Today’s Wordless Wednesday photos, taken in a laundromat, require some explanation.  Take a look and see what you notice:

It looks like the original hardware for each door was a double-cylinder deadbolt.  Although a key-operated lock would be allowed by the model codes on a door serving a laundromat, there are a few problems:

  • The lock is supposed to be readily distinguishable as locked – most (but not all) AHJs interpret this as a deadbolt with an indicator.
  • The key-operated lock is allowed on the main door or doors, which would likely be the pair of doors and not the single door.  Depending on the layout, both doors might be considered main doors.
  • The opening must have signage stating “This door to remain unlocked when this space is occupied.”  (or “when the building is occupied”)

At some point, the electromagnetic locks were added, and they appear to be on a timer in order to lock the doors automatically at 9 p.m.  For anyone who is still in the laundromat when the doors lock, the push button next to the door is intended to allow them to exit.  The problems with this are:

  • The button beside the door can not be the primary means of releasing the doors – a sensor is required which detects an occupant approaching the door and unlocks the mag-lock.  This is the main issue that can be confirmed from the photos – the missing sensor.
  • The other requirements that would apply to these openings:
    • The auxiliary push button must result in direct interruption of power to the mag-lock – independent of the other electronics – the lock must remain unlocked for at least 30 seconds.  The button does say “Push to Exit” as required by code, but it looks to me like it’s installed above the allowable range of 40-48 inches AFF.
    • The lock must unlock upon activation of the fire alarm or sprinkler system, if provided, and upon loss of power.  If the mag-locks have replaced the double-cylinder deadbolts as the means of locking the doors, the building will not be secure if there is a loss of power or fire alarm/sprinkler activation.
    • The 2021 IBC would require emergency lighting on the egress side of the door, but it’s unlikely that this code has been adopted in the building’s jurisdiction yet.  Current codes would also require the mag-locks to be listed to UL 294.

Thank you to Joe Cross of Allegion for sending the photos!

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