Traditional Values & New Products Secure Commercial Buildings

Sept. 4, 2017
New exit device, locking and video entry systems on the market to meet your customers' needs

The security industry can count on two things: criminal behavior creating a demand for security management and new and improved products to meet the challenge.

Locksmiths are typically a conservative group of security professionals who are not inclined to take of leaps of faith with new unproven products. This is because the foundation of the locksmithing profession was built upon relationships with customers, with the locksmith honoring the client’s trust in them to provide the most effective solution for the application installed in a professional manner.

So honoring this tradition of integrity is a two edged sword. One edge arms the locksmith with an arsenal of equipment, a skill set, and the right attitude to get the job done and protect the customer while the other edge of the sword puts the locksmith, indeed the locksmithing profession, at a disadvantage when competing with drive-by dealers, scammers, and online vendors. Most readers of The Locksmith Ledger are familiar with the unethical practices that occur in the marketplace and have no doubt lost customers and have suffered reduced income as a consequence.

Exit Devices

When you are involved in locksmithing as well as access control, you are necessarily required to understand and use a broader variety of door hardware than of you were involved in some other more focused locksmithing activities.

So exit devices are part of the process and understanding where they used, the types available, how to install and adjust them is IMO very important.

Exit devices are also a good sale item, and they will enhance surely the safety and often the security of any structure.

As is the case with most building hardware items, the codes are changing frequently, and in order to be totally positive you are in compliance you must keep up with current events and always know who the AHJ is and how to reach him for questions.

The fact is that most locksmiths work within a defined region, and therefore can more easily stay current with changes to the Codes. After all, their AHJs are only human too, and are faced with not only keeping up with codes but also are responsible for enforcing them.

Think of yourself and the AHJ as being on the same team. So the answer to the question where panic devices are required is not easily answered, unless you say “Wherever the AHJ says they are”.

The other question, “where can exit devices be used?” Is easier to answer, and where you can be creative and provide unique and effective solutions for your customers.

So the abbreviated generalized answer to the question of where panic/fire exit hardware is required and what the requirements for them are:

  • On egress doors for occupant loads of 50 or more people in assembly, educational and high Hazard occupancies.
  • The actuating portion of the device must be at least half the width of the door.
  • The force required to unlatch the device must not exceed 15 lbs
  • Touchpad type exit hardware must be used on balanced doors and the touchpad MUST NOT EXCEED half the width of the door (measured from the latch side)
  • Doors on certain electrical rooms.
  • On swinging doors which open in the direction of egress.

In my world, every door should have an exit device!

Exit devices can be classified into several categories:

TOUCH BARS: These are used as signaling devices for other equipment, usually electromagnetic locks.  They produce a dry contact output when pressed. There are several versions of touch bars that use different touch, or sense technology.

Also there panic bars which offer optional dry outputs in addition to locking and unlocking the door.

Exit devices which are locking devices (not touch bars) are available as rim mount type, which are similar to cylindrical locking hardware, mortise exit type devices which use a mortised lock body, and vertical rod type either concealed or surface mounted which unlock and lock via rods connected to mechanical latches at the top or at the top and bottom of the door.

PANIC BARS (PANIC EXIT DEVICES): Is the broadest definition of exit device

FIRE EXIT DEVICES: Exit devices designed and LISTED for use on fire door assemblies

EMERGENCY EXIT DEVICES: Exit devices which have special auxiliary features. They may be Fire rated or not.

Emergency Exit Devices are used on emergency exits, where casual egress is not the door’s intent, and some additional means of control or alarm annunciation are added. Some EMERGENCY EXIT devices are referred to alarmed exit devices because they sound an audible alarm when they are opened without prior authorization.

Common applications  for Emergency Exit Devices are in retail, where they are supposed to discourage stealing merchandise, and healthcare where they are supposed to prevent, discourage, or at least notify caregivers that a door was opened without proper authorization.

The rest of this article will offer you some of the best new technologies from established and reputable manufacturers who want to offer Locksmith Ledger readers the competitive edge out there in the jungle.

YALE 6100A Series 

The 6100A Series is a strong and reliable ANSI/BHMA Grade 1-certified emergency exit device that works seamlessly with a complete range of Yale exit device trims. It features a highly durable aluminum rail design and a built-in battery-powered alarm that sounds 90dB at 10 feet.

A secure rim latch protects against unauthorized entry while providing quick, easy egress, as well as a red LED that flashes every 30 seconds when the device is armed. The metal cover on top of the rim latch protects the device from vandalism, and a built-in safety monitor sounds when tampering occurs – making the 6100A Series to be one of the most secure emergency exit devices available.

The Yale 6100A Series Emergency Exit Device is quick and easy to install and ideal for retrofit applications. It is designed and engineered to enhance loss prevention in any retail or restaurant setting. The 6100A Series comes standard with a 10-year warranty.

Features & Benefits

  • Alarm Activation: Alarm is armed by turning key clockwise. Low audible chirp indicates alarm has been activated. Alarm will sound when pushpad is depressed. Factory preset for standard alarm mode which automatically resets after 5 minutes.
  • Continuous Alarm Mode: Alarm sound continuously when the pushpad is depressed. Alarm must be manually reset by keyswitch. (This feature is selected by a switch on the circuit board.)
  • Nuisance Alarm: Factory preset for instant alarm. Selectable feature for alarm to sound when pushpad is depressed for more than 2 seconds.
  • Low Battery Warning: Audible chirp.
  • Arming Delay/Authorized Egress: 10-second delay (after arming) permitting egress (by turning key clockwise).
  • Alarm Shunt: Ingress shunt alarm input for devices with latchbolt position (S) monitor. NOTE: "S" included with SVR devices.
  • Power Requirements: One (1) 9V battery (included).
  • Device Status: A red LED indicator will illuminate every 30 seconds when the alarm is armed.
  • Tamper Resistant: Built-in safety monitor sounds alarm when tampering occurs.

More Information:

Marks USA X-iT™ Series 

Marks USA’s new  extremely durable, Grade 1 X-iT™ Series Narrow Stile Exit Devices are ideal for high impact applications and retrofit all popular preps. Marks Model M8800 is designed for use on all types of narrow stile single and double doors, of either 36” or 48” door width, and conveniently, non-handed for installation flexibility.

Like its popular predecessor, the M9900, its heavy-duty cast chassis provides superior durability, while the smooth reduced projection touch-bar assembly minimizes catch hazards and Panic Protector™ End Caps prevent abuse.

Marks M8800 Exit Devices are also available in 32D Satin Stainless or 10B Oil Rubbed Bronze finishes, and with optional lever/escutcheon trim MESC350A. They offer a simple, strong, easily-installed solution wherever high-quality panic and fire listed hardware is needed, in compliance with ANSI BHMA A156.3 Grade 1, ANSI/UL305 panic hardware and 2013 CA Building Code 11B-309.4 ,etc.

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dormakaba Physical Access Systems

The dormaKaba Physical Access Systems products were launched in April and will be featured at The DALLAS ASIS Show which will be September 25-28.  These systems are both aesthetically pleasing and designed to implement advanced and enhanced security at the entrance to the facility.

Robust Full Height Turnstiles are especially suitable for securing the perimeter of buildings and property. Modular versions enable individual combinations of multiple units to accommodate bicycle doors, integrated doors, as well as emergency egress. The quiet low-energy drive consumes very little energy, offers the only push-assist on this type of gate in the market and adapts to the speed of the person entering. Turnstiles with integrated end-point clocking prevent people from being trapped or jammed.

dormakaba's electronically monitored security Personal Interlocks meet the highest security demands and provide optimal protection for sensitive building areas. The dormakaba Personal Interlock product series comprises a variety of shapes, including round or cubic Personal Interlocks for single passage, or interlocks with a set of doors arranged in a row, allowing passage in one direction. The degree of separation can be accomplished by means of body weight, sensors or an additional check point for identification in the middle of the interlock. The Personal Interlock works with any access control system and can integrate biometric entry inside or outside the unit.

More information:

Hager HS4 Platform

The Hager HS4 platform is a robust, dynamic and comprehensive system that creates a user-friendly experience with a single, comprehensive credential system by utilizing different platforms. These platforms include data-on-card and wireless system solutions.

  • Stand Alone Network (SAN) – uses a portable programming device (PPD) which is used to transfer audit data from the locks to the software as well as to update the locks with user credentials and calendar information. These types of systems require the administrator or maintenance department to visit the individual locks to make any changes. In these cases, the lock is the component which makes the decision to allow or disallow a given credential.
  • Salto Virtual Network (SVN) – provide flexible security by using a credential to transmit data between offline devices and online management systems. All user-related access information is stored on smart credentials which act as carriers for the network. This eliminates the need for wired or wireless locks at every secured opening and reduces the overall cost of the access control system. In these cases, it is the card which has the access rights and tells the offline lock how it should act.
  • Wireless Real-Time Network (WRN) – used when real-time control and monitoring is needed, including in many cases lock-down abilities. WRN platforms are highly recommended for institutional, educational and commercial applications requiring enhanced levels of security.

The intuitive JustIN Mobile app utilizes Bluetooth (BLE) allowing users to use their smartphone as their credential. Additionally, Android users can utilize Near Field Communication (NFC) to update their smartcard by receiving new credentials Over the Air (OTA).

Grade 1 HS4 Wide Body versions are available in both mortise and cylindrical design options.  The Grade 1 HS4 Mini is a cylindrical lock that works in both new construction and retrofit interior applications.

The Grade 1 HS4 AElement Mortise allows for customizable designer handle sets to be used with interior door openings.

Other products in the HS4 range include card readers, padlocks, mortise and rim cylinders, cam locks and locker locks.

For more information:

Aiphone Upgraded GT Series

Aiphone Corp. announces new upgrades to its popular GT Series multi-tenant video intercom featuring hassle-free, quick system programming and staff communication between multiple buildings.

Convenience is enhanced as dealers and/or building management can remotely update tenant directories using a logical network. Updating tenant names and dialing numbers can also be accomplished onsite using an NFC-equipped Android™ phone or tablet.

Costs of added security guards or concierge staff can be eliminated as GT Series installations connected over the same logical network enable staff in one office to speak with tenants and personnel in multiple buildings. 

Bruce Czerwinski, Aiphone’s U.S. general sales manager, said dealers, building managers and tenants are demanding added convenience and features from their security systems.

“We’ve listened and are responding with advances to make the GT Series easier to update, screen visitors and answer tenant calls throughout an entire campus or residential complex,” he said. “The feature-rich GT Series is ideal for high-rise office towers, apartment and condominium buildings, independent senior living facilities and student housing.”

The GT Series can now be expanded to handle the needs of larger properties, supporting up to 480 entrance stations, 96 video guard stations and 5,000 tenant stations.

Earlier this year, Aiphone introduced three video entrance stations with improved camera quality to make visitor identification more precise. Slim design tenant stations, available in 7- or 3 ½-inch LCD screens, fit in virtually any facility.

Other features of the GT Series include:

  • Integration with CCTV cameras to provide a wider view of the entry area
  • A simple, wired intercom solution, eliminating the need and added expense of a telephone line
  • Direct tenant station calls answerable only in the residence or office, ensuring all visitors are properly screened
  • Keyless tenant entry with an optional card reader or keypad

“As we continue to add features and convenience to the GT Series, we haven’t forgotten the role of a video intercom, which is to keep people safe and secure,” Czerwinski said. “Whether mounted at a lobby entrance or a delivery door, the GT Series allows tenants to confidently identify visitors before allowing them into the building.”

For more information, visit

Viking VoIP Entry Phone & Access Control System

The vandal resistant Viking Electronics K-1775-IP is an all-in-one VoIP entry phone system. Combining a phone, relays, dialer, keyless entry, proximity reader and camera into one unit - making this entry system easy to install, program, and operate.

“We’ve created a dynamic entry phone and access control system that is not complicated to put together, or scale, from a single door and 10 employees or tenants, all the way to 50 doors and 1000 employees.” Greg Yocom, Engineer with Viking Electronics, Inc.

This compact unit can dial up to 250 preprogrammed speed dial numbers or extensions. The built-in proximity card reader is able to store up to 1,000 card numbers and internal memory can store 1,000 codes for keyless entry. Each card number and keyless entry code can be limited to work certain hours of the day and/or days of the week, while the entry logging software provides a time and date stamp for each event.

The K-1775-IP can place a traditional VoIP SIP call over a single ethernet connection. The person answering can enter a touch tone command to activate an onboard relay, triggering a door strike or maglock and granting access. Additionally, the on-board analog camera can be fed back to a DVR for recording, and then to a monitor on the front desk for added security. Or, convert the analog video to IP with a 3rd party video server and view from a web browser or mobile app.

More Info:

Alpha Communications

Alpha has two new and exciting video intercom systems, ideal for commercial buildings and also well suited as products locksmiths can offer and support.

ALPHA’s VK237 series video intercom system allows for up to three inside 7" color monitors and up to two door stations. It is a simple 2-wire installation, and can even be installed (in many cases) using the existing doorbell or door chime wiring.

They also offer an add-on unit, called the DoorLINQ™ which replaces one of the inside monitors and allows users to SEE and SPEAK to their visitors on a smartphone app, and also electrically release the door strike on the app as well. This is a low-cost but rugged system, which uses simple 2-conductor wiring.

ALPHA’S GB2 SYSTEM  series system can start out as a single call button door station that can call up to 16 inside video-intercom monitors, with up to 4 video door entry stations. For buildings with multiple offices/suites, the GB2 system can be used as a multi-unit video-intercom system with either pushbutton type or digital keypad type door entry stations.

This system uses simple 2-conductor wiring and can also retrofit to many existing types of intercom wiring, saving on installation time and cost. We offer (3) different types/sizes of video-intercom monitor stations, and the door entry stations are available in Aluminum or St. Steel and can now be ordered in thousands of RAL paint colors.

More Information: