I received these Fixed-it Friday photos recently from James Hanna of Dave’s Lock and Key (James was not responsible for the wiring). A few things caught my eye (scroll down)…
1) These are exterior doors on a school. I’m guessing that the wire run from the push button directly to the exit bar will not last for long. It’s long enough to be pinched between the door and frame.
2) I wonder what will happen when the wire is disconnected by use/abuse/vandalism. The IBC requires operation of the door-mounted hardware to directly interrupt power to the lock. Will the mag-lock unlock when the wire is disconnected? Or will the mag-lock remain locked and require someone to use the push button (not the exit bar) to exit.
3) When a mag-lock is released by a switch in the door-mounted hardware, a push button is not required by the model codes. While some people prefer to have the button as a redundant way of releasing the mag-lock, it is typically only required when a sensor is used to release the mag-lock.
4) On doors serving educational occupancies with an occupant load of 50 people or more, the doors may not be equipped with a lock or latch unless it is panic hardware. There is an exception that allows the use of an electromagnetic lock, but the panic hardware is still required. Presumably, the use of an exit bar on this exit was approved by the code official, but technically the door does not have panic hardware because the exit bar is not listed to UL 305 – a requirement of the model codes.
Although mag-locks are easier than some other electrified hardware to retrofit, I try to avoid using them in schools whenever possible. How about you?