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Improperly Installed Extra Deadbolts Can Pose Life Safety Risk


An important issue in regard to life safety and getting the most out of your doors and hardware is egress, even if the door is not a fire door. Ed Toy, executive vice president, Spalding Hardware, says one common issue is doors in areas with security concerns having extra locksets or deadbolts installed that do not open when the main door latch is opened. That not only often runs afoul of codes; it can lead to injuries or worse.

Indeed, Toy's company consulted on an incident where a firefighter was injured when he couldn't get out of a dark, smoke-filled building because he couldn't find all the releases on the back door. The door had extra deadbolts installed — a violation of the code that called for all locks on the door to release when the opener was activated.

The incident led to litigation, and Spalding Hardware, during the consulting process, pointed out that the locks were not code-compliant and that there were options available that would have allowed for extra locks that did release simultaneously with the main latch.

Ultimately, life safety concerns come down to the same basic considerations as doors and hardware in general. Proper documentation, a solid maintenance plan, and an understanding of the multiple factors involved can help ensure that you get what you expect without having to spend extra time and money.

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