Types of Doors and How Each Effects Exit Devices

In many cases where locksmiths are called upon, they are forced to alter the security level of that given location. Especially when it comes to commercial locations, it is important to understand exactly how the level of security change will effect the code compliance of the building. For Phila-Locksmith’s professional technicians, this is all in a days work. Depending on the type of door which is having the exit device installed on it, there are different models and installation methods. It is important that you trust installations such as these to professionals, so that you are ensuring that your building is up to code.

Fire Door Assemblies

Fire doors are put in place to not only protect a fire from damaging other parts of the building before it can be contained, but also to ensure the occupants have enough time to safely exit the building. For this reason it is very important that changes being made to the hardware of fire doors are approved before being implemented. There are strict regulations on the size of holes, hardware and plates which can be used on a fire door. Any changes which exceed these specifications must be confirmed for safety in writing with the door manufacturer. If this is not done first, an inspector must be sent to the location to determine the safety of the alterations. Having an inspector come to the door’s location can be expensive, so it is wise to have any changes which exceed regulation checked with the manufacturer before their implementation.

fire rated doors

Fire doors close automatically during a fire to slow the spread of the fire to other sections of the building.

Egress Doors

Egress doors have a number of regulations, which vary depending on the building’s use and the occupancy of the building. Egress doors are doors which are required to be unlatched with just one operation, however there are some exclusions. Residential buildings (homes) are permitted to have a second lock function, such as a deadbolt or security chain, so long as the occupant load is less than 10. However, this security chain or deadbolt can not require a key to disengage the door from the inside. This means that double sided deadbolts would be against regulation in these instances. Other exceptions to the egress door regulation are prisons and doors with flush bolts. Double sided deadbolts can be used in some situations. The types of building which can use a double sided deadbolt exit device are commercial locations, houses of worship and assembly occupancies which are lower than 300 occupants. If a double cylinder deadbolt is being used in one of these locations there must also be a sign adjacent to the door which states that the door must remain unlocked when occupied. It is also required that the lock can easily be distinguished between the locked and unlocked states. There are a number of other specific regulations, and exceptions, to get answers about your commercial location, it is highly recommended to speak directly with a professional locksmith.

Accessible Route Door

The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), not only allowed for disabled Americans to get an equal opportunity for employment in many businesses, but also changed the way that some locks were to operate. For example, under the most recent ADA specifications a lock on an accessible route door must be able to be operated by applying a maximum of five pounds of force when opening. These regulations also require that any lock hardware does not require tight grasping, pinching or twisting of the wrist to operate. Locks which are used for security purposed, and not on an accessible route door, are exempt from these regulations. Just like with egress door exit devices, there are a number of specifications, and exceptions, for accessible route doors. It is wise to speak with a professional to ensure that your locks are up to regulation, or you could face liability in the future.

One of the main reasons that it is important to use a professional locksmith for the modification of your security is the wide variety of regulations which must be met when the lock is installed. In proper installation can, not only, put you at risk for lawsuit, but also endangers the security of whomever is in your building. Turning to a commercial locksmith like the professionals at Phila-Locksmith is a good first step in deciding what alterations you want to make with your security. That technician will be able to go over your options with you, while also ensuring that your building will continue to be up to regulation.


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