I recently compiled my family’s annual photo book, and I found A TON of door photos in the process. Here are a few doors I’ve seen in my travels…
I spotted an egress problem at the local YMCA, and then noticed the issue at the fire-rated stair door. This facility did a large renovation/addition a few years back, and I wrote the hardware spec. Both of these doors are existing and were not touched during the renovation, but a fire door inspection of the new doors would have likely picked up the open holes through the rated door. The 2013 edition of NFPA 80 requires fire doors to be inspected immediately after installation, so hopefully this will eventually become a standard part of the construction process.
When I went to Miami in April, I posted about the doors in my hotel but I don’t think I posted the photos below. These were in the conference hotel. You can do everything right with regard to specifying, supplying, and installing code-compliant doors, but the facility staff needs to be trained on proper maintenance of the egress routes and fire doors.
The first of these non-compliant egress doors was at a museum, and the second was at an airport. Requiring someone to “Pick up the phone for emergency exit,” is not an acceptable operation for a means of egress which must be operable with no special tools or prior knowledge. The added surface bolt in the first photo means that the door would require two motions to unlatch, and may be considered to require prior knowledge. NFPA 101 clearly states that a door with panic hardware can’t have any other lock or latch…the IBC is a little less specific but the intent is the same. The surface bolt is also an accessibility problem.
People generally get a little wary when I take photos in bathrooms, but I took these without being reported to the bathroom monitor. The first is a lovely retrofit (not!) on a stall door. The second is a bathroom that was designed in such a way that it actually had 3 exit signs – that was a first for me!
I know some of you parents and grandparents out there will recognize this location. We attended a school fundraiser and I noticed the exit partially blocked by a table behind Norah. Later I found my oldest daughter Aliya and her friends sitting there making it completely unusable.
And finally, some doors from a family trip to New Hampshire last winter. The hotel is a large resort with several hundred rooms, built in the late 60’s. The first two photos shows the stair between the hotel rooms (to the left) and the large restaurant (to the right). Not only are the doors not fire-rated, the restaurant door (no closer) was being used to hold open the guest room corridor door (no latch).
At the other end of the resort is a huge indoor water park. Outside of the water park is a fairly large lobby, but the doors serving as an exit for the lobby are swinging against the direction of egress. On the other side of the same doors is a video arcade with two other egress doors. As you can see, the exit sign on the arcade side is directing people toward the exit to the right, not through the pair of doors. I’d love to see the egress plans for this area. Something seems amiss.