Door Locking Arrangements

Q: I have read your response to secondary locks on fire egress doors. ( – Two releasing operations shall be permitted for existing hardware on a door leaf serving an area having an occupant load not exceeding three, provided that releasing does not require simultaneous operations.) My question is: Are there any other references or code standards regarding secondary locks on fire/egress doors?

A: Section “Special Locking Arrangements” would apply to all doors, including fire-rated door assemblies. This section includes:

  • Delayed egress locks (
  • Access-control locks (
  • Elevator Lobby Locks (

Then, for healthcare occupancies, there are additional locking arrangements that would be permitted on fire-rated door assemblies, such as:

  • Clinical needs locks ( Permitted only for the use of securing psychiatric patients, dementia patients, Alzheimer patients, etc.
  • Specialized protective measure locks ( Permitted for locking nursery units, mother/baby units, ICUs, ERs, etc.

While all doors may not be fire-rated, all doors are egress doors and the above listed special locks would be permitted on all doors, provided you qualify for them.

Brad Keyes
Brad Keyes, CHSP

Brad is a former advisor to Healthcare Facilities Accreditation Program (HFAP) and former Joint Commission LS surveyor. He guides clients through  organizational assessment; management training; ongoing coaching of task groups; and extensive one-on-one coaching of facility leaders. He analyzes and develops leadership effectiveness and efficiency in work processes, focusing on assessing an organization’s preparedness for a survey, evaluating processes in achieving preparedness, and guiding organizations toward compliance. 

As a presenter at national seminars, regional conferences, and audio conferences, Brad teaches the Keyes Life Safety Boot Camp series to various groups and organizations. He is the author or co-author of many HCPro books, including the best-selling  Analyzing the Hospital Life Safety Survey, now in its 3rd edition. Brad has also authored a variety of articles in numerous publications addressing features of life safety and fire protection, as well as white papers and articles on the Building Maintenance Program. Currently serving as the contributing editor of the monthly HCPro newsletter Healthcare Life Safety Compliance  gives Brad further insight into the industry’s trends and best practices.