Printed from the blog of Lori Greene, AHC/CDC, CCPR, FDAI
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Aug 25 2011

WWYD? – Police Station

One of my favorite job-related activities is going into a facility and helping with their hardware problems.  This week I was called into a police station to look at a door that had allowed several escapes, as well as the main entrance.  I thought it would be fun to see what you all would recommend in these situations.

The main entrance to the police station leads directly to a very small waiting area, which has a wall of windows leading to the dispatchers’ desk.  Entering through an interior door to dispatch, you pass a few offices and go through the cell area, to the booking area.  In the booking area there is a second exit door leading from the booking area directly to the exterior.

Main Entrance

The full glass hollow metal door is equipped with a Von Duprin 99L with a 996L breakaway lever trim.  It is currently classroom function.  The dispatchers would like to have the ability to lock and unlock this door from the dispatch desk.  The door will always provide free egress, and must be secure from the exterior during a fire alarm or power failure.  In addition, the police chief noted that on windy days the door must be latched or it blows open.  On nice days they often leave the door open because the police department is in a smelly basement, and they are concerned about the current hold-open method – attaching a wire to the lever handle.  The existing closer is a 25-year-old LCN 4111-Cush.

Booking Exit

This is a flush hollow metal door in a hollow metal sidelite frame.  The door currently has a Von Duprin 99L with a 996L breakaway lever trim, and an electric strike.  When an officer is entering with an alleged bad guy, the strike is released by a button in the dispatch area, allowing access to booking.  At that point the ABG is supposed to be handcuffed to a pipe in front of the booking desk, but sometimes things go awry and he makes a run for it out the exit door.  This door is required for egress, but the police department would like to slow the ABG down.  Dispatch will continue to control this door.

So, what would you do?  Are there additional questions you would ask?

UPDATE: One thing I didn’t tell you was that the police department will be moving out of their basement quarters within the next couple of years (they asked me to write the hardware spec for the new place!), so they don’t want to spend a lot of money on new hardware or an access control system.  Several of you had comments relative to the hold-open closer on the main entrance, so I should explain that during the day they don’t plan on locking the door, and it’s not a problem if it’s held open mechanically with no means to release it remotely.  The door will be locked at night, when this will be a very low traffic door.  The dispatch window is directly in front of the door so it would be highly unlikely that the door would accidentally be left open at night.

Here’s what I recommended:

On the main entrance, I changed out the closer for a 4111S-H-Cush.  The old closer was still working but they preferred a new closer rather than just changing the arm.  The outside trim will be changed to a fail secure electrified lever trim by using a Von Duprin retrofit kit (part #050672), with a maintained push button at the dispatch desk.  The police department was fine with using a door cord…I don’t typically use them, but given the frame conditions, the fact that they really didn’t care what it looked like, and the short-term occupancy of this space, it seemed like the best option.  They are planning to install this hardware with their own facilities people, so less-complicated installation and low price won out over aesthetics and resistance to vandalism.

On the booking area door I added a delayed egress mag-lock (Schlage Electronics M490DE).  The installation is relatively simple, it does exactly what the police need it to do, it’s code-compliant, and it can be released from the dispatch desk the same way they have been releasing the electric strike.

Thanks to everyone who left their ideas and input!

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5 Responses to “WWYD? – Police Station”

  1. Joe says:

    Since these are existing openings, I would assume that we are going to try to make as few changes as possible and that these doors are not fire-rated. So, here goes nothing.

    QUESTIONS TO ASK: What is the frame condition at each opening? Grouted, ability to get wiring where it is needed, etc.
    Would the police department like to add an access control system?
    Is the existing hardware in good condition?

    MAIN ENTRY: I would change the trim out to be electrified E996L trim and add a push-button or key switch at the desk. For the hold-open, I would change out the arm on the closer to be a H-Cush or, if the old closer is not functioning properly, put a new LCN 4111 H-CUSH on it. A grouted frame might be a problem, if so, a door cord might need to be used.

    BOOKING EXIT: I would add a delayed egress magnetic lock to this opening. I would use one that has all of the controls built-in (assuming the local authority allows this). The push-button at the desk will need to be rewired to signal both the electric strike and the magnetic lock to unlock.

  2. Jess says:

    what i woudl do,

    as for the police station booking exit door, magnetic locks with delayed egress would be a perfect solution, this way the door can be used for egress in an emergency as well as give time for police to recapture the bad guy before he can leave the station and cause any more trouble if escaped from custody.

    main entry door, magnetics can work here too. before working on the doors for this situation, i would recommend they get the (basement) ventilation/clean air fixed first, a door held open (with a HEDA or H-CUCH arm is just an invitation for a problem. if the door MUST be held open, a person monitoring the camera or a security officer should be watching it.

    (even with schools closer arm type hold opens are banned because its just providing a route of entry for predators to walk the halls)

    as for the 25 year old LCN 4111 cush, if its still controlling the door at the pace it should go and not showing any signs of leakage or wear on the arm (excessive) nothing really needs to be done with it, i have seen LCN’s from the 70’s on schools (yes, 20 years over their warrentee end date/year) still going well with the arm and controlling the door.

    if the 10+ year old LCN closer leaks or arm wears out and needs to be replaced/fixed closer may not be able to be serviced/replaced by the LCN factory themselves, but there are places around the united states that rebuild them for a fee.

    -Jess the door (closer) doctor

  3. Nabil Hanna AHC says:

    I need just a small sketch for plan for the area for more understanding.
    Also what is the occupancy load for each opening?
    However to slow the egress of the booking door only ,we can use the chexit of VD or 59 Sargent series with electrified trim, but still need the drawings to confirm only this door.

  4. Nabil Hanna AHC says:

    For the main entrance,use an electrified trim E996L fail secure and replace the LCN 4111 by the Sentronic electric closer 4040se with built in magnetic holder that is connected to the fire alarm and when power failure , door is locked,latched and open by the push button on desk or mechanical override key.
    For the booking exit door , replace the 98L and electric strike by the Chexit with a fail secure trim as this opening must be secured by Fail secure devices not Fail safe magnetic lock regardless the BATTERY BACK UP. This is because i am concerning about enegress on a fail safe magnet is not accepted.

  5. Lee Francisco says:

    Questions to ask –
    Are the openings monitored 24/7?
    Frame conditions – can wiring be run through the frame or will a door loop be required?
    Access control required?

    Main entrance –
    E996L fail secure trim
    Power supply
    Door loop, EPT, or Electric hinge for power transfer. What you use will depend on accessiblity to the back of the frame.
    I agree with Jess on the hold open closer. You could possibly have the door held open unintentionally if an individual opens the door too far. Depending on the surrounding conditions a hold open floor stop might be a solution in lieu of the hold open closer.
    Maintained keyswitch/button at dispatch desk.

    Booking Entrance –
    Replace the 99L device with a Chexit 99L device. This would be the cleanest way to do it. You would still have the issue of power transfer method and accessibility to the back of the frame.
    Power supply for Chexit.

    As you can tell I’m not a fan of magnetic locks. Just looks messy at the top of the door.

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