Printed from the blog of Lori Greene, AHC/CDC, CCPR, FDAI
Allegion
Email: lori_greene@allegion.com, Blog: www.idighardware.com or www.ihatehardware.com


May 13 2019

WWYD? Delayed Egress Pull Station

Category: Electrified Hardware,WWYD?Lori @ 1:31 am Comments (12)
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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 that 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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12 Responses to “WWYD? Delayed Egress Pull Station”

  1. Kevin Knippa says:

    I have always understood that an occupant is supposed to apply force to the releasing device on the door, not a button on the wall.

    My agency enforces NFPA 101, but we would not consider this compliant with Delayed-Egress Locks as described in that code. Since the releasing device must have an obvious method of operation and be readily operated under all lighting conditions, requiring an occupant to read signs and hunt for a button on the wall would not meet.

    • Lori says:

      Thanks Kevin! I wouldn’t consider it compliant either, but I’m not an AHJ. 🙂

      – Lori

    • Kevin Knippa says:

      I have seen some integrators try to use a button arrangement like this for delayed egress when the hardware set was not well planned.

      Where we have encountered it, the installation was already approved using the button, by the fire marshal and, if located in a municipality, the building department. I have not personally visited all of the 4000+ facilities regulated by my agency, so our own staff have probably permitted, as well.

  2. A.J. Vanhooser says:

    Not to mention that not everyone at an airport can read english and know what the sign means, especially in a panic situation.

  3. Raymond Holman, AHC says:

    Definitely does not comply. More than one operation and then what about the visually impaired or non-english speaking passengers. This is an airport, after all. This looks like it was cobbled together using what was on hand. Except the sign. Someone had to make that.

  4. alex sency says:

    get rid of all that “stuff” and install a chex-it device.

  5. Lloyd says:

    Hi Lori. I don’t have a written reference for this, but wall-mounted release buttons and pull stations are generally considered “special knowledge or effort,” and they don’t comply with requirements like IBC-2018:1010.1. That might get farther than the “door hardware” reference in red above; door hardware isn’t defined in chapter 2.

    It’s hard for the code to list all of the unusual things that a building operator might do to prevent egress so they just lump them under the heading of special knowledge and effort. This is a “lift cover and pull” station instead of a “break glass to exit” station, but it still seems to fit the definition of special knowledge.

    I’ll guess the reason for this one is no power transfer/raceway in the fire rated assembly, and bad experience with delayed egress magnets.

  6. Terry Vaughn says:

    We have some of the door release pull stations at one of our hospitals. If you have a delay egress magnetic lock that will unlock in 15 seconds, is the pull station still required? Also, we have the request to exit in front of the doors that will release the magnetic lock when approaching the doors, is the pull station required? We removed them once and had to reinstall because one of the Joint Commission folks said it is required. This hospital isn’t anything special, our other hospitals don’t have the pull station, just what I mentioned above. Can you be a little more detailed on the requirements and where I might find the code on this? Thanks

  7. Darrell says:

    I would say it does NOT comply for several reasons (many of which are already noted) but it would also appear that it would not comply with ADA requirements either. The controls for the alarm appear above 48″ AFF and I believe the “tight grasping and twisting” requirement for the alarm and cover could possibly be argued.

  8. Rich McKie says:

    Regardless if it is compliant or not I think the key here is that the door is located in an airport terminal.
    The exit could be leading to a secure area and is meant to only be used in an emergency. It may also be controlled
    remotely by security staff. The door may well have existed before the security changes of the last two decades and was adapted to
    current security standards. (Note the push plate likely used to cover an old prep)
    There may be TSA or Homeland Security influence at play here which may have been taken into account by the local AHJ.
    I suppose that those agencies could even be the AHJ.

  9. LarryG says:

    Hi Lori,

    I have seen similar situation, but it is unknown how the above is actually configured. The similar ones I have observed had totally different signage and were configured so that if the panic bar was depressed it would sound a local alarm and then release the door in 15 seconds and if the wall switch was activated the alarm would activate the building fire alarm and immediately release the door without delay. Interesting to note this door is marked as an emergency exit but does not have a fire alarm pull station adjacent to the door.

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