Feng Shui

To be honest, I haven't spent a lot of time thinking about feng shui, which is an ancient art and science developed over 3,000 years ago in China.  The goal of Feng Shui is to balance the energies of a space to ensure health and good fortune.  I do know that I'm not supposed to store stuff under my bed, which  might be the reason I'm often unbalanced.

By |2014-11-25T13:35:40-05:00November 25th, 2014|Means of Egress, News|4 Comments

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...

By |2020-08-18T14:59:04-04:00October 21st, 2014|Electrified Hardware, Locks & Keys, News|11 Comments

Another Open Fire Door

A 42-unit apartment building was destroyed by fire last week in Columbus, Ohio. The fire began in a second-floor apartment, and the door to the apartment was left open when the resident evacuated. According to investigators, fire doors in the corridor and stairwell were also propped open, allowing the smoke and flames to spread and leaving the residents no safe escape route...

By |2015-05-27T09:54:51-04:00September 29th, 2014|FDAI, Fire Doors, News|0 Comments

Fatal Fire – Lowell, Massachusetts

It's too early to know whether fire doors or other passive fire protection measures played any role in the fire last week in a Lowell, Massachusetts apartment building where 7 residents were killed. Regardless, this fire underscores the value of passive fire protection, because many apartment buildings do not have active fire suppression systems - sprinklers...

By |2014-07-14T14:45:01-04:00July 14th, 2014|FDAI, News|3 Comments

Locks of Love

Love locks are padlocks which are attached by couples to bridges, fences, gates, and other structures around the world, and the keys are often cast into the river to signify everlasting love. But now these little locks are causing big problems...

By |2014-06-10T00:06:04-04:00June 10th, 2014|Locks & Keys, News|11 Comments

Fatal Fall From Roof

I read in the news this morning that a 2-year-old boy died when he fell from the roof of a 4-story apartment building in Dorchester, Massachusetts - about 25 miles from my home. Many of the news reports focus on the lack of supervision that allowed the toddler to leave the day care on the first floor, climb 4 flights of stairs to the roof, push the door to the roof open...

By |2021-11-07T22:10:37-05:00May 29th, 2014|Means of Egress, News|5 Comments

MGM Stampede

It appears this massive mishap could have been a lot worse than it turned out to be, but it is nevertheless a scary incident that left many people hurt and hundreds in harm's way. That may prompt the MGM Grand to reevaluate its current design and make some tweaks to avoid similar incidents in the future...

By |2016-01-27T13:18:54-05:00May 5th, 2014|Means of Egress, News, Videos|0 Comments

The Inspector – by Phil Chandler,

Last month I wrote about a fatal fire in a Manhattan high-rise residential building, where non-compliant fire doors likely had an effect on the outcome.  There was initially a lot of publicity surrounding this tragedy and even a proposal for new legislation, but as I feared, within a couple of weeks the media was no longer reporting on the story.  I recently read the article below in the monthly newsletter from the Center for Campus Fire Safety, and I loved it so much that I asked them if I could share it with you.  It gives a different perspective on the same issues that I preach about all the time, from Phil Chandler, a firefighter and fire marshal.  Many thanks to the Center for Campus Fire Safety, and to Phil.

By |2014-02-27T13:54:39-05:00February 11th, 2014|FDAI, Fire Doors, News|3 Comments

WW: L’Isle Verte Fire Doors

These photos leave me Wordless in a different way than the usual WW photos.  This is a great illustration of what a code-compliant fire door can do.  In the foreground of the top photo...the portion of the senior home in L'Isle Verte that is a total loss, with 32 presumed dead.  In the background, the newer portion of the building that suffered little damage and from which the occupants were able to be evacuated.  That portion was reportedly equipped with sprinklers, but without the fire wall and closed/latched fire doors visible in the photo, the fire would not have been compartmentalized as it was.  We will undoubtedly learn more about the specifics as the investigation continues.

By |2014-02-27T14:09:14-05:00January 29th, 2014|Fire Doors, News, Wordless Wednesday|3 Comments

Senior Home Fire – L’Isle Verte, Quebec

One of the worst feelings for me is that of being powerless...of seeing a critical need before me and having no way to help.  I can't imagine how it felt for the firefighters, neighbors, family members, and others who were forced to watch last week's senior home fire in Quebec, without any way to rescue most of the residents - some of whom could be seen or heard until they were taken by the smoke and flames.  Heartbreaking stories are emerging, including one of a man who was able to reach his mother on her balcony and wrap her in warm clothing or blankets, but could not rescue her.  The fire in L'Isle-Verte is believed to have killed 32 of the home's elderly residents, although recovery of the victims is extremely slow because the remnants of the building are encased in ice.

By |2014-01-27T14:54:01-05:00January 27th, 2014|Fire Doors, Means of Egress, News|0 Comments

CBS Chicago: Would-Be Burglar Thwarted After Pulling Door Marked ‘Push’

The fact that this door swings in instead of out seems to confuse the burglar enough that he can't figure out how to get in. However, I would NOT recommend inswinging doors as a security measure! Considering that people generally try to exit the way they came in, I think this opening could be an egress problem unless it is serving a very small bar.  What do you think?

By |2015-12-23T08:58:32-05:00January 19th, 2014|Means of Egress, News, Videos|1 Comment

BUILDINGS BUZZ – Voices from the Industry

I always enjoy having a chance to work with facility managers to make sure they're up to date on what's new in my world - whether it's a new product or a recent code change.  I often answer specific questions and help with product applications one-on-one, but I really appreciate the opportunity to connect with them en masse.

By |2014-01-29T13:25:53-05:00January 16th, 2014|Accessibility, Fire Doors, Means of Egress, News|1 Comment

Manhattan High Rise Fire

On January 5th, a fire in a Manhattan high-rise apartment building resulted in the death of building resident Daniel McClung, who was found in a smoke-filled stairwell.  Several other residents were injured, including Mr. McClung's husband who was also found in the stairwell.  The fire appears to have been the result of an overloaded extension cord or power strip.  The apartment's resident was not at home when the fire started, and reportedly opened his door upon returning home, saw the fire and escaped leaving the door open.  This provided oxygen to the fire, and allowed the smoke and flames to spread.

By |2016-12-02T22:45:11-05:00January 7th, 2014|Fire Doors, News|8 Comments

School Security in the News

If you search Google News for the words "school" and "security", the search engine will return millions of results.  There are stories about many cities, states, and school districts working on plans and funding to increase the safety and security of their schools.  There are reports about incidents at schools, and products that may help improve security.  It's tough to wade through it all.  The following articles address the topic with a slightly different focus.

By |2017-05-25T15:41:29-04:00December 16th, 2013|Glass, Locks & Keys, News, School Security|2 Comments

St. John the Baptist School – Peabody, Massachusetts

Yesterday was the 98th anniversary of a tragic school fire that took the lives of 22 children between the ages of 7 and 17, who were burned or crushed to death while trying to escape.  The 3-story brick and wood building was engulfed within 5 minutes, and it's miraculous that more of the almost 700 children and staff in the building were not killed.  The fire began in the basement, and traveled through the building as the basement doors were left open.  The oil finish used on the wood floors contributed to the toxicity of the smoke.  The stairs were not enclosed, and did not discharge to the exterior.  Almost all of the victims were found just inside the main entrance.  As a result of this fire, Peabody became the first city to pass a law which required egress doors in public buildings and schools to swing in the direction of egress.

By |2016-11-23T20:18:04-05:00October 29th, 2013|Fire Doors, News|3 Comments

RPM Special Edition on School Violence

This week, two teachers have been killed on school grounds, allegedly by students.  Michael Landsberry, a teacher from Sparks Middle School in Sparks, Nevada, and Colleen Ritzer, a teacher at Danvers High School in Danvers, Massachusetts, are remembered as wonderful teachers, beloved by their students and colleagues.  Yesterday an 11-year-old boy brought several knives, a gun, and 400 rounds of ammunition to Frontier Middle School in Vancouver, Washington.  Two weeks ago, an ROTC student in uniform brought a gun into Hickman Mills Junior High School in Kansas City, Missouri, even though the school was equipped with metal detectors.  Thankfully, noone was injured in either of those cases.

By |2013-10-29T13:37:04-04:00October 24th, 2013|News, School Security|1 Comment

School Locks Doors from the Inside

Sometimes it's hard to believe that this continues to happen, but I love to hear about people pushing for code-compliance and protection of building occupants.  Sadly, I'm sure the locks were present for a long time before someone noticed or said something, but the good news is that they were removed before tragedy struck.

By |2013-10-04T13:55:53-04:00October 4th, 2013|Means of Egress, News|5 Comments

Impact of Citizen Involvement

I love it when people take action to rectify a code issue - especially when it's a door problem.  Two articles landed on my desk in the last few days about just that - citizens who saw a deficiency and didn't let it drop until it got some attention.  Both stories are from the UK and both involve high-rise apartment buildings - maybe Theodore Firedoor is helping to educate people about code-compliant fire doors. 

By |2017-09-29T13:37:42-04:00August 2nd, 2013|FDAI, Fire Doors, News|0 Comments

School District Settles for $2 Million and Apologizes

I've gotten in the habit of looking at wired glass to see if it has a certification mark for impact-resistance.  Almost none of the existing wired glass that I've seen has the mark, which means that unless it has field-applied film (I haven't spotted any film yet), it is extremely hazardous.  When I see kids running down the school corridors or swarming the exit at the end of the school day, I worry about impact with the glass, and the resulting injuries.  Our kids are supposed to be safe at school, but the majority of schools have traditional wired glass in place.  And if administrators think they are protected from liability, a precedent is being set that indicates otherwise...

By |2013-06-19T01:25:34-04:00June 14th, 2013|Glass, News|11 Comments

Tornado Safety in Schools

When tragedy strikes, a common reaction is to examine what went wrong...what could have been done to affect a better outcome?  In many cases throughout history, codes were changed because of tragic events.  For the door and hardware industry, fires at the Iroquios Theater, Triangle Shirtwaist Factory, Cocoanut Grove Nightclub, Our Lady of Angels School, and the Station Nightclub come to mind as catalysts for code change.

By |2017-07-28T09:52:59-04:00May 22nd, 2013|News, Windstorm|2 Comments

Kiss Nightclub – Santa Maria, Brazil

I woke up this morning to yet another nightclub tragedy - this time in Santa Maria, Brazil.  This fire shared common issues with many of the past nightclub fires - a high occupant load, ignition of flammable foam or decorations, no working sprinklers, insufficient or unmarked exits, and a heartbreakingly-high loss of life.  The death toll currently stands at 233.  I can't help but imagine the bodies of the young people lined up in the make-shift morgue, with their cell phones ringing and ringing as their friends and family search for them.

By |2016-03-16T10:29:52-04:00January 26th, 2013|News, Panic Hardware|13 Comments
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