Someone recently asked me which sections of the code I would reference to show that padlocks are not allowed on egress doors. In that particular case, panic hardware was required, so it’s clear in the panic hardware section that the only type of lock or latch allowed was panic hardware. No deadbolts, no slide bolts, no padlocks – only panic hardware. There is an exception for key-operated locks on some doors, but the intent is that someone on the egress side who has the key would be able to unlock the door – that is not possible with a padlock on the access side. There are also the code sections that require egress doors to be readily openable from the egress side, prohibit locks that require key operation, and require egress doors to unlatch with one releasing motion.
The door in the photos serves an exterior balcony, and to address this application, a new section was added to the 2021 International Building Code. Note that the new section only applies when the 2021 IBC is the adopted code. Although panic hardware is not required for this door, a padlock would not meet the intent of this section. Generally, padlocks are a big NO for me. And to make this application even worse, the door has an access control reader that would theoretically control access to the balcony. I’m Wordless.