Because technology is always changing and the business environment is going through radical changes, staying up to date with new products, learning the latest preferred practices, and maintaining an understanding of the current business environment is mandatory for the typical locksmith business to survive and grow.
More and more states are implementing registration and licensing for security professionals, including locksmiths. For an individual to obtain a license or become registered, he must prove minimal technical competency, and then attend in-service training to keep their registration.
When the opportunity to attend a factory-sponsored LCN Low Energy Power Operators Workshop was presented, I gladly accepted.
LCN has specialized in solving door control problems through the use of high quality, innovative door control products. It is generally agreed by an informal jury of my peers that LCN sets industry standards for quality, durability and innovation in premium door closers. LCN closers are designed to have an operating life of 15 to 20 years which far exceeds ANSI requirements. The company produces more than 35 series of closers and other door hardware products including pivots and hinge guards.
LCN Closers was founded by Lewis C. Norton (and bears his initials). Norton invented the door closer in the U.S. and in 1926 L.C. Norton and D.R. Lasier began selling door closers under the LCN trademark. LCN became a division of Ingersoll Rand in 1974 and offers a broad line of products, which now includes power operators and closers that meet Americans With Disabilities Act (ADA) requirements.
While developing new products to meet markets needs, LCN continues to produce and support their popular closers that were designed almost 40 years ago
I attended an LCN Low Energy Power Operator Workshop at Ingersoll Rand’s Industrial campus located in Donaldson, N.C. LCN offers e-Learning and numerous factory classes on door closers and operators throughout the country. The class was filled with locksmiths, door mechanics and facility managers from all over the region.
Technical competency levels ranged from beginners to seasoned pros, but the trainer kept the class interesting, allowing the newbies an opportunity to learn, letting the experienced attendees share their insights, and providing valuable information for all.
Modern locksmithing involves a variety of technologies and disciplines. To one side of me was an architect, who had extremely limited hands-on experience with door hardware, although he knew the ADA and building code by heart. On my other side was a computer tech who, though fluent in networking, wasn’t sure what a voltmeter was used for.
The ADA was enacted in 1990, and it is comprised of several sections. Title II of the ADA addresses state and local government activities, Title III addresses public accommodations and requires owners of certain types of buildings to remove barriers and provide people with disabilities with access equal or similar to that which is available to the general public. Regulations vary between existing structures and new construction.
People with disabilities include an ever-increasing portion of the population as the boomers get older. More than 50 million Americans (18 percent) have disabilities. Disabled individuals have $175 billion in discretionary spending power, and by 2030 there will be 71.5 million baby boomers over 65 years old.
Our seminar focused on the elements which involve doors and door hardware and door operators: exterior openings, opening dimensions, opening hardware, threshold surfaces, and opening forces.
Most of us are already aware that knob-type locks are not ADA compliant, because of the dexterity turning a knob requires. During our discussion of locking hardware, we learned that even a lever lock may not be compliant if it is a keyed lock and if twisting the key in the cylinder is required to unlatch the lock.