Printed from the blog of Lori Greene, AHC/CDC, CCPR, FDAI
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Glass Doors with Electric Strikes

I’m currently working on several projects that have glass doors in walls that are acting as 1-hour fire barriers with closely-spaced sprinkler heads above the glass.  The problem with this application from a hardware standpoint is that the Blumcraft, CR Laurence, and Dorma Glas panic hardware that is typically used on glass doors does not […]

Dormitory Locks

The hot topic of last week was how to handle locks on dormitory entrance doors, since the students have figured out how to reach under the door with a coat hanger and pull down the lever to unlock the door.  There’s a minute+ of bad video below to illustrate the procedure, as reenacted by a […]

Cycle Testing

We’re in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, and the good news is that the specwriter Chip and I came to see has agreed to include Falcon exit devices in his specifications!  Yippee! The bad news is that we arrived a bit early for Bike Week, but I figured it’s still a good place to mention cycle testing.  […]

Colonial Williamsburg

Yesterday we decided that there was still too much to see so we can’t go home just yet.  We haven’t run out of clean clothes, so why not?  We spent the entire day taking in the sights of Colonial Williamsburg, without a thrill ride or water slide in sight.  I saw so many interesting doors […]

Schlage LiNK

The other day, one of my friends asked me about the new Schlage LiNK, which is a remote access system that connects you to your home from anywhere via cell phone or computer.  With the monthly subscription and Z-Wave enabled products, you can remotely control and monitor your door locks, check on your pets with […]

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.

Cover Up!!

Back in the day, before my restaurant choices were based on whether the establishment offered crayons, chicken nuggets, and a giant mouse or talking tree, I used to frequent a local cantina.  The “naked” door closer on their ladies room door drove me nuts, so one night I showed up with a closer cover, screws, […]

Just for Fun…

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Falcon 8200 Series Auto Operator

It seems like I should know all about myself now that I’m in my (early!) 40’s, but I recently learned that the way I learn best is from a live demonstration or a video.  As soon as I start trying to read about something, my mind is off in a hundred directions, but put the […]

Survey Q2: “What is the purpose of a fire door?”

This is the 2nd post in a series about fire doors and the results of a recent survey. ————————————————————————————————– “Fire protection-rated doors provide critical protection to protect exit enclosures and compartmentalize buildings and stop the spread of fire, smoke, and toxic gases. The proper installation and maintenance of these doors is a critical part of […]

Parkside West Fire

Last Tuesday night, approximately fifty people were left homeless by a fire at the Parkside West Apartments in New London, Connecticut, which apparently began on a stove in a 3rd-story apartment.  One of the newspaper accounts of the fire investigation reported that the fire marshal stated “in the third-floor apartment where the fire is believed […]


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 […]

Stephens Court, Calcutta India

This building in Calcutta was involved in a fatal fire today, with 24 deaths reported so far and additional people still missing.  The top floors of the building had been added illegally, but the building owner paid a fine and all was forgiven.  The fire department reportedly had never inspected the building. Each section had […]

Triangle Factory Fire – 99 Years Ago Today

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 […]

Glass Door Fails

I’m not a big fan of glass doors because the options for hardware are so limited, but they do supply some interesting fail moments. You’d think that after multiple people ran into the same sidelite, they’d stick on some fake snowflakes or something… Video compilation courtesy of You need to login or register to […]

Bear Break

I’m working on the next post about smoke but this has been an extremely busy week. Here’s something to entertain you while you wait: Apparently firefighters are being asked to deal with rogue bears more frequently these days. I’ll bet this bear woke up with a headache. You need to login or register to bookmark/favorite […]

Tiny Closer

I think these are about the tiniest closers I’ve ever seen.  One was obviously not enough to get the bathroom door closed, so another one was added.  The door still wouldn’t close, so the closer was flipped around and mounted the opposite way.  The door STILL wouldn’t close, AND the sound of the closers was […]

LAX Egress

It’s not very often that I see a news report about egress doors that don’t meet code requirements.  Considering the prevalence of the problem, it’s amazing to me that it doesn’t get more publicity, but then again, I’m a little more focused on the problem than the average citizen. Today is my lucky day because […]

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 […]

Trick or Tweet

Ellen DeGeneres cracks me up – even though she never talks about doors and I never have time to watch her show any more.  Recently, Ellen and I became Facebook friends, so I get random status updates from her show which often include videos.  I happened upon a video of when she sent one of her writers through […]

Faulty Fire Doors in the News

I’ve been doing some research for my FDAI presentation, looking for specific examples of how the inspection of fire doors and correction of deficiencies can have a direct impact on life safety as well as the protection of property.  It’s not very often that you see fire doors in the news, but these two recent […]

The Rest of the Story…

The other day I posted some photos of a fire door that had done its job and prevented a fire from spreading.  Several of you emailed me about the photos, because they’re SUCH a great illustration of what a fire door is for.  It’s easy to imagine what would have happened if it was propped […]

Panic Fail

I tend to notice hardware on TV and movies (just ask my family!), but this video is probably the best (worst) example I’ve seen of doors gone bad for the sake of TV production.  It was sent in by Eyal Bedrik of Entry Systems Ltd. in Israel.  The commercial is in Hebrew but the panic […]


I got this text message this morning, and alas, I’m not at the ISC West show in Las Vegas.  If you’re not at the show either, you can still visit the Ingersoll Rand Security Technologies booth there. Tour Our Booth with Sean Leonard: Other Videos from ISC-West bright blue Web-based Access Control System – Jason […]

Reader Photos – 2 of 2

Here’s the second batch of reader photos.  My emailbox is empty now.  Not. From Steve Poe of Ingersoll Rand Security Technologies, a hospital pair that was wrong from the start.  The gravity coordinator doesn’t work, which is why they want people to use the lever handle. From Hal Kelton of DoorData Solutions, some photos of […]

Fire and Egress Doors in the News

Feeling the Heat: Fire Doors – “Incorrectly specified fire doors could, at worst, cost lives. Now a landmark legal case could mean that it’s the contractor and specifier who will end up in court.” Ten dead in Delhi factory fire, all exits were blocked – Indo-Asian News Service “Prima facie it appears that the […]

Effect of Codes on the Electronic Security Industry

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Yet Another Apartment Fire

How many more fires is it going to take before people understand that closed and latched doors save lives, code-compliant fire doors are self-closing and self-latching, and annual fire door inspections will make sure they stay that way? It’s simple, really. But the message is not getting through, and people continue to die – this […]

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 […]

Hotel Vendome Fire, Boston

Today is the 39th anniversary of the fire at the Hotel Vendome, in which 9 firefighters lost their lives when the building unexpectedly collapsed during mop-up operations.  Stephanie Schorow, author of 4 books about Boston, spoke about the Hotel Vendome fire, the Cocoanut Grove fire, and the Great Boston Fire of 1872 in this video […]

Biltmore Estate, Asheville NC

Today I had the pleasure of visiting the Biltmore Estate in Asheville, North Carolina.  My trusty guide for the tour was Rachel Smith of Karpen Steel, who suggested the Biltmore as a stop on my road trip and then arranged for the visit to the estate. If you haven’t been to the Biltmore Estate, you […]

Egress Doors in the News

It’s not often you find the variety of egress-related news stories that I’ve seen lately, so I compiled a few here for your reading pleasure.  Enjoy! Once in a while, fire doors and egress doors get some attention from a sensational story that captures the public’s interest (like the one about the voo-doo ritual a […]

The Ultimate Test

I got a Tweet today from @GinnyPowell, who was attending a Von Duprin training.  She was surprised that the fire truck video is still around, and once she mentioned it I just had to go back and watch it again.  It’s a classic!  I love the fire test engineer…”I am now checking the device…”  I […]

Bill’s Blog: Smart Cards

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

Staples Center Follow-Up

I’ve obviously been slacking because this video was posted a month ago.  It’s a follow-up to a report about the flawed fire safety system at the Staples Center, including problems with their fire doors.  Here’s a link, in case you missed it too. Kudos to Robert Flores of Fire Door Consulting and Inspection Services for […]

Today’s the big day!

A couple of weeks ago I told you about the significance of August 1st – it’s my birthday (big deal), and also the day that the features of the LCN 4040XP are incorporated into the standard 4040 closer (BIG DEAL!).  Every 4040 closer ordered from today forward will be shipped as a 4040XP – with […]

Hartford Hospital Fire (Video)

December 8th, 2011, was the 50-year anniversary of a fire at Hartford Hospital which caused the death of 16 patients, staff, and visitors, and resulted in many important changes to code requirements for hospital construction.  Connecticut Public Television has just released a video about the tragedy and the resulting code changes.  Other than the statement […]

The Ultimate Test – Take II

Remember the old video of the various types of exit devices being run over by a fire truck?  It’s a classic, and I still get the urge to watch it every so often…“I am examining the [flattened] device.  It is not working.”  You could make the case that a panic device doesn’t need to withstand […]

Qatar Mall Fire

This is why we have codes, and code officials.  A fire in an upscale shopping mall in Qatar has killed 19 people, including 13 children and 4 teachers from a child care center within the mall.  It is reported that the sprinkler system did not function, at least one staircase collapsed, floor plans were not […]

Let’s look at the world a little differently…

I love this video.  And if you were getting ready to say it’s “off topic,” the first word in the first frame is Security, and I saw several doors while watching it.  😀  AND…I’m pretty sure I spotted some footage from Morocco, which coincidentally is where I’m headed on this year’s summer road trip with […]

Providence School Inspections (and more)

Although the schools in Providence, Rhode Island, are supposed to be inspected by code officials annually, some had not been inspected for 10 YEARS.  I wonder how many public schools are in the same boat? From News 10 In other news, a 2nd/3rd grade class at St. Theresa’s School got stuck in their classroom and […]

Happy Holidays

For the last 8 years, I have coordinated a holiday gift drive along with my coworkers, family, and friends for the residents of our local family shelter and other families in need.  This year we provided gifts for 75 kids and parents!  When I went to the shelter with a load to drop off, I […]

PBS: The Path to Violence

Paul Timm, from the independent school security consulting firm, Reta Security, appears on the PBS special The Path to Violence, which premiers tomorrow night (Wednesday, February 20th).  Check your local listings to find out when to watch. From PBS, About the Program:  Ever since the wake-up call that was Columbine, schools and law enforcement have […]

Effects of Earthquake Damage on Fire Safety

While this test report was not heavy on door-related data, I thought some of you would enjoy reading about this groundbreaking study which looked at how a test building was affected by several simulated earthquakes, and then how the damaged building’s fire safety systems performed in a series of fire tests.  I found the video […]

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 […]

Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art – Bentonville, Arkansas

Almost exactly 7 years ago I began working on one of my most beautiful and challenging projects – the Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art.  I remember the start date because I had just returned from leave after having my youngest daughter.  The architect contacted me many months prior and asked me to act as […]

PSA – 9-volt Batteries

This is not door-related, but consider it a public service announcement that shows how much I care about you.  I don’t know how common this is, but I did confirm that a 9-volt battery can be used to start a fire and improper storage has led to several residential fires.  If we proactively replace our […]

Rochester Opera House

To celebrate 5 years of iDigHardware, don’t forget to send me some photos in exchange for a chance to win a $50 Amazon gift card! Last week I saw an egress situation that I have never seen before.  The Rochester Opera House and City Hall first opened in Rochester, New Hampshire, in 1908.  But in […]

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…

FF: Smart Birds Open Doors

This video is pretty amazing. Swallows nesting in a university parking garage could have been locked in when doors were added to convert the garage to the campus bike center. Is this an example of the swallows’ intelligence, or dumb luck?…

FF: Curved Keyway

This cylinder is really cool…a curved keyway and a flexible key. I didn’t say it was practical. If you’re curious about how it works, you can check out the patent here…

Cease Fire Door Hinge

As most of you know, I love to see creativity and innovation within the door and hardware industry, especially if it helps to increase fire prevention and life safety. I received a video this morning, introducing a product that has been developed by two retired FDNY firefighters. It is a spring hinge with a fusible link, so in normal operation it acts as a typical hinge but when exposed to heat it closes the door…

Video: Close the Door

Most of you know how important a door can be in preventing the spread of fire, but recent efforts are helping the general public understand the value of their doors and how to use them as a tool to save lives…

Video: NIST Fire Simulation

A report recently released by the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) examines the fire dynamics of a house fire in Chicago, where failure of a door released hot gases and resulted in the death of a firefighter. From NIST Tech Beat: “The simulation shows that fire in a covered back porch caused a […]

WW: Surviving an Active Shooter

This PSA was recently released by the LA County Sheriff’s Department. It is a very graphic representation of how to survive an active shooter situation. It is obviously not acceptable for use with kids, but it does show a classroom security lock used by a teacher, as well as a locked exit blocking the escape of a victim…

Panic Hardware Basics (video)

Allegion has created several videos using the videoscribe format, including these two about panic hardware. Some of the code information in the “101” video is a bit general and I will eventually make a more in-depth video on this topic (I didn’t create the videos below), but what do you think of the format?

Lock Functions (video)

Last week I posted a couple of videos explaining some basic code requirements and terminology for panic hardware. The next videos in the series address a topic that I KNOW many architects and others struggle with (because I’ve personally explained it at least a thousand times) – lock functions…

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…

WW: School Security in the News

The Leelanau County Sheriff’s Department received $128,750 from a Michigan State Police school safety grant, and Sheriff Mike Borkovich said every penny will go toward installing a tool designed to make doors impenetrable. “I think it’s very much just like a caveman picking up a gigantic rock and putting it on the front of its cave,” Borkovich said. “You are not going to be able to go through that door. It buys us time.”

Cook County pushing schools to become safer — with help of Homeland Security

This video offers some good options for school security, along with predicted outcomes of the Sandy Hook lawsuit regarding security glazing and lockable classroom doors.  We need to make schools SAFE AND SECURE – these goals are not mutually exclusive.   You need to login or register to bookmark/favorite this content.

Door Handing (video)

I have explained door handing hundreds of times during my career. I know some people still use the “butt-to-the-butts” method, but that doesn’t work for all door openings because it doesn’t take into account whether the door is inswinging or outswinging. I explained handing on this site a while back, but just to make it more fun…

2 Doors – Beautiful or Average

To all of my gal-pals who read iDigHardware, I hope you choose the beautiful door. 🙂

FF: Fire Code Fines

This news report is a great Fixed-it Friday example of how the city of Barrie, Ontario is going to fix their fire code violations – by giving fire inspectors the ability to hand out tickets for violations on the spot.  The fine for propping open fire doors?  $350 each! Click the graphic to access the […]

How an LCN Door Closer Works (video)

Here is one more whiteboard animation (for now)…this one explains some of the basic operations of a door closer. All of these videos, including the ones I previously posted on panic hardware, lock functions, and door handing, can be found on the Allegion Training videos page…

Fire and Egress Doors in the News

A fire door is being credited with keeping flames contained at a Sturgis manufacturing building…Three people were found unconscious in a stairwell filled with smoke…As Fire Chief Drake put it, the simple act of closing the door can save the lives and contents behind it…

Middle School Fire Contained by Closed Door

A malfunctioning power strip is getting most of the media attention for causing this fire, but Fox 13 reported that “a closed door kept the fire from spreading beyond the guidance counselors’ offices, and therefore it did not reach any classrooms.”

Non-Code-Compliant Ingenuity

How do we help to ensure that these creative problem-solvers have the necessary information when considering a do-it-yourself approach?

Options for Securing Classroom Doors (video)

Here’s the latest in our series of whiteboard animation videos explaining door-related topics. This one covers various options for securing classroom doors, in alignment with the guidelines from the National Association of State Fire Marshals. Enjoy and share!

Flush Bolts and Coordinators (video)

I hope this whiteboard animation video helps to explain one of hardware’s most confusing topics – flush bolts and coordinators!

Where is Panic Hardware Required by Code? (video)

This is one of the most common questions I receive…do you know when and where panic hardware is required?

Door Closer Arm Options (video)

People ask me all the time…”What’s a ‘CUSH’ closer?” The answer is in our latest whiteboard animation video!

Anatomy of a Fire Door (video)

One of my original goals when I started this blog in 2009, was to make learning about codes less painful. I think these whiteboard animation videos do just that! Here’s the latest…all about fire door assemblies!

Intro to Ives Hinges (video)

One more whiteboard animation in the latest series…this time on hinges!

Introduction to Codes

Whether we’re specifying, supplying, installing, or inspecting doors and hardware, it’s our responsibility to speak up if we see situations that we know are not code-compliant and do our best to rectify them…

Panic Hardware Styles and Types

Whether panic hardware is required by code or specified for increased security and ease of use, there are three basic styles and four types that are commonly used…

Close the Door

I’ve been talking about this for years with regard to fire doors as well as doors in a home, but it’s nice to have someone from UL back me up…

Closed Door Follow-Up

On Tuesday I posted some news reports about the effects of a closed door during a fire. NBC-5 has released a follow-up story on the fact that national fire safety organizations have not been including the message to sleep with your bedroom door closed in their educational materials…

FF: Inflate to Escape

I know…lots of videos this week. It’s just a coincidence – not a new trend. I’ll just leave this right here…

‘Borderline national crisis’ in fire safety, says BWF-CERTIFIRE chairman

This press release is from UK-based BWF Certifire, but the US faces the same fire door problems that are endangering building occupants every day. Kudos to BWF Certifire for raising awareness of the value of fire doors…we NEED a similar program in the US, but who is willing to take it on? Scroll down for an informative video produced by the British Woodworking Foundation…

Decoded 1 – Introduction to Codes and Accessibility

When I take time off for the holidays, I often leave a crossword puzzle or some other activity in case you decide to check in while I’m away. This time I’m posting the first of 4 Decoded classes for you to check out while things are relatively quiet…

Intro to Codes (video)

We’ve been working on a new series of whiteboard animation videos…here is one of my favorites!

Intro to Thresholds and Gasketing (video)

Here’s a new whiteboard animation video explaining the basics of thresholds and gasketing, including the related accessibility requirements…

Intro to Low-Energy Automatic Operators (video)

Do you have questions about low-energy automatic operators or the standards that apply to them? Maybe this will help…

Viral Video Follow-Up

In yesterday’s post I wrote about a video on classroom barricade devices that had gone viral. In the first 36 hours or so, the video had 18 million views. 18 MILLION! Almost 600,000 people have shared the video on Facebook, and about 6,500 people have commented. This is an amazing (and somewhat disturbing) example of the power of social media…

Types of Panic Hardware (video)

Just when you thought there couldn’t possibly be enough to know about panic hardware for another whiteboard animation video…here’s one that talks about the different types of panics available and why you might choose one over another.

Basics of Steelcraft Hollow Metal Doors (video)

Rounding out our “intro” series of whiteboard animation videos…here’s an introduction to hollow metal doors. The rest of our whiteboard animation videos can be found on the Allegion Training page, or on the Videos page of What other topics would you like to see addressed in future videos?

The Design-Bid-Build Process (video)

Here’s the last whiteboard animation video in the current “Intro to Door Hardware” series…about the design-bid-build process for new construction.

Close the Door: why it could save your life in a fire

Now THIS is the type of video that should go viral – this simple act will save lives. Share this with the people you care about!

It’s not you. Bad doors are everywhere.

As a hardware consultant, there were many times that I tactfully pointed out to an architect what I thought was a door-related design problem. My advice was usually ignored unless the issue was code-related. Finally…vindication from Vox and 99% Invisible.

Decoded 2 – Fire Door Assemblies

The first 2 Decoded classes are now available on-demand! Class 1 is Intro to Codes & Accessibility, and Class 2 is on Fire Door Assemblies. They’re free!

Banned: Classroom Barricade Locks

In this age of classroom shootings, many are looking for barricade locks – a cheap and easy stopgap to bolster door security…

Paris Doors to Other Cities (video)

Several people have sent this video to me lately, so in case you’re not one of the 10+ million people who have viewed it on Facebook, check it out! It’s pretty cool.

FF: Expensive (and Painful) Ride

Thank you to Estefano Pilonieta of M&D Door & Hardware, who found this on Imgur and knew it would make my day. 😀

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!

Fire Door Win!

Kudos to the fire department, but the fire doors got some recognition too! From KCRA News…

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…

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…

Intro to Continuous Hinges (video)

Here’s another of our latest set of whiteboard animation videos – taking it back to basics and discussing continuous hinges. If you know someone who is learning about hardware and could benefit from these “intro” videos, please share a link with them!

Intro to Keying Terms (video)

Last night, my oldest daughter told me that her science assignment was to explain how inclined planes are used in keys. She had researched it, and described how the pins go into the cuts on the key…

School-Related Performance Crime

Last night, my friend posted on Facebook that her daughter, a freshman in college, had received a text warning from the school that there was a creepy clown nearby…

DSSF: Opening the Door to School Safety

The Door Security and Safety Foundation has announced a video and public relations campaign which stresses the importance of securing classroom doors without compromising life safety…

Fire Doors in the News

Happy New Year! There was lots of door-related news over the holidays…

DHI – Safely Securing the Built Environment through Building, Fire, and Life Safety Codes (video)

This is a good introductory video from the Door & Hardware Institute on how codes impact our industry. For additional training on codes…

Arson at Westlake Apartments

This fire was also mentioned in a report called Selected Published Incidents Involving Fire Doors, which was compiled for me by NFPA’s One Stop Data Shop back in 2009…

FF: 4 Door Lock Gadgets (video)

One of my fire marshal pals sent me this Fixed-it Friday video. Neither of us recommending the use of these gadgets, but the dogs are super-cute and I always like to see people’s lock-related inventions…

Man-Traps in Schools

This morning I found an article in my news alerts: Roxbury Eyes Spending $580K on “Man Traps” for Schools. My first thought…”Oh. No.”

Fire Door Inspection App

About 5 years ago I was in a large hospital that had just spent thousands of dollars (probably tens of thousands) to have a “pre-Joint-Commission inspection” done…

The Roots of International Women’s Day

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)…

FF: Wobbly Door (video)

Today’s “shoulda” Fixed-it Friday video came from Luis Gabriel Gonzalez, one of Allegion’s specwriter apprentice. What happened here???

Decoded: Egress Requirements for Door Openings (video)

Our next group of whiteboard animation videos is ready!

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”?

Just close the door!

It has taken a looooong time to get the general public to listen, but people are finally talking about the importance of closed doors…

Amazing Lock From The 1600s

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…

NFPA Video: Barrier Walls and Fire Doors

I will definitely attend at least one of Ron’s classes, but if you are unable to be there, you can still get the answers to some of your questions about doors in health care facilities by watching Ron in this video…

Violent crimes in public schools: Why parents aren’t being notified

With these conditions in so many schools, I don’t understand why any district would take on the potential liability associated with failure to meet their duties of care…

Fire Destroys School in Mesquite Texas

Following up on my earlier post about school security and safety, here’s a report from Fox 4 News about a school fire that occurred just yesterday…

Decoded: Accessibility Requirements for Door Openings (video)

Here it is! The next whiteboard animation video we created to introduce (or refresh) the basics of opening accessibility…

Intro to Three Project Delivery Processes for Non-Residential Buildings (video)

These introductory videos are great for people who are new to the industry, so use the share/save icon above to share the link with your colleagues!

LCN Automatic Operators (video)

Even though automatic operators have been available from LCN for longer than I can remember, I still get questions about which one to use where, why to choose one over the other, and pneumatic vs. electric operation…

WW: ABC7NY – Underground Dance Dangers

Call me naive, but I always assume that when tragedy strikes, people will learn from it and try to avoid similar incidents in the future. Unfortunately, ignorance mixed with greed often stand in the way of life safety…

The Story Behind Von Duprin

Many of you have heard this story before, but this video is terrific! See if you can catch the original price of panic hardware in the catalog shown in the video! 🙂

Stack Pressure (video)

Have you run into problems with the effects of building stack pressure on the operation of doors? Here’s a new whiteboard animation video that explains the basics of stack pressure…

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. | Continuous News Coverage | Corpus Christi From You need to login or register to bookmark/favorite this content.

Honolulu High-Rise Fire

Last week, 3 lives were lost in a fire that occurred in a residential high-rise in Honolulu, Hawaii. Although the cause is not yet known…

Logan the Locksmith

Tomorrow is my birthday. Not just any birthday – my 50th! The other day someone said to me, “Don’t worry! 50 is the new 70!!!” What???

WW: Rope and Cleat System

I give up. Not really. I will never give up.

FF: NFPA 101-2018 on Classroom Security

This post has a lot going on. First, since it’s Fixed-it Friday and I don’t want to disappoint anyone, here’s a photo from Bill Stock of Johnson Hardware…

WW: How You Can Help Spot Fire Hazards

I was so excited to see this video from the Texas State Fire Marshal’s office talking about egress and fire hazards, but I noticed a little problem with one of the doors. Can you find it?

Fire Door Video

It’s Fire Door Safety Week in the UK, and although we don’t have an official week dedicated to fire doors in the US, I’m going to share some of the great information from the UK…

NFPA Webinar: Influence of gap size around swinging doors on fire and smoke development

NFPA recently posted the video of a webinar that answers some questions about clearances around fire door and smoke door assemblies…

FF: The New Mag-Locks

I know…these would not be code-compliant on the egress side of a door in the means of egress, but you have to admit they’re cool. Thanks to Leo Lebovits of M&D Door & Hardware for sending me the links to these Fixed-it Friday videos!

Close Before You Doze

When Good Morning America starts talking about closing doors, you know this important advice will (finally!) start to reach the masses. Check out this UL test and see the amount of protection provided by the closed doors, and share it with your friends and loved ones using the Share/Save icon above…

Six Locked Doors

Today is the 75th anniversary of the fire at the Cocoanut Grove nightclub in Boston – one of the tragedies that had the biggest impact on the codes that pertain to doors, hardware, and means of egress. A new documentary recounts the stories of some of the survivors, and memorializes the 492 people who lost their lives that day.

WW: What’s missing?

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

Access Board Video on Maneuvering Clearance

I found this video while I was creating the class on maneuvering clearances, and I think it does a great job of explaining the maneuvering clearance requirements of the ADA, and a few other basic accessibility requirements pertaining to doors…

FF: Ship Shape

This is one of the most amazing doors I’ve ever seen!

I-Team: Fire-Rated, Self-Closing Door Was Required in Bronx Apartment Where Inferno Started

I suspect that many of you already know what the topic of today’s post will be; many readers sent me links to news reports on last week’s fire in a Bronx apartment building.  Twelve people have died and four more were critically injured in this fire which was reportedly started by a toddler playing with […]

FF: LifeDoor

Joel Sellinger of LifeDoor sent me these photos of the bedroom door in an AirBNB, along with a note that said, “When you realize the importance of a closed door at night…but can’t!”

Utah State Legislation on Classroom Barricade Devices

Whether you live and work in Utah or not, a bill that is progressing through the Utah State Legislature could help to set a precedent that may eventually affect your jurisdiction (so please listen up).

WW: Classroom Door Intruder Lock – Homemade Science

I’m losing hope.

Legislative Update on Classroom Barricade Devices

On Tuesday, I wrote about a bill that was passed by the Utah Senate, which would allow classroom barricade devices to be used in Utah schools. Here’s a follow-up.

Decoded: Code Requirements for Classroom Security (video)

Our newest whiteboard animation video addresses the important topic of classroom security.

Code Requirements for Electromagnetic Locks (video)

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

Diagnosing a Problem Opening 101 (video)

If I had a nickel for every time someone called to say their door wasn’t working…

Diagnosing a Problem Opening 201 (video)

Last week I posted a new whiteboard animation video about diagnosing simple problems – here’s a follow-up to that video which talks about more complex issues.

WW: Classroom Security

“He believes school officials could do more to prepare teachers for intruders, whether by investing in padlocks so they aren’t scrambling for ways to barricade doors…”

FF: Threat Extinguisher

This product isn’t door-related, but I’m curious what y’all think…

Overtur: Our journey to simplify door hardware

This website exists in part because of the complexity of doors and hardware – if it was easy, it would be called “easyware,” right?

Fire department uses aftermath of recent fire as teaching tool for safety

This video from a recent fire in a dormitory at Idaho State University really shows the difference that a closed door can make.

WW: Security consultant recommendations violated fire codes

Watching this news report brought a little tear to my eye. FINALLY, someone in the media is talking about both sides of the equation – safety AND security.

Ceasefire Hinge

Some of you may remember that I posted about the Ceasefire hinge back in 2014 – the firefighters who created this product even invited me to visit them in NYC (here’s a post about that).  Since then, this hinge has gone through testing, design changes, and more testing, and the company is taking pre-orders on […]

FF: Teacher Ingenuity

Let’s do a better job of planning. Teachers should not have to resort to this.


Several months ago I posted about a new product that was getting a lot of attention; the product is called LifeDoor, and it is designed to close a door in response to the sound of a smoke detector.

WW: Safety vs. Security

I’m confused about this conflict between newly-adopted code requirements and what the media is reporting. Can anyone share some insight?

WW: “Bulletproof” Backpacks

“The concept of bullet-resistant shields is unsettling to school stakeholders, because esoteric products such as this make no real contribution to a safe learning environment.”

Murals in Memory Care

Because of some photos and videos making the rounds on social media, I’ve received quite a few emails about the use of murals to disguise doors in memory care units.

Mystery of the King Eddy’s Fire Door

It’s not often that I see a news story about a missing fire door that doesn’t involve a tragic outcome or at least a code violation, so this one caught my eye.

The stories behind NFPA 3000

As I have mentioned before, it’s one thing to look at a code or standard and see a book. It’s another thing to look at a code or standard and understand the driving force behind it.

My heart just stopped

Clothesline to tie the hardware? Duct tape to prevent smoke from coming in around the door? Solutions to address these risks have been available for decades. Why are we substituting duct tape?

Who’s at fault?

Could a locksmith be held liable for installing non-code-compliant hardware or will a facility manager face liability for failing to maintain openings in code-compliant condition?

‘Bulletproof’ Classroom Doors

I agree that these doors are “an extremely discreet solution,” but the last time I checked on the feasibility of using bullet-resistant doors on classrooms, there were several common objections.

WW: Water Feature

I have never seen anything like these Wordless Wednesday videos that were sent to me by Mary Hinton of Mulhaupt’s, Inc. This may be more than a rain drip can handle.

WWYD? Fire Door Safety Week

The British Woodworking Federation offers dozens of resources to increase awareness about fire door assemblies across the UK. What types of tools do we need in the US?

Form, Function & Fire Safety: A Clearer View of Fire-Rated Glass and Framing

This video does a great job of summarizing the code requirements that apply to glass and glazing used in fire door assemblies and egress doors. Thanks TGP!

Share with your family and friends…

These two videos regarding closed doors and double-cylinder deadbolts will save lives – IF you help spread the word. Who will you share this post with?

FEMA PrepTalks: Rethinking School Safety

Michele Gay is the mom of Josephine Gay, a first-grade student who was killed at Sandy Hook Elementary School. Michele brings a different perspective to what we do every day. Please watch.

TEDx: “Stupid School Security and Discipline Policies”

This TEDx speaker has an interesting perspective on school security. It’s not all about hardening, monitoring, defending. The decisions made now could have lasting effects on kids.

Hard Corners

Are these safe areas identified in each of the classrooms in the schools that you work with or visit? What do you think of this security measure?

FF: Not Punny

I thought of so many titles for this post that would have been apropos but might have offended someone, so I’ll let you come up with your own.

Our Lady of the Angels – 60 Years

Saturday, December 1st, 2018 was the 60th anniversary of the fire at Our Lady of the Angels School in Chicago, where 92 students and 3 nuns were killed.

Escape Room Tragedy

When we think about code-compliance, it’s not just about lines on a page in a book. It’s about reducing the risk of tragedies like this one.

WW: Moose & Squirrel

Animals + automatic doors…what could be better on a Wordless Wednesday? Ok – I can think of a few things that might be better, but check these out anyway…

NFPA 3000 Webinar – Archived Recording

One part of this webinar that got my attention was the EMS perspective on how a delay in accessing the classroom could affect the medical outcome. The archived webinar is linked in this post.

Michele Gay on Classroom Security

This video from Michele Gay of Safe and Sound Schools is a great tool for educating parents, teachers, and school administrators about school security and safety. Share it!

Enforcement of 5-Pound Operable Force Limit

Heads up – the 5-pound force limit on operable hardware is something everyone should be aware of long before the final inspection by the AHJ.

Do you sleep with the door closed? Your life could depend on it.

As long as there are still people who haven’t heard this message, I’m going to keep sharing it.

Guy Grace on Classroom Barricade Devices

Guy Grace is the Director of Security & Emergency Planning for Littleton, Colorado – the school district where Columbine High School is located. Here is his stance on classroom barricade devices.

Triangle Shirtwaist Factory Tragedy

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.

FF: Richland Two Institute of Innovation

If our industry is so complex that the students’ research didn’t turn up existing products or a hardware advisor, we need to get more user-friendly.

AP News: ‘It doesn’t open’

Fifty people died in the shootings at the two mosques in Christchurch.  How many could have survived if the egress door had allowed immediate evacuation?

EVFPD demonstrates closed doors save lives

I’ve posted several photos and videos showing what happens when a bedroom door is kept closed during a fire.  Check out this demonstration with the bedroom door open.

CBYD Myth Extinguishers

UL’s Firefighter Safety Research Institute has created a number of videos to help dispel some of the myths about closed doors.  Here are a few of my favorites…

WW: Shark Tank

I thought everyone in the world of hardware had already seen this video, but last night I ran across someone who hadn’t, so here it is. I do feel bad for Alex, but LOCKS ROCK!

ABC15: Hundreds of padlocks installed on prison cell doors

I’d love to hear your thoughts on this news story from ABC 15 in Arizona, about the fire and safety concerns associated with installing padlocks on prison cell doors.

UNCC ‘One-Button’ Lockdown

When a shooting occurred at the University of North Carolina Charlotte last week, an electronic locking system was already in place that allowed the campus to be locked down in seconds.

WW: Push Button to Exit

Warning: Today’s Wordless Wednesday post is not wordless. Check out the video and scroll down for the words.

Key Boxes – Crucial Life Safety and Security Equipment

Media outlets have reported that locked electronic doors hindered law enforcement response in the recent Virginia Beach shooting. Authorized access should be addressed in each facility’s emergency plan.

PBS New Hour: Securing the Classroom

If a school is equipped with security cameras and access control on the main entrance, it’s just one more step to allow law enforcement to remotely unlock the doors for emergency response.

BGSU: Active-Shooter Response

This video from Bowling Green State University gives some good background on the ALICE program and on the university’s emergency response protocols.  Check it out and let me know what you think.

WW: Fire Door Smoke Test

Much of the work to replace deficient fire doors in London residential blocks has not been completed, so one man decided to take matters into his own hands to prove a point. Don’t do this.

See the index for another category:

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