One of my accounts, a nursing home, asked me to “please come over ASAP to address an issue with a door.” I was able to determine the problem was with a standalone mechanical-type keypad on a door to a utility room within the Alzheimer’s ward which occupied the third floor of the facility.
This is an important customer. It is an older building and has door problems on a regular basis. They are also subject to numerous code authorities who regularly inspect the premises and point out violations.
About two years ago the local authority having jurisdiction (LAHJ) issued my customer several pages of violations and an ultimatum that if the violations were not addressed, they’d be closed down in 90 days.
That list of violations related to how the facility was controlling emergency exits. The nursing home fought it because they had never been faced with such an exhaustive list of issues despite the fact that they had been regularly audited for several years. They had issues about endangering the patients by potentially allowing them to escape the building; they kept the facility in relatively good repair, and the punch list would require about $30,000 to address.
I was able to keep them open.
The positive outcomes of that experience are that we kept a valued customer and that customer has implemented a daily functional test of all the emergency exit doors and equipment.
Their electronic access control equipment includes mechanical keypads, several delayed egress systems, keypad and remotely controlled electromagnetic locks, monitored only stairwell doors, local visual and audible annunciators, and central nurse’s station panels where door status is monitored and alarm conditions can be acknowledged. Of course they also have the usual intercoms and telephones, patient monitors, wander guards, smoke doors, etc. There are beeps and signals constantly going off when you are in this place.
When I installed my system, I avoided adding to this noise pollution by using voice commands telling the nurses the location and nature of the alarm rather than just blast a siren. The LAHJ was impressed.
This is an older building, and things seem to change from day to day, either because of wear and tear to the hardware, electronic failures or deliberate/consequential abuse.
You need to give healthcare providers a lot of credit for functioning under a situation where there are no positive outcomes. There is no cure for old age. The best they can hope for is to make their clients comfortable.
Some of the damage we repair is the cause of carelessness and misuse, not just natural causes. I can think of closer arms ripped out of door frames.
Damage also results when a component was not correctly rated for the application, was poorly designed or manufactured, or was improperly installed.
When you get a call to fix something you provided and installed, it may be a callback. If you get called to fix something someone else provided or installed, it is usually a paid service call. A goal is to get paid every time you roll the truck.
The mission of the professional locksmith is to provide a quality product, properly rated for the application, and install it according to the manufacturer’s instructions appropriate to the prevailing site conditions.
What this means is that if the door or frame is in some way damaged, you may not be able to do a simple bolt in with the standard hardware kit supplied with the product. You may have to perform some field engineering.
That is a partial explanation for why I drive a rolling warehouse of tools, components and parts. (The other reasons are I hate to throw anything out, and I never seem to have time to perform vehicle hygiene).
Specifying the appropriate product for a project is essential, but as we all know, customers will often dispute you on what to specify, sometimes predisposed to a particular product. Most often, their objection will be based on cost.