I posted these photos (below) yesterday to ask what problems you all saw.  Here’s what I see…

  1. We will assume that these are not fire doors – if they were fire doors they would require latching hardware.
  2. These doors are serving as part of the means of egress for the airport terminal – an Assembly occupancy.  Both the IBC and NFPA 101 define facilities used for “awaiting transportation” as an Assembly occupancy (Use Group A-3 for the IBC).  The occupant load of an airport terminal is typically very large – much greater than 50 or 100 occupants.  Therefore, these doors would require panic hardware because doors equipped with a lock or latch serving an Assembly occupancy with a load of 50+ (IBC) or 100+ (NFPA 101) must be equipped with panic hardware.  I wrote about using mag-locks in lieu of panic hardware a while back (click here to review) – most code officials do not allow mag-locks without panic hardware for doors serving Assembly occupancies.
  3. The doors are equipped with mag-locks and they do not appear to be delayed egress mag-locks.  Assuming that they are standard mag-locks, this application is covered by the section of the IBC now called Sensor Release of Electrically Locked Egress Doors.  Prior to the 2015 edition of the IBC, and also in NFPA 101 (including the 2015 edition), this section is called Access Controlled Egress Doors.  The model codes require mag-locks in this configuration to be released by a sensor that detects an approaching occupant, activation of the fire alarm system, power failure, and a push-button beside the door – with signage – which unlocks the door for 30 seconds independent of the access control system.  Ready access must be provided to the push button.  I don’t see a sensor here, and I don’t think a fire alarm pull station meets the prescriptive requirements of the model codes regarding the push button.
  4. There is another section of the model codes that can be used for doors with mag-locks instead of the section mentioned above, but this section applies to mag-locks which are released by door-mounted hardware, like panic hardware with a request-to-exit switch.  This code section (called Electromagnetically Locked Egress Doors in the IBC, and Electrically Controlled Egress Door Assemblies in NFPA 101), does not require the mag-locks to unlock upon activation of the fire alarm system, but this section would not apply to this pair of doors because the mag-locks are not released by door-mounted hardware.
  5. As one of yesterday’s commenters pointed out, doors in airports are subject to the rules of the Department of Homeland Security (DHS).  BUT…when I spoke to someone “in the know” with regard to airport design and code requirements, he told me that his office (design department for an airport) is still required to submit the typical paperwork with their local code officials in order to get approval for modifications to the local code – even when those modifications are mandated by the DHS.
  6. On the doors below, I would typically expect to see delayed egress locks.  This would still require a modification of the code, since delayed egress locks aren’t allowed by the IBC for doors serving Assembly occupancies (or Educational, or High Hazard).  But I think a modification for a delayed egress lock might be a little easier to accept than a modification for standard mag-locks released by a fire alarm pull station.  Just my opinion.

Mag-Lock 1

Mag-Lock 2

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