Vandal Resistant Installation

Combating vandalism was an important consideration at this retrofit install of a Detex Value Series exit device.


I was invited to the retrofit of the door lock hardware for a standalone employee bathroom in vandal-prone area where there were no public restrooms. The existing lock hardware was a keyed, storeroom function mortise lock with lever handles. An LCN 4041 surface-mount door closer completed the...


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I was invited to the retrofit of the door lock hardware for a standalone employee bathroom in vandal-prone area where there were no public restrooms. The existing lock hardware was a keyed, storeroom function mortise lock with lever handles. An LCN 4041 surface-mount door closer completed the installation. The mortise lock and strike had seen better days as there was evidence of repeated prying on the edge of the door, lock and jamb. As an earlier attempted fix, a thick length of angle iron was bolted onto the exterior lock edge of the door.

The solution was to install a rim exit device onto the interior side of the door and a stainless steel push/pull handle onto the exterior. To reinforce the 18-gauge door, a stainless steel kick plate was located between the exit device and the door. To control access, a rim cylinder was creatively mounted into the lower portion of the push/pull plate.

The hardware installed includes a Detex Value Series Exit Device, Don-Jo Kick Plate, T-Strike and Scalp Filler Plates, BBW Push/Pull Plate and a Best Rim Cylinder. A complete shopping list can be found in the sidebar article.

Installing a rim exit device relocates the latch away from the edge of the door. This improves the security, making unauthorized access much more difficult. The stainless steel push/pull plate and kick plate provided additional protection to the rim cylinder and the exit device.

The Detex Value Series Exit Device was ordered to accommodate a 36-inch wide door. To check for clearance, the device with end cap attached was positioned on the interior side of the closed door. There was no need for modification as the device fit the opening.

The locksmiths decided to use #1/4-20 drill (TEK) screws in place of the supplied #1/4-20 machine screws to install the hardware. #1/4-20 screws have 20 threads per inch. Most common drill screws have sheet metal threads, spaced wide apart. Sheet metal screw threads do not have the same holding power and should not be used to install hardware onto metal doors and jambs.

IMPORTANT: Before installing any lock hardware, be sure to test the operation of the hinges and closer. Be certain they operate and are able to the close and latch the door. Adjust the door closer to insure optimum closing.

Step 1. Install the T-Strike filler plate. The lip can be used as a gauge.

Step 2. Remove the existing lock hardware and angle iron.

Step 3. Position the plastic template and the mounting plate onto the interior side of the closed door.

Step 4. Slide the template with mounting plate up and down to determine the location for the exit device. Because this is a retrofit, there were holes in the door that could weaken the installation. In addition, there was reinforcing built into the door. The mounting plate was aligned at a height that ensured a proper installation.

Step 5. Mark the locations for the mounting plate.

Step 6. Install the mounting plate using a #1/4-20 x 1" TEK screw.

Step 7. Use the level and position the mounting plate on the door.

Step 8. Mark the top and bottom of the mounting plate on the door edge. These two marks will be used to locate the kick plate.

Step 9. Maintain the mounting plate in position and use a center punch to mark the location for the rim cylinder tailpiece. Slide the mounting plate out of the way.

Step 10. Position the rim cylinder template using the tailpiece location as the guide. Mark the location of the center and the two screw holes. The center mark will be used to locate the opening for the rim cylinder in the exterior side of the door, as well as the opening to be drilled through the kick plate on the interior side of the door.

The rim cylinder template was created by the locksmith to simplify this installation. To make a rim cylinder template, use the rim cylinder lock plate as a guide to draw the circles. Locate the center of the circles by drawing to lines that bisect at the center point. NOTE: Using the rim cylinder's lock plate ensures the hole locations are correct as hole locations can vary by lock manufacturers.

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