This news report highlights a security situation that most people don’t think about. While key-operated locks (keyed on the egress side) are allowed in certain locations, there are strict guidelines for their use. The intent is that they are acceptable in the locations described in the model codes because the business would not be able to be open and the building occupied unless the door is unlocked.
The coffee stand in this incident was occupied by one employee, who died from the burns sustained in a fire there. Because customers do not enter the coffee stand, the door was locked for security and prevented the employee from exiting quickly. This has happened numerous times in residential fires as well – we need to make sure we’re educating people about the use of double-cylinder locks.