Brian Messina of Kamco Supply sent me today’s Wordless Wednesday photo, and he had to educate me on what I was looking at.  #WORDLESS

Doors in a means of egress are required by code to unlatch with one releasing motion*, with no key, tool, special knowledge or effort, and with no tight grasping, pinching, or twisting of the wrist.  Doors with panic hardware are not permitted to have any other type of locking or latching mechanism, unless specifically allowed by code – for example, electromagnetic locks released by a switch in the door-mounted hardware.

The lock that has been added to this panic hardware is meant to be used to secure a trailer hitch.  Installed in the panic, it will not only void the listing of the hardware, it will prevent the touchpad from being pressed, so the latch will not retract for egress.  I’m sure someone thought this was a fantastic idea and inexpensive “solution” to unauthorized use of this door…maybe they didn’t think about what will happen when someone tries to exit in an emergency.

* There are a few exceptions to the “one motion”/free egress rule…such as dwelling unit and sleeping unit entry doors, existing classroom doors when the adopted code is NFPA 101, doors with key-operated locks including enclosed exterior spaces, or special locking arrangements.  The door in the photo does not fall into any of these categories.

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