed, delayed egress locks|
|Alarm System:||Building must be protected throughout by an automatic sprinkler system or approved automatic smoke or heat detection system||Building must be protected throughout by an approved, supervised, automatic fire detection or sprinkler system|
|Quantity:||Building occupant shall not be required to pass through more than one door equipped with a delayed egress lock before entering an exit.||Refer to Table 2.|
|Initiation:||15-pound force applied for 1 second, irreversible process||15-pound force applied for 3 seconds, irreversible process|
|Rearm:||Device must be rearmed manually.||Device must be rearmed manually.|
|Alarm Release:||Doors allow immediate egress (no delay) upon actuation of the automatic sprinkler system or automatic fire detection system. Capability of release from the fire command center.||Doors allow immediate egress (no delay) upon actuation of the sprinkler system, not more than one heat detector, or not more than two smoke detectors|
|Loss of Power:||Doors allow immediate egress (no delay) upon loss of power controlling the delayed egress lock||Doors allow immediate egress (no delay) upon loss of power controlling the delayed egress lock|
|Extension of Delay:||Up to 30 second delay when approved by AHJ||Up to 30 second delay when approved by AHJ|
|Audible Alarm:||Required, in the vicinity of the door||Required, in the vicinity of the door|
|Signage:||On the door, above and within 12″ of the release device, “PUSH UNTIL ALARM SOUNDS. DOOR CAN BE OPENED IN 15  SECONDS.”||Visible, durable sign on the door leaf adjacent to the release device, with letters 1″ high minimum with 1/8″ minimum stroke width on contrasting background, “PUSH UNTIL ALARM SOUNDS DOOR CAN BE OPENED IN 15  SECONDS.”|
|Emergency Lighting:||Required at the door||Required at the door|
|Table 2: Occupancies Permitting Delayed Egress Locks
NFPA 101 – 2003, 2006, 2009 Editions
|Assembly||Only doors other than main entrance/exit doors may be equipped with delayed egress locks.|
|Educational / Day Care||No restrictions.|
|Health Care, Lodging and Rooming Houses, Hotels and Dormitories, Apartment Buildings||Not more than one delayed egress device may be encountered in any egress path.|
|Residential Board and Care||Exterior doors only. Not more than one delayed egress device may be encountered in any egress path.|
|Ambulatory Health Care||No restrictions (Editions of NFPA 101 prior to 2003 limit the use of delayed egress devices in ambulatory health care occupancies to exterior doors.)|
|Mercantile, Business, Industrial, Storage||No restrictions.|
This post was originally created on November 11, 2011, and was printed in the January 2012 issue of Doors & Hardware magazine.