I received this photo of a bank of doors with delayed egress panic hardware from Jim Elder of Secured Design LLC, and we got to chatting about some delayed egress questions.  I’d love to hear what you think.  WWYD? (see below)

1. Regarding the photo: This is a large mercantile occupancy (retail store).  The large “temporary” signs are placed in front of the doors at 9 p.m., when they don’t want customers using these doors.  Do you see a problem with this?

2. The signs on the doors state: “Fire Exit – Keep pushing door.  It will open in 15 seconds and alarm will sound.  Keep area clear.”  This differs from the signage required by code: “Push until alarm sounds.  Door can be opened in 15 seconds.”  Is the signage on the door close enough?

3. Jim and I have both had projects where the delayed egress lock was armed “after hours” but the doors were intended to be used during the day.  In this application, the signage required by code was confusing to building occupants, who might have been hesitant to use the doors during the day.  For these projects, we used an illuminated sign with the language required by code, which would be automatically lit when the delayed egress lock was armed.  Do you think this meets the intent of the code?

4. And the $64,000 question…the IBC allows a building occupant to encounter no more than one delayed egress lock per egress path (exception: Group I-2 and I-3).  Imagine a stairwell, where the doors leading from some of the tenant floors to the stairwell are equipped with delayed egress locks and the stair discharge door also has a delayed egress lock.  This was allowed by the IBC prior to the 2015 edition, as the code stated that a building occupant could only pass through one delayed egress lock before entering an exit (the stairwell being an exit).  In the stairwell example, if passing through a delayed egress lock from a tenant floor to the stairwell simultaneously released the delayed egress lock on the stair discharge door, so the building occupant would only be delayed one time (even though two doors in the egress path were equipped with delayed egress locks), would this meet the intent of the code?

What other questions about delayed egress locks do you encounter?

For more on delayed egress locks, here is a whiteboard animation video, a Decoded article about a recent code change, and a webinar.

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