Quick Question:  Is it code-compliant for a card reader on the egress side of the door to be used to monitor who uses the door?  If the credential is not presented to the reader, an alarm will sound, but the door always allows free egress.

Typically, doors in a means of egress must allow building occupants to exit freely at all times.  Exceptions would be controlled egress locks in health care, delayed egress locks, and locked elevator lobby doors where allowed by NFPA 101 or a state/local code modification (the IBC does not allow this).

But sometimes there is a need to keep track of who is using a door, or to deter unauthorized use.  An exit alarm can be a good deterrent, and it is code-compliant to use a reader on the egress side of the door which shunts the alarm if a valid credential is presented.

Because electrified hardware can be confusing, BHMA proposed a change to the 2018 International Building Code (IBC) to specifically address this application:

1010.1.9.3 Monitored or recorded egress. Where electrical systems that monitor or record egress activity are incorporated, the locking system shall comply with Section 1010.1.9.7, 1010.1.9.8, 1010.1.9.9, 1010.1.9.10 or 1010.1.9.11 or shall be readily openable from the egress side without the use of a key or special knowledge or effort.

The paragraph above basically says that’s it’s acceptable to have electrified hardware that monitors egress, as long as the lock complies with one of the following:

  • 1010.1.9.7 – Controlled egress doors in Groups I-1 and I-2
  • 1010.1.9.8 – Delayed egress
  • 1010.1.9.9 – Sensor release of electrically locked egress doors
  • 1010.1.9.10 – Door hardware release of electrically locked egress doors
  • 1010.1.9.11 – Locking arrangements in buildings within correctional facilities
  • OR if the door allows free egress such as a door with panic hardware, a lever handle, or push/pull hardware that allows someone to exit immediately.


Any questions?

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