Printed from the blog of Lori Greene, AHC/CDC, CCPR, FDAI
Allegion
Email: lori_greene@allegion.com, Blog: www.idighardware.com or www.ihatehardware.com


Electrified Hardware

Electrical Power Transfer (EPT)

An EPT is an electrical power transfer, which is used to transfer wires from the door frame to the edge of the door.  It is used when there is a door-mounted piece of electrified hardware which requires power and/or sends a signal to a remote location.  The security consultants that I have worked with all prefer […]

Max Headroom

Remember him?  I guess I’m dating myself if I admit that I do since he made his debut in the mid- to late-80’s, right around the time that Bill Lawliss, John Gant, and I all graduated with degrees in Architecture from Vermont Technical College.  Just think where we could be now if we took those […]

Fail Safe Locks

I didn’t want to scare anyone by adding more information to my previous post about stairwell re-entry, but I do get questions about how to accomplish this.  The stairwell re-entry requirements state that the stair side lever must unlock on fire alarm or on a signal from the fire command station depending on the code […]

Double Egress Pairs

Last week someone called me with a “quick question” about a double egress pair in a hospital.  The hospital wanted to install shear locks on a pair of double egress doors, to use during emergency lock-downs.  Unfortunately, as some of you have figured out by now, I don’t usually have a quick answer.  There are […]

Electric Latch Retraction?

Well…the latch is retracted and it involves a wire!  As a follow-up to yesterday’s post about retrofit dogging accomplished with a tie-wrap, here’s a photo from Brendan Daley of Horner Commercial Sales that was taken in a new hospital.  I’m guessing they weren’t happy with the lock function so they came up with this ingenious […]

What’s wrong with this picture?

The open back strike hadn’t been installed when I took this photo, but what else is missing? It’s a tricky one, but you can click on the picture to enlarge it if you need to. If you think you know, add a comment by clicking this link and then scrolling down. I will hold all of the […]

Elevator Lobby Egress

Fair warning…this is going to be one of those posts that makes your eyes glaze over, especially if you haven’t had your coffee yet.  But since I’ve seen several people come to my site looking for this information and leaving without it, I need to post about it before the next person comes looking.  I’ll try to […]

BOCA? Or No BOCA?

That’s the question I was asked on Friday…“If someone orders a delayed egress exit device or delayed egress mag-lock, when do they need the ‘BOCA’ feature?” Incidentally, the person who asked me the question was one of my college classmates. There are actually a few graduates of Vermont Technical College who ended up in the […]

Shear Locks in Action

One of the disadvantages of a shear lock is the noise associated with locking/unlocking. This post has a video of the operation of a shear lock.

Low Voltage License

Someone recently asked me whether a low voltage license is required for wiring electrified hardware in Massachusetts.  I asked my Panel of Experts and did some research on the Mass.gov website, and (regardless of what actually happens out in the field on a daily basis) a license IS required for connecting wires to electrified hardware […]

Interlocks

I went to see an architect on Friday, for what I thought would be a 2-hour meeting to discuss the security requirements for a new project.  3 1/2 hours later (time flies when you’re talking about hardware!) I emerged to the sunlight (and the parking ticket), after literally resorting to cheerleading to get the architect […]

Middle School Entrance

Last night I went to a presentation at one of our 3 local middle schools, which I’m guessing was built in the 70’s.  What struck me right away was that the exterior doors are all about 10′ tall, and the interiors are about 9′ with a transom panel above.  What a strange application for a […]

TJ Bracket

When someone wants to install an electromagnetic lock on the pull side of the door, I feel like it’s my civic duty to warn them that the installation will not be pretty.  I was finally able to get a photo of this application in the T.F. Green Airport today, so I’ll be able to use […]

Schlage AD-Series Update

Yesterday I spent a few hours auditing a class on the Schlage AD-Series Electronic Locks.  If you haven’t seen this lock yet, you should go to the website and take a look.  The whole idea behind it is that it’s adaptable.  You can change the type of credential reader (keypad, mag-stripe, proximity/Smart Card/Multi-Tech reader) , […]

“EL” vs. “E”

Last week I got a compliment about this site from a security consultant, and I asked him if there were any topics he’d like me to do a post about.  He said that a post on electrified lever trim (E) vs. electric latch retraction (EL) would be helpful since he spends a lot of time […]

Von Duprin QEL Device

I visited a jobsite today and saw some QEL devices in action.  If you’re not familiar with the QEL device, it is a *quiet* version of the electric latch retraction exit device.  When the access control system (card reader, key fob, etc.) signals the door to unlock, the latch(es) retract to allow someone to pull […]

All Fixed!

My site has been moved to a new server so hopefully all of the technical difficulties are behind us and I can get on with the important stuff – DOORS!  🙂 If you find any glitches, broken links, etc., please let me know.  And if you need a new website or help with an existing […]

Gates

My daughter Norah and I went to New Haven yesterday for what will hopefully be our last trip to Yale-New Haven Children’s Hospital.  Thank you to everyone who has inquired about her…she’s doing great and is back to her old tricks. I saw this set of gates near the hospital and I immediately recognized that […]

Stay in School

I just noticed an article in the Edinburgh Evening News that was worth sharing.  No, I don’t make a habit of reading Scottish newspapers, but thanks to Google I see all kinds of news items involving fire doors. The article, entitled “Pupil, 5, Escapes From School,” was about a 5-year-old girl who left school through […]

Decoded: NFPA 72 on Access Control (December 2010)

This post was printed in the December 2010 issue of Doors and Hardware [Click here to download the reprint of this article.] Someone brought this to my attention yesterday and I thought there had to be a mistake. I was handed a slide from a recent presentation on NFPA 72 – National Fire Alarm and […]

Decoded: I-2 Special Egress Locks (January 2011)

This post was printed in the January 2011 issue of Doors & Hardware [Click here to download the reprint of this article.] A while back I wrote a post about spending time in a maternity ward, which was a completely locked unit requiring remote release from the nurses’ station to exit.  Although the 2009 edition […]

Effect of Codes on the Electronic Security Industry

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Mag Holder Extensions

I’m getting ready to head to NYC to do a presentation for the DHI chapter there, so here are some quick photos of a cross-corridor fire-rated pair sent in by Andy Olson of Reliable Glass and Door.  There has to be some sort of rule against this. You need to login or register to bookmark/favorite […]

Hardware Man

OMG – I LOVE this video.  Maybe I’ll get inspired to do a series of “Hardware Gal” videos.  🙂 Here’s a link to Bill’s blog, where you can find more videos and information about the products sold by Access Hardware Supply. Thanks to Hal Kelton of DoorData Solutions for bringing it to my attention! You […]

Reader Photos

All of today’s reader photos came from my compañeros at Ingersoll Rand Security Technologies: From Tim Weller, a door which requires 3 motions (and a key!) to exit…a knob, an exit alarm, and a key-operated deadbolt.  If this is a required means of egress, the codes require a single motion and no prior knowledge to […]

Look what I saw on the Jersey Turnpike…

I saw this keypad lockset in a rest area on the Jersey Turnpike recently.  Can you identify it? Is it a Schlage AD-Series or a CO-Series? <—Here’s a hint.  While there are plenty of differences “under the hood,” there are 3 physical differences to look for when you’re trying to determine whether a Schlage electronic […]

Quannapowitt Mag-Lock

Today my oldest daughter and I participated along with some of my coworkers and some of our compañeros from Trane, in the Quannapowitt Take the Lake 5K.  It was a beautiful morning and we walked/ran in honor of some of our friends and coworkers who have battled cancer or are still fighting. One of the […]

Bill’s Blog: Smart Cards

I swear, I didn’t send him the camo underwear.  🙂 Check out Bill’s blog at blog.accesshardware.com. You need to login or register to bookmark/favorite this content.

Calling All Locksmiths!

I have a special place in my heart for locksmiths.  Maybe it’s because I’ve been “saved” a few times…like the time I locked myself out of my apartment in my PJs at 6 a.m.  Or maybe it’s because I like the mechanics of what they do.  I always loved helping our in-house locksmith with masterkeying, […]

Seaside Hotel, Tel Aviv

This is a very unusual door – stone clad and an exterior opening only about 100 feet from the ocean.  The door and panic hardware were installed by Entry Systems Ltd., the stone, mag-lock, and wood surround were added by someone else.  The photos were sent to me by Eyal Bedrik of Entry Systems Ltd., […]

“Secure” vs. “Secured”

I was at a security meeting for one of my projects recently, and I heard the security consultant refer to the “secured side of the door,” meaning the inside – the area that is protected by the security system. I don’t know about you but my brain was imprinted long ago with the method of […]

There’s an App for That

I don’t know about you but I’m so overwhelmed with information and data that I can’t find anything.  I hate spending time looking for what I need…Google has ruined me!  I’m so used to being able to find an answer to any question within seconds, it drives me crazy when I can’t. Schlage recently introduced […]

WWYD? – Police Station

One of my favorite job-related activities is going into a facility and helping with their hardware problems.  This week I was called into a police station to look at a door that had allowed several escapes, as well as the main entrance.  I thought it would be fun to see what you all would recommend […]

Decoded: Stairwell Reentry – Myths & Facts (September 2011)

This post was printed in the September 2011 issue of Doors & Hardware [Click here to download the reprint of this article (caution – updates have been made to this article which are not included in the reprint).] Stairwell doors are often locked on the stair side to prevent unauthorized entry into tenant spaces.   […]

What If?

Have you ever run into one of those doors that needs access control, but for whatever reason it’s almost impossible to get the wires to the lock?  Maybe it’s an existing door (especially if it’s fire rated), or an opening set into stone or a fancy surround like the door on the left.  It might […]

WW: A Hot Mess

This photo was taken by Jim Lenox of Ingersoll Rand Security Technologies of Metro-NY.  What you can’t see in the photo is the pair of vertical rod panics which have had their rods and latches removed. This is my favorite part: To share this post, hover your cursor over the Share/Save button near the post […]

Decoded: Delayed Egress Hardware – Code Comparison (January 2012)

This post was printed in the January 2012 issue of Doors & Hardware [Click here to download the reprint of this article.] Delayed egress hardware prevents a door from being opened from the egress side, usually for a period of 15 seconds. This type of device is often used to prevent theft, while maintaining life […]

EAC Catalog and Power Supplies

Many of Schlage and Von Duprin’s electronic access control product numbers have changed within the last couple of years, and I’ve gotten a lot of calls about converting products and finding current information.  The Electronic Access Control Catalog is now available on the Ingersoll Rand Security Technologies website, and the Search feature makes it much […]

WW: Blocked Exit Sensor

I saw this application twice in one week…the exit sensor for the mag-lock mounted behind the exit sign. It definitely affects the range of the sensor.  The code requirements for mag-locks do not address exact placement of the sensor, but this seems like common sense, no? You need to login or register to bookmark/favorite this […]

Access-Controlled Egress Doors

I’m in San Antonio, Texas at a beautiful hotel and conference center for our annual sales meeting, and there are A LOT of doors with mag-locks.  Check out the coordination of the bank of pairs below…concealed closers, overhead stops, and mag-locks all coexisting in the same space.  Notice that the mag-locks have a split armature […]

Fractured Fairy Tales: Electrified Hardware and LEED®

Every so often I love to have a guest blogger write a post for me, so I can have the night off to do something fun and exciting like attend a PTO meeting (sad, right?).  My colleague, Steve Ostapower, was recently involved in a situation where the power usage of a Von Duprin EL (electric […]

Code Requirements for Electromagnetic Locks

This article was published in the February 2012 issue of the Locksmith Ledger: An electromagnetic lock is essentially an electromagnet in a housing mounted on the door frame, and a steel armature mounted on the door. When the magnet is energized, it bonds to the armature and locks the door. To allow access or egress, […]

WWYD: A Little Help Here?

Today is the 3rd anniversary of iDigHardware (aka iHateHardware)!  WOOHOOOO!!! If you were wondering what to send as an anniversary gift, all I want is your experience and expertise.  I have had several questions lately that I could use your help with.  I am always amazed by your willingness to add your two cents to […]

Decoded: IBC – Electromagnetically Locked Egress Doors (March 2012)

This post was printed in the March 2012 issue of Doors & Hardware [Click here to download the reprint of this article.] An electromagnetic lock is basically an electromagnet mounted in an enclosure on the frame head, with a steel armature mounted on the door. When the door is closed and the magnet is energized, […]

WHY? Unequal Pair with Mag-Lock

Do you ever look at a door opening or a particular hardware installation and ask yourself, “Why’d they do that??”  I know you have!  I’ve decided to create a new category of posts, where we can puzzle these out together. This pair is in the hotel which is my home-away-from-home this week.  I noticed the […]

Creative Application: Pair with Electric Strike

As many of you know, I was away last week to do some specwriter training.  While I thoroughly enjoyed hanging with some of my peeps for a few days (not to mention 12 hours in the car with 3 of them), my email really piled up.  I was so happy to find these photos in […]

WWYD: Access Control on Sliding Doors

Jon Bossie of Surveillance Specialties sent me the photos below to see if any of my readers had ideas about how to add access control to these sliding doors.  He and I both have some thoughts but maybe there’s something we haven’t considered.  The doors are mounted on the outside face of the wall, each […]

Reader Photos

My friend Nolan Thrope of Ingersoll Rand Security Technologies really knows how to make a girl cry: Now that I think about it, Jeff Tock of Ingersoll Rand Security Technologies makes me cry too: I know Eyal Bedrik of Entry Systems Ltd. is NOT responsible for any of these applications, but I love when he […]

Creative Power Transfers

Every so often a set of photos comes across my desk and I don’t know whether to laugh or cry (remember these?).  The photos below left me speechless.  I could have saved them for Wordless Wednesday since I have no words, but I couldn’t wait to share.  Thank you to Michael Glasser of Kroll Advisory […]

Decoded: Electric Strikes on Fire Doors (Updated July 2017)

This post was printed in the June 2012 issue of Doors & Hardware [Click here to download the reprint of this article.  Note that the reprint does not include the 2017 updates.] Someone recently asked me why, after going to architectural school, I decided to become a hardware consultant instead of an architect.  Right around […]

Cafeteria Door – Follow Up

Remember this door from my trip to the science museum last week?  I asked what was wrong with it and several of you had good ideas. This area of the cafeteria was closed and the doors were secure, so there are some things we don’t know.  We don’t know for sure if the doors are […]

WW: Raceway

I received this photo from Nancy Bailey of Girtman & Associates, a division of Bass Security Services.  I’m guessing that the slack in the wire is so that it can be run around the outside of the glass kit.  If this was a fire-rated door, would this method be acceptable? You need to login or […]

Q&A: Electric Latch Retraction on Fire Doors

Question:  I was told that I couldn’t use dogging on panic hardware installed on fire doors.  Is it acceptable to use electric dogging? Answer:  The short answer is “yes.”  Here’s the longer answer: One of the cardinal rules of fire doors is that they need to be “self-latching.”  During a fire, a fire door must […]

WW: 15 Minutes to Freedom

If you don’t know why this sign leaves me wordless, read this post. Thank you to Brendan Daley of Surveillance Specialties for making my day. You need to login or register to bookmark/favorite this content.

Decoded: Fail Safe vs. Fail Secure – When and Where? (Updated February 2018)

This post was printed in the August 2012 issue of Doors & Hardware Updated February 2018 . This question comes up a lot… “When do I need to specify/supply/install fail safe electrified hardware and when should I choose fail secure?”  First, some basic definitions: Fail safe products are unlocked when power is removed.  Power is […]

Decoded: Doors with Access Control (October 2012)

This post was printed in the October 2012 issue of Doors & Hardware [Click here to download the reprint of this article.] Question:  I’m adding a card reader to a door in my facility.  Am I required to follow the code section called “Access Controlled Egress Doors” since I am adding access control to this […]

WWYD? Theater Security

As I read about the terrible movie theater tragedy in Aurora, Colorado, I thought about things from a door hardware consultant’s perspective.  Could future tragedies be prevented by changing the way we think about the hardware on movie theater exits?  Because the suspect allegedly propped open the exit door so he could return during the […]

WWYD? Double-Egress Pair

This is an actual problem on a current project, and I’m hoping some of you will have ideas to help out.  The doors and a portion of the hardware have already been installed, and the remaining hardware is on-site.  It’s a double-egress pair in a health-care facility, and it is equipped with a system to […]

No Special Knowledge or Effort

Here’s a little something to enjoy with your morning coffee.  Most of us are aware of the requirement for egress doors to be able to be unlocked/unlatched without a key, tool, or special knowledge or effort, but sometimes this requirement is overlooked, especially when hardware is retrofitted on an existing door. The electromagnetic lock in […]

Q&A: Testing Delayed Egress Locks

Question:  Is there a code requirement for how often the delayed egress hardware in my facility must be tested? Answer:  The 2009 International Building Code (IBC) doesn’t include testing guidelines in section 1008.1.9.7 Delayed Egress Locks, but that makes sense because the IBC is used during construction and not for ongoing maintenance.  I checked the […]

Hold-Opens on a Bank of Doors

Am I the only one bothered by this?  Probably. I’m still at the CONSTRUCT show in Phoenix, so if you’re here stop by booth #739 before noon to visit.  I have a few cookies left. I saw this bank of doors as soon as I entered my hotel, and the armatures caught my eye.  I […]

Mag-Locks – Security Impact

For the second time in two months, a news story came across my desk that involved the impact of mag-locks on security.  For some involved in the security industry, mag-locks are perceived to be an easy way to retrofit a high level of protection, because the field preparation is limited and the manufacturers’ literature shows […]

WW: Another Airport Exit

This is becoming a recurring theme.  I’ll be in a few airports later this week…maybe I’ll see some more. A big thank-you to Jim Princehorn of Business Protection Specialists, for risking TSA detainment and sending these photos.  😀 You need to login or register to bookmark/favorite this content.

WWYD? Secure Pair

I recently visited a facility where security is their top priority.  Many of the doors are set to sound an alarm if they are left open for more than 6 seconds.  This presents a challenge when carts are being moved through the opening, because the doors need to stay open long enough for the carts, […]

WW: Thanksgiving Edition

I’m spending most of this week in Tennessee, and yesterday I went out to the local supermarket for a few more Thanksgiving dinner supplies.  This door caught my eye… I wonder what these loops are for? To everyone who is celebrating Thanksgiving tomorrow – have a Happy Thanksgiving! You need to login or register to […]

WWYD? Safe and Secure Schools

I have been struggling with this post.  I can’t answer the question the world wants an answer to – How do we keep our kids safe and secure at school? There’s debate about access to guns, treatment for mental illness, violent video games, and the breakdown of the American family.  Beyond my own family, I […]

Q&A: Permits for Access Control (March 2013)

This post was printed in the March 2013 issue of Doors & Hardware Question:  I need to install 2 card readers and the associated electrified hardware on existing doors.  There is no other construction or wiring being done.  Am I required to apply for a permit in order to perform this work? Answer:  My guess […]

Code Requirements for Doors with Access Control

This article was published in the March 2013 issue of Construction Specifier.   When specifying electrified hardware for an access control system, there’s often confusion about which code requirements to follow and what system components are needed.  Because one set of code requirements is titled “Access-Controlled Egress Doors”, a common misunderstanding is that all electrified hardware […]

WW: Dead Battery – No Problem!

Today’s Wordless Wednesday photo was submitted by Joy Davis of the Construction Specifications Institute (@CSIConstruction on Twitter).  Thanks Joy! You need to login or register to bookmark/favorite this content.

Decoded: Fusible Links and Smoke-Actuated Hold-Opens (Updated September 2017)

This post was printed in the April 2013 issue of Doors & Hardware Updated September 2017 In the days before hold-open devices on fire doors and smoke doors were actuated by smoke detectors, fusible link closer arms were often used to hold open doors that were required to close if a fire occurred.  Fusible link […]

Reader Photos – What’s wrong with this picture?

I’ve received lots of photos lately that illustrated problems with how products were specified, supplied, or installed.  So let’s play…what’s wrong with this picture??? a) John Gant of Ingersoll Rand Security Technologies sent this fire door photo.  Anybody see a potential problem here? b) Tim Slaughter of Ingersoll Rand Security Technologies sent me this photo […]

Decoded: Elevator Lobby Egress (October 2013)

This post was printed in the October 2013 issue of Doors & Hardware [Click here to download the reprint of this article.] The requirements for egress from an elevator lobby differ between the International Building Code (IBC) and NFPA 101 – The Life Safety Code or NFPA 5000 – Building Construction and Safety Code.  The […]

WW: No power? No problem!

When I’m teaching about the code-compliant ways to hold open a fire door, I always say that my preference is to use a wall-mounted magnetic holder because there are no moving parts, and not much can go wrong if it’s installed correctly.  But if there’s no power to the magnetic holder, it won’t hold the […]

WWYD? Gate with Access Control and Panic Hardware

Here’s a tough one… The fire marshal wants panic hardware (a panic on one leaf may suffice). The facility wants access control. What would you do?  Please leave a comment if you have any ideas. . Photos submitted by Sharon Ashton of Ingersoll Rand Security Technologies. You need to login or register to bookmark/favorite this […]

WW: Well, that’s one way of doing it.

To all of the architects out there…this is what can happen if you forgo the hardware consultant and let the electrician work out the details on-site.  Call us – we can help!  😉 Thank you to Joe Cross of Ingersoll Rand Security Technologies! You need to login or register to bookmark/favorite this content.

Special Egress Locks in I-2 Occupancies

This article was published in the October 2013 issue of the Locksmith Ledger: You might be asking yourself, “what’s a ‘special egress’ lock?”  Maybe the term even inspired you to read this article.  You won’t find a “special egress lock” in a manufacturer’s catalog, and searching online won’t help much either.  The 2012 edition of […]

Schlage CO-220 Standalone Classroom Lockdown Solution

Are you interested in trying a sample of Schlage’s new CO-220? Read on. It has been almost a year since the tragic school shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut, and in that time I have written a number of posts about school security.  I’ve posted many “creative solutions” for classroom lockdown, and discussed statistics, […]

FF: What Happened Here?

For the record, I DO know what happened here…do you?  I’ve only seen this one other time in my travels.  This photo is from Lloyd Seliber of Keying Solutions from Macau, China. You need to login or register to bookmark/favorite this content.

CONSTRUCT: Keeping Current on Codes

Visit the CONSTRUCT blog for posts from me and other industry bloggers! A few weeks ago I attended a presentation on accessibility standards at my local CSI chapter meeting.  The meeting was very well attended, as are many of the other code classes that I’ve been to or taught.  As specifiers, we need to stay […]

Q&A: Life Safety Code 2012

A few years ago I met Brad Keyes of Keyes Life Safety Compliance, who is a terrific resource when it comes to life safety questions about health care facilities.  When I received the question below I sent it to Brad, and his answer was so comprehensive and helpful that I asked if I could post it […]

Memory Care Egress

To some, locking doors to prevent egress may seem like a step backward. But in some applications, the danger of elopement is much greater than potential hazards of controlled egress. Until now, it has been difficult for memory care facilities to balance the code requirements for free egress or delayed egress, with the needs of their residents…

WW: Electric Hinge

Something a little different for today’s Wordless Wednesday photo – less of a fire door / egress code issue and more of a…fire hazard (and probably an electrical code problem!)?

WWYD? School Seclusion Room

Some schools include seclusion rooms, where a child may be placed if he/she needs time to calm down without endangering themselves or others…

WWYD? Elopement in Schools

Even if we only consider the space with the smallest occupant load – the classroom, the codes do not give us many options for preventing a student from eloping. If the classroom has an exterior door that is required for egress, it can not be locked in the direction of egress….

Stairwell Reentry – Revisited

Something recently caught me by surprise and I feel like I should bring it to light so that anyone who is specifying, supplying, or installing electrified hardware on stairwell doors would be aware of the potential issue…

Decoded Quick-Tips: Fire Door Assemblies

In preparation for an upcoming class for access control professionals, I’m putting together some printable summaries of code tips on security-related topics. The first sheet I’m working on addresses requirements specific to fire door assemblies that would be important to an access control integrator or security consultant…

Assembly Doors with Mag-Locks

In a recent discussion about code change proposals, there was a question about whether electromagnetic locks should be an acceptable alternative to panic hardware, on doors serving Assembly occupancies – essentially the application shown in the photos below. If approved, a door serving an assembly space, and perhaps even Educational occupancies depending on how the proposal was written, could have mag-locks released by a sensor, and no panic hardware – no latching device at all…

FF: Bondo Hides All Sins (not)

All I can say about these photos of a field-prepped electric strike is…this is why we specify all of the hardware, including access-control hardware, in the hardware specification. Field preps do happen on occasion, but not all installers are created equal…

FF: Thru-Wire Hinge

On a thru-wire hinge, the wires are typically run through the thickness of the hinge leaf. Like inside of the hinge leaf where you can’t see them. Not actually through the hinge. Oh never mind. You’re doing it wrong.

More on Electric Strikes on Fire Door Assemblies

Recently a question from a code official landed in my inbox – “Can an electric strike on a fire door be operated by a motion sensor?” For example, if a door was often used by people carrying boxes or other large items, could a sensor release the strike so the building occupants could just push on the door rather than turning the lever to exit?

WW: Intermittent Arcing

Paul Goldense of Goldense Building Products took today’s Wordless Wednesday photo while searching for the problem causing mag-locks in a psychiatric unit to work intermittently. I think he found the issue…

Upcoming Webinars

Allegion is conducting a series of monthly webinars for access control integrators, which address code compliant access solutions for various applications. All webinars are held at 2 p.m. Eastern. Click here to register or to access recordings of past webinars in this series…

Schlage L909x

I don’t know about you, but once a product number takes root in my head I have a tough time getting used to a new one. I’ve still got numbers in there from the 80’s! But it’s time to do a memory upgrade because the Schlage L9080-EL and L9080-EU locksets have been replaced with a series of new and improved electrified mortise locks…

Decoded Quick-Tips: Delayed Egress

Today is the second webinar in the series for access control integrators, so here is my second list of Quick-Tips (the first list can be downloaded here). There have been some changes in the 2015 edition of the IBC, so it’s worth a review…

Mag-Locks Revisited

I’m at the NFPA School Safety Summit this week and it has been an amazing opportunity to hear from code officials, first responders, and other experts, and to break into smaller groups to discuss school safety issues and the necessary code changes.  I’ll definitely have more to report on this later.  Last night I met […]

FF: I’m Wordless

I know it’s Fixed-it Friday, but I’m Wordless. Maybe you can help? Caption this…

Locked Egress Doors in Health Care Facilities

In January of this year, I wrote about a tragic fire at a senior home in L’Isle Verte, Quebec, in which 32 of the home’s residents were killed. The inquest into this incident is currently underway, and I’ve been keeping an ear to the ground to see if there are any lessons to share…

FF: Do Not Pull

Most magnetic holders provide 20-30 pounds of holding force, and can be released manually by pulling on the door to separate the door-mounted armature from the wall-mounted magnet. The signage here tells me that the magnet is probably not anchored to the wall properly, and I guess adding a sign is one way to fix the problem…

WW: Hard Wired

Today’s Wordless Wednesday photos were sent by Jim McDonald of Twin City Hardware (who is not responsible for this installation!)…

Online Training Ops

My next online Decoded class will be held on Wednesday, January 21st from 11 a.m.-12:30 p.m. Eastern. This is the third class in the series of 4 presented on behalf of the Door & Hardware Institute, and I will cover the requirements for life safety and egress…

Decoded: Electrified Hardware Refresher (April 2015)

There are 7 basic code categories for electrified hardware used to control access or egress, and this edition of Decoded provides a brief refresher on each as well as some recent code changes. Many of these code applications, but not all, fall into the category commonly called “special locking arrangements.”

Last Decoded Class – Codes for Electrified Hardware

There is one more online class in the series of four that I’m teaching on behalf of the Door & Hardware Institute – this Wednesday, February 18th, 11 a.m.-12:30 p.m. Eastern. I’ll be covering the code requirements pertaining to electrified hardware…

FF: Power Transfer?

Today’s Fixed-it Friday photo from an anonymous friend is a classic example of the coordination problems that can so easily arise when doors, frame, and hardware from multiple vendors arrive on the job-site…

Infant Abduction

There was an important change to the 2015 International Building Code (IBC) that could help to reduce the occurrence of child abduction from hospitals. Many maternity wards have infant abduction systems that use a sensor to activate a delayed egress lock when a baby is taken near the exit. But for some facilities, delayed egress locks may not be enough…

Schlage NDE Wireless Lock

The Schlage® NDE Series wireless lock with ENGAGE technology has been selected as a finalist in the Architizer A+ Awards in the Hardware category!  The winner is determined by the product that gets the most votes…you can vote here until April 3rd! If you’re not familiar with ENGAGE technology, the video below explains how it […]

FF: Fire Escape Exit Alarm

This photo may be one of my favorite Fixed-it Friday photos ever. It was sent to me by Michael Carney of Allegion. This application is in place on the roof door and all of the fire escape access doors in a dormitory high-rise. A very creative way to install an exit alarm, but I don’t know how secure or how durable it is…

AIA Webinar: Access Control Design

Today’s post was delayed because of a computer glitch, but I want to make sure the notification reaches my subscribers asap in case any of you want to participate in this upcoming webinar offered by Allegion – AIA continuing education credit is available. Sorry for the late-night notification!

WWYD? Noisy Mag-Locks

I know that some of you will be able to help with this question from a contractor, who has all-glass doors with direct-hold magnets making noise when the doors close and when the mag-locks engage…

WWYD? Cooler Access Control

Securing cooler doors with access control products is likely to become a more common application as facilities become increasingly automated.  Without an access control system it’s tough to control what is taken once the door is opened (like the coin-operated newspaper vending machines).  Have any of you seen a system that works well to secure […]

FF: Emergency Exit Alarm

What’s wrong with this Fixed-it Friday photo, sent in by David Seeley 0f Clark Security Products?

WW: Exit Signs

Jeff Payton of Williams Electronics sent today’s Wordless Wednesday photo. I’m the first to admit that I’m not an expert on exit signs. If you ARE an expert on exit signs, can you explain the need for the high-level sign? If only the door closer installer had taken as much pride in the installation as the conduit installer. 🙂

Delayed Egress Timer

I checked with the ICC and NFPA for a code opinion, and both staff members acknowledged that the code does not address this specific issue, so it would be left up to the AHJ. One made a good point – the time to initiate the timer and the time to release the device should be two separate periods…

WW: Bungee Exit Alarm

I have nothing to say except “thank you to Grah Security for today’s Wordless Wednesday photo.”

MFA Auditorium Egress

I often find that I am more cautious about modifying code requirements than even the AHJ. This opening is serving an Assembly occupancy, where delayed egress is not allowed by the IBC. In addition, the AHJ approved the 30-second delay instead of 15 seconds…

Delayed Egress vs. Controlled Egress

Delayed egress vs. controlled egress…can you explain the difference? Do you know when and where each type of locking hardware is allowed, and what the IBC requires in order to ensure life safety?

FF: Access Control Override

This Fixed-it Friday photo illustrates the common problem of an access control system that has been modified for convenience. No matter how much time and money are invested in planning and installing a system, human intervention is always a factor…

Help Me Help You (please)

I need your help! And for the first 10 people who find a mistake that nobody else has found, I’ll send you a $25 Amazon.com gift card by email (limit – one gift card per person).

FF: Bodega Emergency Exit

We still do almost all of our shopping in the small tiendas and larger mercados, but last weekend I saw this door at la bodega. At first glance I saw the sign and thought it had a delayed egress lock…

Decoded: Delayed Egress vs. Controlled Egress (November 2015)

From the November issue of Doors & Hardware…the table below addresses the requirements for delayed egress and controlled egress, for both the IBC and NFPA 101. Do you know the difference?

Swimming Pool Access Control

I know that much of the US is beyond swimming pool season, but this question just came up again so I’ll leave it right here for you to find when you need it…

FF: To Exit, Enter Current Year

Today’s Fixed-it Friday photo was found on Imgur, so I don’t know where it originated. It shows the creative use of an access control keypad to control egress. If this application was used in a memory care facility, it would be code-compliant if a delayed egress system or controlled egress system was used…

Decoded: Code Requirements for UL 294 – Standard for Access Control System Units (December 2015)

The two common code questions that arise regarding UL 294 are – A) which electrified applications are subject to the listing requirements? and B) which components of a system are required to be listed?

FF: Good Luck Getting Out

Some Fixed-it Friday photos result in mixed emotions – sadness that people resort to these methods, excitement that I have something to share with you that will make you shake your head, concern that the creative application could cause harm. Like these photos from Leo Lebovits of M&D Door & Hardware, taken at a public swimming pool…

Automatic-Closing Door Application

Last week I received a really interesting question. The city of Sioux Falls, South Dakota, made a local code modification that requires certain stairwell doors to be automatic-closing. But what about security? This is the application I would use…

WWYD? Lactation Room

Yesterday someone asked me about the preferred lock function for a lactation room (aka mothers’ room, lactorium), and I realized that I had not written about this before. Back when I needed a lactation room, one of my coworkers changed the passage set on my office to a privacy set…

WWYD? “Future” Access Control System

Last week I got an email from an architect working on a renovation project at a college. Part of an existing classroom building is being converted into a new administration area, and the project scope includes preparation for an access control system that will be designed later. The electrified hardware was included in the current project, but the access control readers have not yet been added and the system is not powered up…

Mounting Height Alert

Just when I think I’ve run out of questions and potential pitfalls, one shows up in my inbox. A while back I wrote an article for Doors & Hardware, addressing the required mounting height for operable hardware. The model codes and accessibility standards require operable hardware to be mounted between 34 inches and 48 inches above the floor. I noted in the article that some states have adopted different requirements for mounting heights…

FF: Enter in 15 Seconds

I guess this application would work if there wasn’t a real need for security, but if someone is able to press the touchpad from outside the gate, they will be able to enter the secure area after waiting 15 seconds. It’s a lot of money to spend for security that can be so easily defeated. I’ll give them credit for installing the signage though!

WWYD? Existing Fire Door – New Access Control

This question comes up quite often, so I hope some of you have insight to share. In the words of my old friend Waller Elliott, “Picture this: You have an existing stairwell door (single), with a 90-minute fire rating…”

Follow-Up – Existing Fire Door, New Access Control

The possible solutions posted by iDH readers included electrified lever trim, electric latch retraction, delayed egress, a direct-hold electromagnetic lock, a networked wireless lock, or an electric strike. My preference would be…

WWYD? Escape Room

Escape rooms are popping up all over the world, and have already opened in many US cities. The premise is that you are locked in a room with friends, family members, coworkers…

Stairwell Reentry

Most stairwells in commercial and institutional buildings are designed to protect the means of egress using fire-resistant construction and fire door assemblies as opening protectives. When building occupants are within a stair enclosure during a fire…

Controlled Egress vs. Delayed Egress

While delayed egress locks must automatically unlock 15 seconds after a building occupant actuates the device, a controlled egress lock allows the egress doors serving certain areas to remain locked until they are unlocked by staff, the automatic fire protection system, or power failure…

WW: XpresSpa or Exit?

See any problems here? Thanks to Tim Weller of Allegion for this Wordless Wednesday photo! The fun never ends!

WWYD? Mag-Locks

I am assuming that the airport requested and received the proper code modifications for the pair of doors in the photos below – serving the airport terminal. Anybody know what the required code modifications would be?

Mag-Lock Follow-Up

I posted these photos (below) yesterday to ask what problems you all saw. Here’s what I see…

Decoded: Changes to the Life Safety Code for Health Care Occupancies (July 2016)

In case you haven’t noticed, there is an interesting conversation happening on my post from earlier in the week about classroom barricade devices. If you have something informative to add in response to the manufacturers of these products…

FF: Access Control Alternative

According to Andy, this lock is on the exterior door of a school’s bus garage. Inside the “bag” is a stack of large washers, and when it is attached to the lever it allows drivers to enter the garage without using the card reader. Even though it’s Friday, I’m Wordless…

Decoded 4 – Codes for Electrified Hardware

I am SO EXCITED that the last class in the Decoded series is finally available on-demand, so you can take all 4 classes any time – for free!

WW: Conduit Conflict

I could hardly believe my eyes when I received these photos from Kevin Wiley, a fire marshal. These doors are in a college dorm, and he said at first he didn’t know why the door didn’t close when he removed the wood wedge holding it open. Look closely…

FF: Sensor Release

Sometimes a system incorporating a sensor can be problematic, because traffic moving past the door can inadvertently unlock the mag-lock…

WWYD? Multiple Delayed Egress Locks

There is some confusion surrounding the use of multiple delayed egress locks in a means of egress – in part because of variations between the codes…

Elopement from Schools

I read an article this morning about a 3-year-old boy who eloped from his preschool in Bangor, Maine. The teacher saw him go through the exterior door…

Stairwell Reentry (video)

I’ve received a lot of questions about stairwell reentry lately, so I think it’s time for me to address that topic in another article for Doors & Hardware. In the meantime, here’s a new whiteboard animation video about stairwell reentry!

Fail Secure vs. Fail Safe (video)

When working with electrified hardware it’s very important to understand the difference between fail secure and fail safe products. I hope this video helps!

Controlled Egress vs. Delayed Egress (video)

For health care facilities, controlled egress can provide a greater level of safety for patients who require containment because of their clinical needs. This video explains the requirements for controlled egress and delayed egress…

WW: Holey Hurricane

This Wordless Wednesday door is for a Florida public school’s hurricane shelter. 🙁

Intro to Electromechanical Locking Hardware (video)

Here’s another of our latest group of whiteboard animation videos; this one covers electromechanical locking hardware like electric strikes, electric latch retraction panic hardware, electrified locksets, and electrified trim for panic hardware…

FF: Access Control Gone Wrong

This is the perfect image to reinforce why it’s so important to coordinate the electrified hardware / access control in advance. I have to admit – I learned this lesson the hard way…

WW: Tunnel Vision

Steve Murray from Security Lock Distributors sent me these Wordless Wednesday photos…see any issues?

FF: Auto Operator Coordination

If an automatic operator is properly coordinated so the latch is released when the actuator is pressed, only the signage required by the BHMA standard should be needed. This is an accident waiting to happen.

Decoded: Stairwell Reentry (December 2016)

This is one of the code issues I receive the most questions about, so it’s the topic of my next Decoded column. Let me know if I didn’t answer all of your questions. 🙂

WW: Airport Observations

I spent a lot of time in airports today, and here are a few Wordless Wednesday observations…

WW: Good Luck

I received today’s Wordless Wednesday photo along with the following explanation…”On a service call to find out why doors will not lock and had to follow the wires to the inspirational message left by the last technician in header.”

Architects’ Journal: Form Studio completes reworking of ‘cookie cutter’ nineties flat

Looking at the photos that accompany the article, the closing device is mounted in the door edge. Has anyone used this type of product?

WW: Delayed Egress Mag-Lock

With the recent adoption of NFPA 101-2012 by CMS, the annual inspection of fire door assemblies has become a top priority for many health care facilities…

WWYD? Health Care Pair

The doors have some obvious damage caused by carts contacting the push side face, and carts hitting the door edge when it’s open. So…WWYD?

FF: Scheduled Dogging?

I received this photo from Scott Aikenhead – Tech Support for Allegion Canada. I’ve never seen anything like this and all I can think of is that this contraption is dogging and undogging the panic hardware on a timer…

WWYD? Sensor Release

When I took the photo, the sensor did not unlock the electromagnetic lock until I actually touched the door and the movement of my hand triggered the sensor. It seems obvious that the sensor should not be positioned behind the exit sign (or any obstruction)…

WW: Breaker

I found this photo on the Facebook page of Brendan Daley of Pasek Corp (who is not responsible for this “fix”). I am Wordless.

UL 294 Follow-Up

The access control hardware on your project is up and running (phew!), and then you are asked to provide evidence that every piece of electrified hardware on the job is listed to UL 294…

Do you have a smart home?

It made me wonder…with all of the hardware lovers and tech-savvy people who read iDigHardware, how many of you live in a “smart home”?

FF: Electric Strike Prep

For today’s Fixed-it Friday photo, how about a little before-and-after action from Jimmy Resedean Jr. of A Better Door and Window Co.?

Code Requirements for Electromagnetic Locks

I’m working on another whiteboard animation video to help explain the different code sections that apply to mag-locks. Did I forget anything?

FF: Upside-Down

I have seen this many times with mechanical lever trim for panic hardware, but I have never seen this…

Stairwell Reentry Update

Are locks on stair doors required to be hard-wired locks which unlock upon power failure?

Decoded: Access-Controlled Egress Doors (August 2017)

This post was published in the August 2017 issue of Doors & Hardware . This issue continues to arise on a regular basis, so I’m hoping to clarify it once and for all.  The sections entitled “Access-Controlled Egress Doors” – present in both NFPA 101–Life Safety Code and past editions of the International Building Code […]

FF: “Please help – I’m stuck in here.”

This is why doors are required to provide free egress.  Even doors used by very few people, leading to tiny rooms that may need more security than the average closet. KRISTV.com | Continuous News Coverage | Corpus Christi From KRISTV.com. You need to login or register to bookmark/favorite this content.

WWYD? Single Restroom with Automatic Operator

Imagine this…you have a single restroom where the property manager wants to install an automatic operator for easier access to the restroom (or to overcome a maneuvering clearance problem)…

Sensor Bars for Egress

Last week a code official contacted me because he had seen some egress doors in a school that were equipped with sensor bars used to release electromagnetic locks…

Sneak Peek

I told you we were going to have fun this week, right? Well, what could be more fun than a quiz to help you learn about codes? 😀 But first, I have to tell you something…

QQ: Selected Reentry

What is “selected reentry” and when can it be used?

Upcoming AIA-Approved Webinar

On Thursday, September 14th, Allegion will be offering a free 1-hour webinar on access control hardware – at 11 a.m. and 2 p.m. Eastern.

QQ: More on Stairwell Reentry

The questions about stairwell reentry never seem to end. I think it’s time to work on some code development proposals to add some clarity…

WWYD? Recessed Hardware in Fire Barriers

What is required when a recessed piece of hardware is to be installed in a fire barrier?

Specifying Zombie-Resistant Door Openings (Update)

While ensuring code-compliance, of course! On Halloween, 2013, I wrote a blog post about how to specify zombie-resistant door openings that are also code-compliant.  At the time, this post was one of my most frequently-read pieces, but since 2013 the traffic has increased almost 3-fold!  With so many new readers, I’m positive that some of […]

Guest Post: Electromagnetically locked egress doors: Safe or unsafe? – David Glorioso

I occasionally publish a post from a guest blogger – if you have a post you’d like to share, drop me an email. Today’s post is from David Gloriso of Allegion…

QQ: Stairwell Reentry – 1 leaf or 2?

If I have a pair of doors leading to a stairwell, do both leaves have to allow reentry?

WW: What’s missing?

This Wordless Wednesday video is from the Daily Mail…what’s missing from this application?

Number of Operations for ACCESS

A few weeks ago I received a question about whether there is a limit on the number of operations required for access to a dwelling unit, in order to meet the accessibility standards.

WWYD? Door-Related Accidents

I ran across a video the other day, which highlights a product designed to notify people on the pull side of a door that someone is about to open it from the push side.

Door Loops / Door Cords for Fire Door Assemblies

One of the most frequently-cited products seems to be the door loop or door cord. In order to address this problem, Schlage series 788 and 789 armored door cords are now classified by UL to UL 10C, and are acceptable for use on fire door assemblies.

FF: Panic Protector

Jon Millsap posted this Fixed-it Friday photo on his Facebook page (Locksmith’s Journal), and he gave me permission to share it here. What do you think? Yea or nay, and why or why not?

Code Requirements for Electromagnetic Locks (video)

I hope this video sums up the requirements in a way that will help answer any remaining questions.

WWYD? Truck Stop Showers

How would you handle this access-control request? A truck stop / rest area facility includes a bank of individual restrooms with showers, intended to be used by truck drivers.  A driver will purchase a shower and receive a receipt with a unique access code for the lock.  A monitor screen near the shower area shows […]

WW: Retrofit Security

I’ll just leave this right here. Zoom in, look around, and share your thoughts in the reply box.

Restroom Kits for Automatic Operators

Questions continue to arise regarding how to properly specify/supply hardware for a single restroom door with an automatic operator.  The challenge is that the outside actuator (push button) for the automatic operator has to be interfaced with the locking system; otherwise, the actuator could open the door even when the restroom is occupied. I wrote […]

FF: To exit, push the button…

Yes, there is an exit sign above this door.

WWYD? Fail Safe Access Control?

What are the considerations for an access control system in buildings that may continue to be occupied during a fire alarm?

QQ: Panic Hardware and Mag-Locks

The 2018 edition of the IBC includes an important clarification regarding doors with panic hardware and electromagnetic locks.

WWYD? IBC Proposal: Control Vestibules / Interlocks

BHMA has proposed a change to the 2021 IBC, to create some guidelines for interlocks – called “control vestibules” in the proposed code language. We need your help to get this right!

Decoded: Model Code Changes for Delayed Egress Locking Systems (July 2018)

The code requirements addressing delayed egress have evolved since they were first introduced in the 1981 edition of NFPA 101 – The Life Safety Code, and that evolution continues with the 2018 editions of both NFPA 101 and the International Building Code (IBC).

FF: Fail Safe Failure

There is a lesson behind today’s Fixed-it Friday photo. Upon first glance you see an exterior door locked with padlocks and a chain attached to the lever on an adjacent door. But why?

WW: Why Bother?

These Wordless Wednesday photos, from Geno Markette of Yates and Felts, are not just your run-of-the-mill padlocked-gate photos.

FF: Pool Access

I’m curious about what age children are prevented access by the 54-inch mounting height, and whether that jives with the age of children who can read the sign and enter the code.

QQ: Elevator Lobby Egress

Can elevator lobby doors be locked, and only allow egress through the tenant space when there is a fire alarm?

WW: What’s wrong with this picture?

See anything odd in these Wordless Wednesday photos from Scott Straton of Allegion?

QQ: Manual Rearm for Delayed Egress

Does a delayed egress lock have to be rearmed manually after power failure and fire alarm release, or only when the 15-second timer is activated by an attempt to exit?

QQ: Mag-Locks on Fire Doors

1) Are electromagnetic locks allowed to be used on fire door assemblies? 2) Do electromagnetic locks installed on fire door assemblies have to be labeled?

Decoded: Deterring Elopement in Health Care Facilities (September 2018)

Elopement is a real concern for certain health care facilities, and there are more options than there were 10 years ago.

WW: Exit Alarm

Today’s my birthday and I’ve got a Wordless Wednesday present for you. Look closely at this grocery store exit…any theories about what is happening here, or how it operates in an emergency?

Security for Higher Ed

Imagine that you work for a university, you read iDigHardware, and you find out that I’m wandering around your campus. I’m guessing there were some mixed emotions…

FF: Mag-Lock TJ Mount

Top jamb brackets for mag-locks are not the most aesthetically-pleasing application, and this installation has some extra modifications that will definitely affect the strength and durability.

FF: Switched/Sensor Bar

Although electromagnetic locks are easier than some other electrified hardware to retrofit, I try to avoid using them in schools whenever possible. How about you?

FF: Pair Power Transfer

This pair of doors had one of my least favorite applications to begin with, and then access control was added. It’s a challenging modification, and something is missing here.

WW: College Dorm Exit Stair

This summer I visited quite a few colleges, and this dorm left me Wordless. 🙁 Can you find all of the code-related issues with these fire doors and egress doors?

QQ: Break-Glass Switches

I’ve received this question many times over the years…Can a break-glass switch be used to unlock a door in the means of egress?

WWYD? Sensors for Electrified Hardware

What’s the best/most reliable/most secure technology for a request-to-exit sensor in an access control system? If you have a preference, tell me why in the reply box (please).

WWYD? Push-to-Exit Switch

Are pneumatic switches required as the auxiliary release devices for sensor-release electrified locking systems? Or are other types of switches acceptable? Please share your insight and experience!

Decoded 4: Codes for Electrified Hardware (with AIA CEUs!)

Of all the code requirements that apply to doors and hardware, electrified hardware raises the most questions. Here’s a training opportunity to help!

See the index for another category:

  • Accessibility
  • Adon Brownell
  • Articles
  • Automatic Operators
  • Back-2-Basics
  • Beautiful Doors
  • Close the Door
  • Code Development
  • Construction Specifier
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  • Doors Gone Wrong
  • Egress
  • Electrified Hardware
  • Everywhere I Go
  • FDAI
  • Fire Doors
  • Fixed-it Friday
  • Flush Bolts and Coordinators
  • Funky Applications
  • Gasketing & Thresholds
  • Gates
  • General Info
  • Glass
  • Guest Post
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  • Hinges & Pivots
  • Historical
  • Hold-Opens
  • Industry Profiles
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  • Locks & Keys
  • Locksmith Ledger
  • Mexico Update
  • My Photos
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  • News
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  • Protection Plates
  • Push/Pull
  • Q&A
  • Quick Question
  • Quick-Tips
  • Reader Photos
  • Road Trips
  • School Security
  • Signage
  • Sliding and Folding Doors
  • Smoke
  • Stops
  • Uncategorized
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  • WHY?
  • Windstorm
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  • WWYD?



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