Jan 04 2016

Sliding Glass Doors with Dead-Bolt Locks

Category: BlogBKeyes @ 12:00 am
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Q: In an existing hospital, exiting from the main lobby, there are two glass horizontal sliding doors. These door are exit doors and are capable of swinging on side hinges if pushed from the inside toward the outside. These doors have a thumb-turn dead bolt lock on them to secure the lobby after hours. Are these dead-bolts locks permitted in this application?

A: Doors in the path of egress cannot have more than one releasing action to operate the door. [See 7.2.1.5.4 of the 2000 edition of the Life Safety Code. Pushing or pulling the door is not considered a releasing action.] If the external exit door is not installed in a fire rated barrier (most Type I and Type II building are exempt from having external walls that are fire rated), then there is no requirement that the external exit door has to be a fire-rated door. If the exit door is fire-rated, then it must have a closer and fire rated hardware which allows the door to be positively latched. A dead-bolt lock on a fire-rated door which has positive latching hardware would not permitted, as it would then require two actions to operate the door (turn the dead-bolt thumb-turn device to unlock the door, and grab and turn the door handle to unlatch the door). However, if the doors that you mentioned are non-rated doors, and if they do not have positive latching hardware, then I could see that a dead-bolt device with a thumb-turn would be permitted. But it would only be permitted as long as there is no other device (i.e. door handle or crash-bar) needed to operate the door. The dead-bolt device would have to be mounted on the door no less than 34 inches above the floor and no more than 48 inches above the floor.

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