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Jul 05 2016

WWYD? Multiple Delayed Egress Locks

Category: Egress,Electrified Hardware,WWYD?Lori @ 2:23 am Comments (8)

Delayed Egress PairThere is some confusion surrounding the use of multiple delayed egress locks in a means of egress – in part because of variations between the codes:

  • NFPA 101 does not limit the number of delayed egress locks in a means of egress, except in Lodging and Rooming Houses, where there is a limit of one delayed egress lock per escape path.
  • Prior to the 2015 edition, the IBC stated: “A building occupant shall not be required to pass through more than one door equipped with a delayed egress lock before entering an exit.  This means that there could be a delayed egress lock on a door entering a stair enclosure (an exit), and an additional delayed egress lock on the exit discharge leading to the exterior.
  • The 2015 edition of the IBC changed the language slightly, stating: The egress path from any point shall not pass through more than one delayed egress locking system.”  With this change, only one delayed egress lock is allowed in the path of egress, so a delayed egress lock on the door leading into the stairwell and another one on the exit discharge door would not be code-compliant.
  • The 2015 IBC also includes an exception for Use Groups I-2 and I-3, where the egress path can pass through two delayed egress locks as long as the combined delay is not more than 30 seconds.

The IBC also limits the number of doors with controlled egress locks (these are different from delayed egress locks and are only found in health care occupancies) – to one controlled egress lock before entering an exit. I have been asked whether it’s acceptable to use one delayed egress lock and one controlled egress lock in a path of egress. When I checked with the ICC I was told that technically it is not prohibited by the IBC, but I think it would be wise to check with the AHJ before installing these devices.

So…assuming that the number of delayed egress locks is limited to one per egress path for your project, and you have an application where you really need two delayed egress locks, is it acceptable to install two delayed egress locks where initiating one device simultaneously starts the 15-second timer on the second device?

For example, if we go back to our stairwell example, let’s imagine that the delayed egress lock on the exit discharge is needed to prevent unauthorized egress from the first floor into the stairwell and out to the exterior. Another delayed egress lock is needed on the 5th floor to prevent unauthorized access to the stairwell. Would it meet the intent of the code to have the actuation of the 5th-floor timer also begin the countdown on the ground-floor timer, so there is immediate egress through the 1st-floor door after the 5th-floor door is released?

Have you run into this situation before?  WWYD?

8 Responses to “WWYD? Multiple Delayed Egress Locks”

  1. Michael Pedersen says:

    I think it would meet the intent, since if the second delayed egress device is disarmed then it’s no longer really acting as a delayed egress device. It’s just a regular panic bar. So I think that should be acceptable with approval from the AHJ.

    Now, coordinating that with the low voltage contractors? Slightly more challenging.

  2. Glenn Younger says:

    Seems like the key words here would be “one delayed egress locking SYSTEM”. So if one delay opens the next 10 doors, that would still be one system.

  3. Leo says:

    I would say its not a problem, but like you got back from the ICC “hat technically it is not prohibited by the IBC, but I think it would be wise to check with the AHJ before installing these devices.”, same would apply here.

  4. Rich says:

    I agree with Glenn on this one. One delay per path. We have one room here at the University that was created from a common area at the junction of two hallways meeting at 90 degrees. Basically two side hallways to a break area. This hallway is not the primary exit path in either direction, but it is a needed alternate path in both directions. The space was closed in with dual egress doors and mullion to each hallway with a stand alone digital keypad on the left door for room access and an exit device on the inside. The right door at each hallway is a VD-CX99 with 15 sec delay. They are tied together so that either one releases both doors. There is only one delay in either path but both paths are free with either device. Not quite what your are presenting above, but close as this is a dual exit path. This installation is a bit old and is not ADA compliant as there are no ADO’s on the doors. It was AHJ approved in advance. We also added a large and very obnoxious sounder above the doors. The people have learned to leave the delay doors alone.

  5. Jim ELder says:

    I have used just this method at least twice with the approval of the AHJ but that was some time ago. There was one difference from the above however: I did not begin a perimeter door delay when the stair door was violated; instead, devices were wired so that the perimeter exit door would simply release (zero delay) when the stair door went into delayed violation. Taking a lesson from the IBC, the perimeter door was wired directly to the stair door such that release is not dependent upon an access control panel. The Chexit DE device works well, because there is a voltage output available that can be used for this purpose.

  6. Delos says:

    I have worked on a project with 3 delayed egress devices in one pathway, with AHJ approval. The outer most device was in a public corridor, the middle device was in a secured corridor for prisoner movement, and the inner most device was in the Judges corridor. All of these devices had auxiliary output terminals that were used to cut power to the downstream devices. If the outer device went into alarm, the inner two remained armed. When the middle device went into alarm and released, the aux terminals changed state and powered down the outer device. The same was true for the inner device. Activation of this one powered down both the middle and outer devices. Needless to say, the power for all three device originated at the inner device so that the cascade shut down could occur.

  7. John Payson says:

    If a delayed-egress door is tripped and unlocks, but the person who sought to escape through it is caught without actually opening the door, would/should delayed-egress doors further along the egress path be required to unlock when the first door does, or could they remain locked unless/until a delayed-egress door which feeds them is actually opened?

    • Lori says:

      Hi John –

      I think the release of the door(s) further along the path should unlock when the first door does, and should not be dependent on whether the door is opened or not.

      – Lori

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