Article and photos by Gregory Havel
Building codes have statements that require certain types of door locks in public buildings, including schools, retail stores, manufacturing facilities and warehouses, health care facilities, and many others. Most of these are based on the requirements listed in National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) 101 Life Safety Code, 2009 or previous editions.
Photo 1 shows the bedroom-side of a modern hotel door lock. The corridor side has a key-card reader for guest and housekeeping use; the operating handle; and a lock cylinder for use with the hotel’s emergency key. The bedroom side shows the back of the key-card reader at the top; the operating lever for the dead bolt; and the door handle, which retracts both the latch and the dead bolt when it is operated. This is to comply with the requirements of NFPA 101-2009, articles 188.8.131.52.2 and 184.108.40.206.9. This arrangement also allows the addition of a security chain above the lock, as allowed by NFPA 101 article 220.127.116.11.3.
Photo 2 shows the outside of the front door of a house. The lockset has a key-operated lock cylinder in the knob. Above the lockset is a dead-bolt lock, which uses a different key for security purposes. This arrangement is acceptable under the requirements of NFPA 101.
In our public fire education programs, we should suggest that homeowners and landlords spend a little more money on a better quality lockset that can be opened simply by turning the knob from the inside, even if it is locked (like in a commercial building) rather than spending the extra money on a second inexpensive lock.
Gregory Havel is a member of the Burlington (WI) Fire Department; a retired deputy chief and training officer; and a 30-year veteran of the fire service. He is a Wisconsin-certified fire instructor II and fire officer II, an adjunct instructor in fire service programs at Gateway Technical College, and safety director for Scherrer Construction Co., Inc. Havel has a bachelor’s degree from St. Norbert College; has more than 30 years of experience in facilities management and building construction; and has presented classes at FDIC.
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Subjects: Building construction for firefighters