I know it’s Wordless Wednesday, but I have a few things to say about the situation described in the news story below from KRQE News in Albuquerque.  This is one of the reasons I don’t like to see the exception for key-operated locks allowed in most locations.  The applicable sections in the International Building Code (IBC) and NFPA 101 – Life Safety Code allow double-cylinder deadbolts on the main entrance door or doors serving some buildings, depending on the use group and occupant load.

Several of the locked doors shown in this video are equipped with double-cylinder deadbolts (I also see panic hardware and electromagnetic locks, but it’s unclear how those doors operate).  The intent of the model codes is that doors with key-operated locks can’t be locked while the building is occupied, as these locks will prevent egress.  But when a double-cylinder deadbolt is installed and there is a need to lock the doors to prevent access, there is no code-compliant way to facilitate egress for an occupied building.

One other thing to note…the reporter mentions that doors marked with an illuminated exit sign are emergency exits and can not be locked on the inside.  I want to clarify that the requirement for free egress does not apply only to doors with exit signs.  Many exit access doorways do not require exit signs but must allow free egress.

Thanks to Craig Burns of Allegion for sending me the link to this news report.

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