Problem Solver: Selecting The Right Door Hardware for the Application

All too often, during the bid process, the same hardware products are ordered for use throughout a facility. However, there can be a big difference in what is needed for the front door, the lobby exits and a reading room. When the wrong product is specified or installed, it can affect the end user experience. So, consider the following.

Quiet: For areas that are used for sleeping, healing, study, concentration or the overall reduction of auditory disturbances, choose sound reducing exit devices. For instance, traditional magnetic solenoids require high voltage inrushes resulting in noisy activation. Replacing these with motor driven latch retraction creates a quieter environment with few disturbances.

Higher Security: When greater security is required, consider an exit device with a rim configuration featuring a two-piece latch that is 90 degrees to the strike pad and delivers more than 2,000 pounds of static load resistance. If the facility needs to temporarily prevent individuals from exiting a facility while still meeting fire/life safety needs, select an exit device that provides a delayed egress solution with options to fit the unique needs of the facility.

Aesthetics: Custom aesthetics can provide an atmosphere that fosters creative expression without being intrusive. Add personality at sports complexes, theme parks, museums, restaurants, daycare facilities and schools. To create a more inviting or fun environment, consider a custom décor, personalized identity, thematic graphics and/or special color matching. Did you know door hardware comes in over 250 custom colors?

Harsh Environments: In some applications, it is important that the door hardware can stand up to inclement weather or harsh conditions. Products can include coatings that inhibit rust and those that are designed, tested and certified to WS9827/9927 and 237 standards, which both meet the FEMA 361 and 320 building codes for windstorm resistance. Sometimes, exit devices mounted to exterior doors are often exposed to rain and other elements. Water can enter an exit device and cause critical components to potentially rust or function improperly. Drainage holes are available to allow the water to leave the exit to improve the life of the device.

Likewise, humidity and heavy rain can find its way into the exit device and cause electronics to malfunction. Water proof switches help prevent their effects. A pneumatic latch retraction solution is ideal for applications in hazardous areas where electronics are not permitted.

That unique situation: Many projects throw locksmiths and facility managers a real curve ball. Restaurants, hotels, museums, stores and showrooms, churches and chapels, hospitals and military facilities all too often need something unique. Sometimes, they need extra thick doors for greater security or thermal resistance or tall architectural doors to match the ceiling height or an entrance. Other times, wide doors are required to allow the passage of large equipment or the facility wants a unique doorway to make a statement. Don’t despair. Your manufacturer should be able to help you to configure your exit devices for doors that are outside what is considered standard height, width and even thickness.

Just remember, the door hardware that’s used in one place in the facility may not be appropriate for other areas within the facility. Check to make sure each door is provided hardware according to its environment and what it is protecting.

Joseph Vaida is portfolio marketing manager-mechanical, Ingersoll Rand Security Technologies