Most local ordinances make exceptions to: businesses; storage facilities; mercantile facilities; places of assembly; and manufacturing locations.
These ordinances may have key-locking hardware installed on the main exit when the main exit consists of a single door or double door if there is a readily visible sign above the door stating, "These doors to remain open during business hours." Figure 5 shows the required sign above main exit door in a business shop.
This allows for the heavy traffic that occurs through the entries of stores, businesses, and other facilities, where the main exit is also the main entry.
Note that this exception is for "the main exit" and not "a main exit." This limits key-locking hardware to one "main exit" single door or double door. Figure 6 shows a main exit door with key-locking hardware. What is meant by key-locking hardware is a double-cylinder deadbolt.
These types of doors are usually storefront types (aluminum and glass). A deadbolt is necessary to keep burglars from simply breaking the glass and opening the door. Figures 5 and 6 show a deadbolt designed for aluminum and glass doors.
Because the code specifies key-locking hardware, the inference is that a t-turn would not meet the code requirements as it would require prior knowledge and two operations in order to open the door.
Another requirement to satisfy this exception is that both leafs of a set of double doors must be free to swing when the key-locking hardware is unlocked. This prohibits an additional lock or other latching device be used on the inactive leaf. The local ordinance reserves the right to revoke this exception for due cause.
Another exception that most local ordinances will allow is the use of night latches, deadbolts, and security chains on certain occupancies: hotel rooms, apartments, residences, or other places where persons dwell. This is usually limited to those areas with occupancy loads below 10 persons.
Manually operated surface or flush bolts are prohibited.
On exit doors, bolts that secure the inactive leaf of a set of double doors are strictly prohibited. This includes: manual flush-bolts, cane and slide bolts, decorative or cremone bolts or other surface-mounted bolts.
Figure 7 shows cremone bolts that were allowed because they were not on exit doors. Automatic flush bolts are acceptable when the inactive leaf of a set of double doors will not have any other locking hardware installed on it.
Some ordinances provide an exception to certain places where persons dwell, specifically dwellings and lodging houses.
Relating to these types of occupancies, a room that is not normally occupied but is used to move equipment, bolts can be used and a door closer need not be provided.
Single-action is out.
The unlatching of either leaf shall not require more than one operation. On exit doors, this means a deadbolt cannot be mounted above a lockset.
Mortise locksets with deadbolts and interconnected locksets are a good work-around. The bolt in these types of lockset are retracted when the inside knob or lever is activated. In Figure 8, the bolt in the mortise lockset retracts when the lever is pushed down.
Where panic devices are used, the means of activation (push pad, paddle, or bar) needs to be installed between 30 inches and 44 inches above the finished floor.
Where push pads or paddles are used, the length of the pad or paddle needs to be at least half the length of the door. The unlatching force of any panic device needs to be less than or equal to 15 pounds.
Although there are additional requirements that can be specified by the local ordinances, basic life safety concepts are common with all exit doors.
Locksmiths who pay attention to these concepts will never have to replace hardware at their cost and will limit their personal liability regarding any safety incidents.
Limit personal liability by knowing the codes and regulations in your jurisdiction.
There is much to share with the customer who simply wants to “buzz” in. The savvy locksmith understands what the customer is looking for — convenience — and will explain all the details...