I recently saw this Throwback Thursday photo and coincidentally, I had just looked at the requirements for panic hardware in the 1927 edition of the NFPA Building Exits Code. The word "PUSH" on this hardware rang a bell...
As I have said many times before, we have a responsibility to learn from past fires and other tragedies where door openings played a role. This month is the anniversary of a fire at the Westchase Hilton Hotel in Houston, Texas, where 12 people lost their lives.
The Rhythm Club Fire in Natchez, Mississippi is yet another example of how egress doors can impact life safety during a fire. This video from the National Fallen Firefighters Foundation shares some important information about the lessons learned.
Sixty years ago, 16 people were killed in a fire at Hartford Hospital in Hartford, Connecticut. This fire, which began when someone dumped smoldering cigarette ashes down a trash chute, resulted in many code changes related to health care facilities.
This week marks the 75th anniversary of the deadliest hotel fire in US history, which occurred at the Winecoff Hotel in Atlanta, on December 7th, 1946. This fire resulted in the deaths of 119 people, and injured at least 90 others.
This week marks the 30th anniversary of a tragic fire at Imperial Food Products - a chicken processing plant - where 25 workers lost their lives. Could an agreement between OSHA and the USDA improve workplace safety?
Eighteen years ago this week, I sat stunned as I watched the news reports on the fire that had occurred the night before in the nearby city of West Warwick, Rhode Island. 100 fatalities, more than 200 injured...
Anybody know what this is? It's probably not door hardware, but I'm curious, and many of you seem to have a knack for identifying old stuff. I don't remember ever seeing anything like it.
We're kicking off Schlage's 100th anniversary with a new video that provides a fascinating look (really!) into the history of Walter Schlage and the Schlage Lock Company - check it out!
'Enquiring' minds want to know...what was this used for? It's in the closet of an apartment building built in 1919, in St. Paul, Minnesota.
Twenty years ago, I had no idea how the shooting at Columbine High School would affect our industry and my career. It was impossible to imagine that it was more than an isolated event. But here we are.
This week marks 12 years since the tragic shooting at Virginia Tech. Considering the lessons learned during that incident, it's surprising that the use of classroom barricade devices would be considered by state lawmakers.
As the world mourns the fire damage to the Notre Dame Cathedral, it turns out that the doors of Notre Dame are not just ordinary doors; there is a legend that dates back hundreds of years, to the 13th century.
This week marks the anniversary of a tragic fire that heavily impacted life safety codes and requirements for worker safety. It's important to understand these tragedies, to avoid repeating them.
An iDigHardware reader needs your help identifying this lock! Any ideas?
This was posted by Lawrence Waters on the Truck Floor Training Facebook page, and it was also sent to me by a door hardware consultant / firefighter friend. Anybody know what it is?
I'm having a "staycation" this week so I probably won't add any new (old) locks to my collection, but I saw this AMAZING lock...
It has been quite a few years since I faced discrimination because of my gender - if any of you have a problem with learning about codes from a woman, you've kept it quiet (good idea)...
Deb Henson of DH Consulting sent me these photos of some REALLY old panic hardware. These doors were spotted at a home show, and were originally installed on a YMCA in Laurel, Mississippi, built in 1904. Do they look familiar to anyone?
Bill Elliott sent me these photos this morning. There's something interesting about this lock that he and I have not seen before. Can you figure it out?
Take a close look around the next time you’re in a school building. Notice the fire alarms, extinguishers, rescue windows and frequent drills? They can all be traced back to that fateful day, experts say. “All of that put together has made our school buildings so safe when it comes to fires,” said David G. Hess, Cleveland Hill’s director of facilities. “That fire has really made a difference.”
These photos were sent in by Eyal Bedrik of Entry Systems Ltd., after his recent trip to the US from Israel. The photos were taken at the George Eastman House in Rochester, New York. The home was built between 1902 and 1905, and is 35,000 square feet with 50 rooms!
A few months ago I got the bittersweet news that one of my favorite people in our industry, Bob Harder, was retiring. I'm not afraid to say...I got a little misty.
I hope you had a wonderful Saint Patrick's Day, complete with the green beverage of your choice!
Last month I wrote about the first episode of The Station Movie, a video series posted online in segments about the Station Nightclub fire that occurred 10 years ago and took the lives of 100 people and injured more than 200 others. The pain of the survivors is a reminder of why we need to continue to be vigilant about code requirements, including those pertaining to egress and fire protection. Here are the next 3 episodes:
My husband has grown accustomed to me yelling, "Stop the car!" when I see a door of interest. We actually had to circle the block and come back to this one in Nashville, Tennessee. Judging from the entrance, I thought there might be some nice doors...I couldn't process what I was seeing in time to get him to pull over. This is not code-compliant, people! The elevator door was purty though.
I can't believe it has been 10 years since the morning I woke up, turned on the TV, and saw the aftermath of the deadly fire that killed 100 people and injured 200 others at the Station Nightclub in West Warwick, Rhode Island. The recent news story below shocks me but it also underscores the fact that although we react when tragedy strikes, we often let our guard down as time goes on. We have to remain vigilant or history will repeat itself again and again.
Happy Valentine's Day everyone!
On the right of the photo is the jamb, on the left is the face of the door.
This week I've been spending some time with Karina Guadencio, an Ingersoll Rand Security Technologies specwriter from Brazil. In addition to lots of discussion in the office, we've been to a Boston Chapter CSI meeting, had lunch with the master specwriting team at Kalin Associates, conducted a punch list at Harvard Law School, and visited Columbus Door (thanks everyone!). It's been a whirlwind tour! Add the cold and last night's snow, and I think she's ready to head south (especially since she's having dinner with my family tonight! :D).
Since this blog began, it has had visitors from 165 countries. I've been contacted by readers from outside of the United States, and have heard first-hand of door and hardware professionals in other countries using the site as a resource. That amazes me.
In addition to beautiful doors and interesting locks, I love old architecture and the amazing photography that captures the decay of these crumbling structures. I look forward to new photo essays posted on the Kingston Lounge site, and the most recent was especially exciting because it's very close to my town and an important part of Worcester, Massachusetts history.
Head over to the Kingston Lounge to read more about this historic structure and see the beautiful photos of its current sad state of decay. They don't build them like this any more.
A story arrived in my inbox today, regarding the tradition of the Holy Fire at the Church of the Holy Sepulchre in Jerusalem. The day before Easter each year, clerics emerge from the small room believed to be the site of Jesus' tomb with a flame which is then spread among the pilgrims crowding the church and out to those gathered on the street.
This pair of doors is the entrance to Fort Independence on Castle Island in Boston, a five-bastioned fort built between 1834 and 1851. These doors look old enough to be original...with a little repair work at some point.
I previously posted Part 1 and Part 2 of this article, and here is the third and final segment.
I posted Part 1 of this article a while back, and apparently there have been people waiting patiently for the second installment. As requested, here is Part 2. Part 3 to follow.
It's almost impossible to imagine a fire of this magnitude, which began on November 9th, 1872. More than 770 buildings burned in less than 20 hours, most of them commercial buildings that were previously thought to be fire-proof. Several problems contributed to fighting the fire - the flu that had stricken most of the horses used to pull the fire engines, the attempts to reduce the fire load by exploding kegs of gunpowder inside of buildings, an inadequate water supply, and the crowds of spectators and looters filling the streets.
I was recently cleaning out a drawer and found copies of a 3-part article printed in Doors & Hardware in 1986. The articles were written in 1937. I thought I should preserve this piece of our history, so here is the first installment (others to follow).
Today is the 107th anniversary of a tragedy at the Iroquois Theater in Chicago, which shaped the early codes and led to the invention of the panic device. More than 600 people lost their lives in this fire, making it the deadliest theater fire and the deadliest single-building fire in United States history.
The fire at the Triangle Shirtwaist Factory in New York City on March 25th, 1911, claimed 146 lives - mostly young immigrant women. Building owners locked the exit doors to keep the workers in and the union organizers out, so when a fire broke out on the 8th floor it was impossible for some of the 600+ workers on the 8th, 9th, and 10th floors to escape. The fire escape was not sufficient to hold the number of fleeing occupants, and collapsed. Firefighters' ladders were several stories too short, and water from the fire hoses could not reach the upper floors of the building. Sixty workers jumped to their deaths.
Once again, failure to follow fire safety and egress code requirements in a nightclub has resulted in a fire with multiple fatalities. The death toll from the December 4th fire at the Lame Horse in Perm, Russia currently stands at 112 with more than 100 people severely injured.
This article was written by Carl Prinzler, one of the creators of the original exit device, at the end of the 1930's. I think it's an interesting insight into the development of the first exit device and the code requirements at that time.