Why register? ...To Enhance Your Experience
+ Reply to Thread
Results 1 to 6 of 6
  1. #1
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Apr 2004
    Posts
    3

    Cool Fire Safety Code Question

    I have what I believe to be a simple question. My employer recently began installing many cipher locks on the doorways in our building. We've not had significant problems with theft or security and have a failry small work location, about 15,000 sq ft. with about 45 employees in house on average. At least one of the cipher locks wound up on a signed exit door which is identified as a primary emergency exit route for a number of rooms in the building. I took issue with this with management and the final resolution was to disable the cipher mechanism but to still leave the keypad lock on the door. Let me be clear - the door now functions properly and will readily open from either direction without entering a code. From within this room you can readily see 5 possible exit routes, two have functioning cipher locks so you cannot use them unless you know the code (most employees do but few visitors would), one is the door in question - looks to be locked but is not, and the other two are to other meeting rooms with doors opposite opening onto a common hallway. Is it okay to have a disabled cipher lock on an emergency exit. If not is there something in black and white that I can refer to. I've already stuck my neck out a lot on this issue but obviously have some very strong opinions where life safety is a concern. Please let me know your thoughts.


  2. #2
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Mar 2004
    Posts
    2

    Lightbulb

    I would use the National Fire Protection Associations (NFPA) Life Safety Code 101.

    My edition dates back to 1997, however, checkout 1997 NFPA 5-2.1.5 Locks, Latches and Alarm Devices.

    "Doors shall be arranged to be opened readily from the egress side whenever the building is occupied, if provided, shall not require the use of a key, a tool or special knowledge or effort for operation from inside of the building" - NFPA 101

    There are several exceptions listed within this standard. HOWEVER..... the standard allows the Authority Having Jurisdiction (AHJ) to allow make judgement calls regarding egress.

    Hope this helps some,

    Lt. Steve Anderson
    IAFF Local 4157
    sanderson@auburn.mec.edu

  3. #3
    Forum Member MEck51's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2004
    Location
    South Jersey
    Posts
    444

    Default

    As already stated it will vary with your location and the ruling by you Local Enforcement Agency (LEA). In the area we are responsible for as long as the actual deadbolt is removed it would be fine to leave the lock housing, however just stating that it is not used or is out of service would not be acceptable. Even with all the other exits, the fact is that all exits must be maintained and operable. I would suggest a casual phone call the the LEA with a question of concern not a complaint, I don't care what they say about whistle blower protection, if you **** off the boss watch your rear. If you do not know who the LEA is in your area you could probably contact the nearest fire house to get the answer.

  4. #4
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Apr 2004
    Posts
    3

    Thumbs up Thanks for the reply Gentlemen

    Just wanted to take a moment to say "Thanks" for the quick reply to my question. Your advice is right on the money. It's a tough act to balance; I worry about the reprecussions if I escalate this further but my chief concern is that someone will eventually get hurt (or worse) if some action is not taken. Let me figure out how best to proceed. Thanks again. I put them "on notice" a month ago and there have been no changes as of yet other than disabling the cipher mechanism. What are the chances of this getting observed during a routine visit by the local fire department without my having to take any further action?

  5. #5
    Forum Member MEck51's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2004
    Location
    South Jersey
    Posts
    444

    Default

    It would realy depend on the inspector. I like to think that I would notice such a device, but I would be wrong in thinking that I haven't missed things before. I feel with the recent mass casulties of warwick and the chicago night club most inspectors are realy on top of their game even more so when it comes to exits. If need be even if you don't need to go outside , maybe you could make a very rough exit thru the door on the way outside during an inspection.

  6. #6
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Apr 2004
    Posts
    3

    Talking

    I could easily demonstrate a "rough exit" if given the opportunity.
    The cipher locks shut down for 15 minutes or so if you goof the code 3 times in a row; it happens more easily than you might think with normal use. Thanks again for the insight.

Thread Information

Users Browsing this Thread

There are currently 1 users browsing this thread. (0 members and 1 guests)

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts