Back in the days when the BOCA National Building Code was adopted by many states in the Northeast, delayed egress locks were allowed to rearm automatically after the door was opened, closed, and remained closed for 30 seconds. In contrast with the old BOCA rules, the International Building Code (IBC) and NFPA 101 – The Life Safety Code require delayed egress locks to be rearmed manually. Today’s Quick Question is…
Does a delayed egress lock have to be rearmed manually after power failure and fire alarm release, or only when the 15-second timer is activated by an attempt to exit?
That question is not specifically answered in the model codes, but I don’t think the intent is to require manual rearm after power failure or fire alarm. An AHJ could disagree but I haven’t seen this required by any AHJs on past projects.
The IBC only references manual rearm in the section that describes the requirements for allowing egress after 15 seconds (not in the sections on fire alarm or power failure release):
An attempt to egress shall initiate an irreversible process that shall allow such egress in not more than 15 seconds when a physical effort to exit is applied to the egress side door hardware for not more than 3 seconds. Initiation of the irreversible process shall activate an audible signal in the vicinity of the door. Once the delay electronics have been deactivated, rearming the delay electronics shall be by manual means only.
The NFPA 101 requirements are similar – the requirement for manual rearm is specified only in the paragraph on activation/deactivation of the device by an attempt to egress – not by fire alarm or power failure. Neither the IBC Commentary nor the NFPA Handbook, explain why manual rearm is required, but my understanding is that someone must go to the door to verify that all is well rather than just pushing a button from a remote location or having the access control system automatically rearm the door. If this is the purpose of the requirement, it would not be important to visit the door when the cause of the deactivation was power failure or fire alarm, or when there is authorized egress via card reader, keypad, etc.
What do you think?