Delayed Egress: What, Where, Why And How?

Delayed egress systems are door locking systems which prevent a door from opening immediately when egress is attempted in a non-emergency situation.

One of the golden rules is that a lock is never supposed to impede egress. However, there are specific situations where it is allowed with special approval from the Local Authority Having Jurisdiction (LAHJ), as long as the application is in accordance with the relevant building codes which consider both core requirements and building occupancy.

Delayed Egress locking arrangements fall under the category of NFPA 101 Special Locking Arrangements, but specification may also be subject to other codes such as:

NFPA 80 Standard For Fire Doors And Other Opening Protectives

NFPA 72 National Fire Alarm And Signaling Code

NEC National Electric Code.

Delayed egress has many important uses.

  • For healthcare facilities, it can alert staff to a patient attempting to leave the premises.
  • In commercial applications, doors may be equipped with delayed egress to discourage shoplifting.
  • At airports, doors leading to hazardous and flight line areas will be equipped with delayed egress to further secure these areas against unauthorized movements.
  • In schools and childcare, delayed egress systems will deter abductions, delinquency, etc.
  • In security environments where it is desired that a credential be used for passage in both directions, a delayed egress lock will allow locking of the door, encouraging the use of a credential, without potentially trapping individuals if there is a legitimate reason for them to exit.

It is imperative that the installer confirm the acceptability of a delayed egress system with the LAHJ prior to installation. In some geographical locations, and in some types of occupancies, more than one authority may have jurisdiction, such as both Fire Marshal and Building Inspector. It is the responsibility of the installer to determine the hierarchy of LAHJs for a particular situation, and to take the necessary steps to assure compliance.

Delayed Egress systems are typically configured in several ways:

  • An integrated Delayed Egress electromagnetic lock in which all logic and locking components are built into a single device
  • A Component System with separate locking, logic, annunciation and control components
  • A Positive Latching Exit Device with integral delayed egress circuitry

Depending on the design, the delayed egress may be triggered by door movement pressure on the door or pressure on a separate triggering device. In some cases, the triggering device is a switch built into a mechanical exit device or a pushbar designed for use with electromagnetic locks.

Building Code Requirements

Building Codes vary with respect to requirements for Delayed Egress locking arrangements. However they all have a similar set core of rules:

  • The delayed egress lock must be approved or listed and shall be permitted for installation on doors serving occupancy levels as specified per prevailing code (refer to your prevailing code and consult your LAHJ for complete details).
  • The doors must unlock upon activation of an automatic sprinkler system or automatic fire detection system.
  • The door(s) must unlock (allow immediate egress) upon loss of power controlling the delayed egress locking device.
  • The delayed egress locks shall be unlocked by a signal from the fire command center.
  • Important Note: Some localities may also require a remotely located manual reset station attended at all times by trained personnel.
  • Applying not more than 15 lbs of pressure for a maximum of 1 second (1 second nuisance delay) will start an irreversible process to unlock the door in 15 seconds. *The LAHJ may permit up to a 30 second delay and up to a 3 second nuisance delay, while in some cases no nuisance delay is permitted
  • A local (at the door) alarm must sound at the opening upon initiation of the release process. *A remote signal may also be required
  • A sign must be applied to the door stating, “PUSH UNTIL ALARM SOUNDS. DOOR CAN BE OPENED IN 15 SECONDS.” Letters must be 1 inch high by 1/8” stroke. The sign shall indicate 30 seconds where applicable.
  • Emergency lighting is required as prescribed per code.
  • The lock must be manually reset at the door. *not a universal requirement
  • A building occupant shall not be required to pass through more than one delayed egress equipped door in order to escape the building.

The following is a roundup of delayed egress products available to the locksmith. For a complete list, consult the Locksmith Ledger Online Buyers Guide,, or check with your local locksmith distributor. To read Ledger articles on delayed egress, visit

DynaLock 3101 B Series

DynaLock’s 3101B Series 1500 Lbs. Delayed Egress Holding Force Electromagnetic Locks are designed to satisfy both life safety codes and high security needs. The next generation 3101B system offers better technology, resistance to electrical surges, and a virtually maintenance-free sensing system.

In a typical installation, the door is closed and latched by the existing mechanical door hardware (typically an exit device) and magnetically secured by the 3101B Lock. Attempting to exit by applying 15 pounds or less pressure to the exit device push plate will cause the door to become unlatched, and the pressure and door movement will be sensed by the 3101B internal sensor.

If the pressure is applied beyond the preset nuisance delay of 1 or 2 seconds, it will activate the 3101B delay egress timer. The audible and red LED will pulsate for 15 seconds (30 seconds field selectable). After the time delay has elapsed, the lock will release and the audible will sound continuously with a green LED until the door is shut and the lock is reset. Reset and/or bypass are accomplished with a built-in keyswitch or remote signal.

The system unlocks automatically when the 3101B is integrated with the building emergency fire alarm system or power is removed. Fire alarm contacts on the 3101B Lock are field selectable for NO and NC signals.

DynaLock 3101B features include:

  • Completely Self Contained
  • 12/24 VDC/VAC
  • Unique Sensor Unaffected by Minor Door Misalignment
  • Lifetime Warranty
  • UL Listed GWXT Auxiliary Lock
  • UL Listed FWAX Special Locking Arrangements
  • Voltage select
  • Fire Alarm Interface Configuration
  • Nuisance Delay ( 1 or 3 sec)
  • Bypass (disable) Local Audible Signal
  • Egress Delay (15 or 30 seconds)
  • Sensor Control (Select internal pressure sensor or exterior initiation)
  • Remote reset connections
  • Remote Bypass With time Delay (unlocks instantly for time set by onboard timer)
  • Remote Bypass (without time delay) follows timing of external contact
  • Remote Initiation (for using an external switch initiation)
  • Delayed Egress Output (remotely signals that delayed egress is triggered)
  • Dynastat Output (monitors armature bond)
  • DSM Option (door status monitor)
  • ATS Option (monitors tamper switch in cover of unit)

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Securitron’s iMXDa Delayed Egress embodies state-of-the-art electromagnetic locking with integrated exit delay. With any attempted exit initiating an alarm and a brief delay before the lock releases, personnel are able to respond before an exit or loss occurs. It is ideal for memory care wards, hospitals, dormitories, airports, childcare facilities and retail or warehouse environments.

The Securitron iMXDa incorporates Securitron’s BondSTAT and Door Position Sensor (DPS) Magnalock® technology along with an intelligent microprocessor, alarm options and a trainable door movement feature. The unit features 1,200 lbs. of holding force, auto sensing dual voltage (12/24 VDC) and provides a variety of easily selectable operating functions.

Installation requires no alteration or replacement of existing latching hardware and the iMXDa is UL listed for use on a fire-rated opening with existing fire-rated latching hardware. Mounting has been simplified with the use of an interlocking mounting bracket.

The iMXDa can be programmed to initiate at a specific range of door movement in a simple one-step operation.

When an occupant triggers the iMXDa by pushing the door to the selected initiation range, he will first trigger a loud audible beeping warning for 3 seconds. After the 3 second period completes, the iMXDa will go into a response time mode featuring a constant audible alarm for 15 or 30 seconds according to code, after which the iMXDa releases the door for egress, the audible alarm stops and the LED changes state to indicate the door is open.

The iEXDa is a variation of the iMXDa that initiates the egress and response cycle through an exit device rather than through door movement.

Model iMXDa/iEXDa features include:

  • Holding Force 1200 Lbs [544 kg]
  • Dimensions: Length 12.5” [318mm]
  • Height 3.63” [92mm]
  • Depth 2” [51mm]
  • Dual Voltage 12/24 Volts DC
  • Current: @ 12 VDC 370mA @ 24 VDC 270mA
  • Output Relays: External Alarm, Tamper Switch, Door Position Switch (DPS)

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The Detex Advantex Delayed Egress System with Latch Retraction (EExER) is designed for applications where both delayed egress and remote unlocking, remote dogging, access control or an automatic door operator are desired. An EX Request to Exit Switch is included for pushpad monitoring. The 100 dB alarm will sound when someone attempts to exit but the door will remain locked for 15 seconds, deterring unauthorized exits and providing time to respond to the alarm. Applications are restricted areas, access controlled doors, and any door requiring authorized entry or exit, while preventing unauthorized entry or exit. This product is ideal for fire-rated, cross corridor, access controlled, delayed egress doors with automatic operators, all without using magnetic locks or electric strikes.


  • All delayed egress and access control functions are implemented in the exit device, no external magnets, electric strikes or electric trims are needed
  • 15-second delay prevents unauthorized exit, reduces theft and protects those trying to exit
  • Use of any access control system and latch retraction allows entry/ exit for any authorized card holder
  • Required fire alarm input provides life safety override for immediate exit during a fire emergency
  • Easy-to-operate with visual and audible arming indicators
  • Simple mounting and wiring provide quick, trouble-free and secure installation saving time and money
  • Available as stand-alone or fully integrated EasyKit

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AlarmLock Delayed Egress Systems

Models 265, 265L (long arm) and 715 are non-handed, delayed egress, electronic exit door locking systems. Arming is accomplished by actuating the deadbolt using a 1-1/8” rim cylinder (not included). When armed, depressing the paddle (Model 265) or pushbar (Model 715) will release the deadbolt and sound an immediate alarm. However the deadlatch will prevent the door from opening until the 15-second exit delay has expired. Provisions are made for instant alarmed exit in the event of actual emergencies, such as smoke, fire, power failure, etc., using auxiliary detection equipment.

A standard 9V alkaline battery is provided. This battery must be installed at all times for proper operation of the unit. An LED on the Control Box indicates that the unit is armed.

Features include:

  • 15-second delayed egress
  • Meets NFPA101 Life Safety Code
  • Local smoke-detector input (easy key reset)
  • Selectable alarm: continuous or two-minute shutdown
  • Exterior key control (requires additional rim cylinder)
  • Audible low-battery indication
  • Visual armed indicator LED (on Control Box)
  • Piercing electronic siren (95dB at 10 feet)
  • Full 1” throw deadbolt with rotating steel inserts.

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Designed for use on delayed exit applications, the Chexit system is ideal for controlled areas. All controls, auxiliary locking, local alarm, and remote signaling are self-contained in the Chexit, providing safe, secure, easy to install and simple to operate door control and exit hardware.

Chexit controlled exit devices are for use on Panic or Fire Exit hardware applications. This concept in delayed exit systems combines life safety with the needs of security and meets all requirements of NFPA 101 for “Special Locking Arrangement.”

The Chexit device includes a 6” x 20” decal for application on door: “PUSH UNTIL ALARM SOUNDS. DOOR CAN BE OPENED IN 15 SECONDS.”

This device requires PS914 power supply.

A request-to-exit switch is built into the device to detect attempts to exit. Pushing the pushpad when the device is armed will cause this switch to start an irreversible alarm cycle.

When a Chexit is located in a public area, it can be used to limit false alarms. If the Nuisance Delay options are set to off, the device will go into alarm as soon as the pushpad is touched (when armed). Turning the Nuisance Delay on will require the pushpad to be pressed for 1 second before the Chexit goes into alarm. If the Nuisance Audible and Nuisance Delay are both on, the alarm will sound as soon as the pushpad is pressed, but the alarm sequence will stop unless the pushpad is held for 1 second or more.

For remote alarm applications, a relay contact is provided to give external alarm indication. This contact closes when the device is in an irreversible alarm condition. This contact can be used to drive a horn, lamp, or other indicative device.

The Key Switch provides the means to arm, disarm or reset the Chexit. The key can be removed in either the Arm or Disarm position.

Status can be determined by the indicator lamp. When the lamp is off, this indicates the device is disarmed and is functioning as a normal exit device (no delay). A continuously on lamp indicates the device has just been armed and as soon as the selectable rearm timer expires, the device will arm. A slow flashing lamp indicates the device is armed. A fast flashing indicator lamp indicates the device is in alarm.

Whenever the device is in alarm or the pushpad is pressed, the internal horn will sound. The volume level of this horn exceeds 85 db at 6 feet.

An external door position switch can be connected to the Chexit. Using the door position input ensures that the door is in the closed and latched position before the device rearms.

An optional External Inhibit Input is provided to allow authorized egress of the Chexit in the armed condition. It also allows remote reset of the Chexit in an alarmed condition.

The Fire Alarm Input disables the Chexit immediately upon a fire alarm.

An Internal Auxiliary Lock is engaged when the Chexit is armed. The locking mechanism is specifically designed to hold securely even when the exit device is struck with forceful blows.

The User Definable Rearm Time is the amount of time after the device is activated before it arms. Timing can be changed by the user for any time between 2 and 28 seconds in two-second increments. An infinite rearm setting requires the use of an external door position switch. The door remains in the rearm mode until the door is closed, useful on jetway doors in an airport.

Most jurisdictions allow 15 seconds of delay before allowing egress. In those cases where 15 seconds is not appropriate, Von Duprin can set the Chexit for any delay time between 0 and 60 seconds on 2 second increments.

With a card reader,the Chexit can be used as an access control device. The card reader allows access. Using a door position switch gives added security to the opening in case the door is not reclosed.

With the Chexit disarmed, the opening functions as a normal exit device. If card readers are required on both sides of the door, the normally closed contacts of the readers should be weird in series.

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