This application was seen in an airport.  The door is equipped with panic hardware and an electromagnetic lock, with signage for a delayed egress system.  To initiate the delayed egress sequence, the building occupant must lift a plastic cover on the pull station beside the door, and activate the pull station (read more below).

So, is this code-compliant?  First, an airport terminal is an assembly occupancy, and there are limited applications where the International Building Code (IBC) allows delayed egress locks in an assembly occupancy.  In most jurisdictions, the airport would technically need a code modification approved by the Authority Having Jurisdiction.

Second, the IBC says this about initiating the delayed egress sequence:

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 IBC Commentary says:

In some occupancies, the delay timer is initiated and the alarm sounds immediately upon an attempt to open the door by pushing on the panic bar or causing a slight movement of the door. In other occupancies, to prevent nuisance alarms from inadvertent bumps or accidental contact, the initiation of the delay timer and sounding of the alarm may be deferred by up to 3 seconds, requiring the occupant to attempt to operate the door hardware for up to, but not more than, 3 seconds.

From my work in code development, I know that the intent of the IBC is for the building occupant to try to exit normally – by pushing on the panic hardware or by pushing/pulling the door itself, to start the timer.  Furthermore, I wouldn’t think the added deterrent provided by the covered pull station would really be necessary in an airport.  What do you think about this application?


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