Most access control articles discuss the installation of access control systems from the point of view of having already chosen the equipment. For this article, I decided to find an opening needing to be controlled electronically, prior to the decision making process. With the cooperation of...
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In sub-subsection 4 and 5, the building in which the access control system will be installed is not equipped with an early warning system.
In sub-subsection 6, the access control system cannot be configured to deny egress by remaining locked.
REMEMBER: Always discuss the installation prior to purchasing product or beginning work with the Authority Having Jurisdiction (AHJ). Most electronic hardware manufacturers will provide assistance, ranging from spec sheets and drawings, to having a factory representative present at the meeting. When discussing a project with an AHJ, introduce yourself as representing the building owner or the tenant. This gives the AHJ reason to meet with you.
To determine the appropriate electronic access control system for this application, I contacted Security Door Controls. They agreed to provide recommendations and product specific information.
The end user would like to control access into his unit electronically. There are only a few employees, and the owner does not need time zones or audit trail. The main purpose of electronically restricting access is to keep unauthorized individuals out. The door will be mechanically locked during non-business hours.
The owner of the building does not care, as long as two criteria are met. One, the tenant does not break any laws, rules, or codes. And two, only minimal modification can be done to the door and frame. By minimal modification, the owner means a few drilled holes, no cutouts. That’s it.
For this article, the opening is a non-fire rated single door in a safe neighborhood. It is an exterior aluminum/glass storefront dual action door. The lock mechanism on this door is a bolt type deadlock. The closer is mounted in the floor. The jamb including the header is aluminum. The ceiling is several feet above the header and is comprised of lift out panels. There is a duplex outlet above the lift-out panels.
SDC asked a number of questions in order to determine the proper electronic access control system for this door. The questions asked included identifying the door, jamb and ceiling configuration. Knowing the wants, limitations and about the opening including the foot traffic determines the appropriate access control system for this application. An SDC Check List is included here.
Additional SDC Questions and Answers
Q: What is the frame size of the storefront opening?
A: The aluminum frame for the jamb is 4” wide aluminum. The frame widths are normally four to four and one half inches.
Q: Exactly how many employees require a proximity card and do you need to know who gained access at what time?
A: There are only 5-10 employees and there is no need for an audit trail.
The Product Choices
The choices for the lock device for this access control installation are quickly narrowed down with the owner’s limitations. The owner’s limitation is minimal modification to the door and frame. With that, the choice for the access control device is a magnetic lock.
With this aluminum frame and door, SDC recommends their 1571V EmLock®. This low current consumption (250 mA @ 12vdc or 125 mA @ 24vdc) electromagnetic lock has 1200 pounds of holding force. The SDC 1581 EmLock has 650 pounds holding force which is too low as the door could be forced open. The 1581 EmLock is designed for traffic control, not to secure a door.
The SDC 1571 EmLock comes with self-drilling and self-tapping mounting plate screws. The EmLock has a quick mount assembly, and an internal wire connection that enables easy access for troubleshooting. The magnetic lock is designed so the wires can be pulled before or after mounting the EmLock.
For this installation, an SDC Universal Mounting Bracket provides additional surface area necessary for mounting a magnetic lock onto a storefront door frame equipped with a double acting door. The Universal Mounting Bracket is predrilled and tapped for both a 4” and 4.5” wide frame.
The standard EmLock’s modular design enables the installer to configure the lock in the field to accommodate the application. A standard feature includes 12 and 24-volt input sensing. Options including relock delay timer, door status and magnetic bond sensors may all be added or replaced in the field without having to remove the lock from the frame.
Electromagnetic locks are sometimes regarded as an “idiot-proof locking solution” for unskilled installers or for use on problem doors.