Security and Life Safety Code compliance can often seem to work at cross-purposes. However, there are ways to secure any door and stay within code mandates.
Because each exterior door in your building is a fire exit, each of those doors are required to meet certain criteria in order to comply with local Life Safety Codes. Since designated exits (interior or exterior) cannot blocked, locked, barred, chained or padlocked to prevent unauthorized use; a code compliant means must be found to secure the doors in question.
Basically, the law states that a person – employee, customer or the thief that just ripped off some merchandise – must be able to exit the premises quickly, easily and with “no prior knowledge” of how the door hardware operates. Which means: you have to install “panic hardware” that will allow “one motion egress” in the event of an emergency.
The drawback to standard panic hardware is that anyone can, at any time, exit your premises without your knowledge. To combat unauthorized egress, various manufacturers have developed alarmed exit devices that sound a loud, piercing, high-decibel horn when someone pushes on the bar. Code approved delayed exit hardware is also available. When an individual pushes on the bar, the alarm sounds but the device does not release for fifteen seconds. Which gives you a chance to respond to the security breach.
Although Life Safety Codes and solid door security can seem to be at odds with each other, there are ways to secure any door and stay within the mandates of your local code requirements. We have the experience to help you find a workable solution to your door security needs that will not land you on the wrong side of the local fire marshal.
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