I originally published the post below in May 0f 2009, but I'm trying to gather some information so I've pulled it up to the front again. Please take a moment to answer the quick survey about lever return in your area. Thanks!Click here to take a quick survey.//
I got a call this week from a facility that needed to replace existing locksets with an anti-ligature product. If you're not familiar with anti-ligature hardware, it's designed for use in mental health or detention facilities, to help protect patients or inmates from self-harm by minimizing the attachment points on the hardware. Anti-ligature hardware is just one part of a safe environment for facilities with special needs, along with tamper-proof plumbing, mechanical, and electrical devices, break-away shower rods and bars, impact-resistant glass and mirrors, etc.
A couple of months ago I did a post about the new aged bronze finish - BHMA 643e. A local architect commented that he had been looking for a finish similar to the base metal that you see after US10B finish rubs off. I can't walk away from a challenge, so I called Frascio International to see what they could do.
It's funny how some things stick in your mind, and even funnier that I have "hardware memories" from way back. I remember a rumor going around my 7th grade Home Ec class that another class had locked our teacher, Mrs. Cross, out of the classroom, and that she had cried. So sad!
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 live video, turn lights on and off, and control and monitor your home's heating and cooling system.
Some projects require lever designs for locksets and panic hardware that are beyond the selection of standard "vanilla" levers offered by all of the commercial manufacturers. In some cases, even the "European" designs don't fill the bill, especially when special finishes are desired. I've often run into this with museum projects I've specified.
One of the Top 10 *issues* I've consistently had to deal with over the years is US10B - oil-rubbed bronze finish. This has been the finish of choice when the "antique" or "historic" look is desired, and whenever I'm asked to specify it I make sure that the architect knows what's going to happen after the hardware is installed.
If you haven't seen the new Schlage AD Series Electronic Lock, you can check it out at Schlage.com - just click any of the graphics on this post. Don't you think it's time for me to go on another road trip? I can take an AD Series lock with me this time. :-)
During Chip Falcon's Road Trip we visited Colonial Williamsburg, and you may have seen my slideshow of the doors and hardware there. I received quite a few questions from readers about the hardware at CW, so I sent an email to the Architectural Research Department there and I got a return email from Mr. Kenneth Schwarz, whose title is Blacksmith, Master of the Shop. Ken has been a wonderful source of information about the hardware at CW, and I'm looking forward to meeting him and hopefully getting a behind-the-scenes tour the next time I'm there.
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 couple of college boys. The video has already been viewed 1,419 times by students who need help with their coat hanger technique, so the problem is bound to get bigger.
I've been asked this question so many times you'd think I'd know the answer by now. By the way...the photo at left doesn't have much to do with the question, I just think it's funny.
I saw this homemade security device on a local high school a few years ago. The school had been having trouble with their computer lab door, and this was their solution - a bent bar in 2 hasps welded to the door. This is not code-compliant, as the codes require one motion to exit under most circumstances.