Key Operated Lock with KeyMichael Conn of Allegion sent me today’s thought-provoking Fixed-it Friday photo, of a restaurant’s main entrance door that has been equipped with a key-operated lock (double cylinder deadbolt).  “Thought-provoking?”  Read on…

At first glance, this might must seem like a restaurant manager’s creative way of not losing the key to the front door.  BUT – there are specific requirements in the model codes for doors that have key-operated locks.  If you’re not familiar with this application and the codes that apply, you can read all about them in this Decoded article.

The intent of the codes is to allow the main entrance doors to certain types of buildings to be locked with a key, if the door has proper signage and the lock is readily distinguishable as locked.  When the restaurant/business is open to the public, the door would be unlocked, and egress will not be inhibited by the deadbolt.  The codes specifically require key-operated locks for this application, NOT thumbturn deadbolts.

It could be possible to use a thumbturn deadbolt on a door like this, but there are other criteria to be met.  The thumbturn deadbolt must be operable without a key, tool, special knowledge or effort, and without tight grasping, pinching, or twisting of the wrist.  The space would have to be one that did not require panic hardware, the door must not be fire rated, and the hardware would have to be mounted between 34 and 48 inches above the floor.  This door meets some of those requirements, but I’m not sure whether the space would mandate panic hardware and the key/thumbturn would definitely require tight grasping, pinching, and twisting of the wrist to operate.

In this photo, they have essentially turned the key-operated lock into a thumbturn deadbolt.  Anyone could throw the bolt and lock the door, but the lock does not comply with the egress/accessibility requirements for hardware.  In my opinion, it does not meet the intent of the model codes.

What do you think?



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