Keeping Up in the World of Digital Doors
How do we deal with the onslaught of electronics and digital information colliding with the simple task of securing a door and building? That is the question.
Doors are not simply barriers between rooms and buildings anymore. Today, they can be digital, computerized, networked checkpoints of information.
A door is no longer a door. It is a physical barrier that can be used to keep people out and let others access, according to any type of factor the owner chooses. In the world of access and electronics, you can use a computerized lock, an electrified panic device tied to a keypad, or just a Grade 1 mechanical lockset with a high security key. However you want to secure your access points, IDN is the right choice.
In 2016, the Construction Specification Institute decided to take some components of Division 8 (Doors and Windows) and move them into Division 28 (Electronics Safety and Security). “Access Control Hardware Devices” were moved, along with “Egress Management Devices,” “Intercom Entry Systems,” and “Electronic Key Management Systems.” Power supplies, network switches, and other network communications components are also now included in Division 28.
Essentially, in this age of increasing digitalization, a door is not just a door but is now an electronic security barrier, whether it has any electronics or not. IDN is a great choice for electronic security because it not only supplies doors in many of its locations but stocks access control products in all of its locations. IDN distributes locks, door closers, panic devices, and all types of products that close the door, secure the door, open the door, and monitors who enters and leaves the door.
IDN has always supplied many types of access control products but decades earlier, there were simply basic doors, mechanical locks, and keys. With the advent of electronics, we have added electronic keys, and electrified locks, hinges, and panic devices. There are thousands of digital and mechanical products in the marketplace and IDN is one of the few companies that can supply almost all of them. Schlage, LCN, Von Duprin, Alarm Lock, HES, Sargent, Kaba, Best, Aiphone, Securitron, Cansec, HID, Yale, Ceco, Special-Lite, RCI, Keyscan, Keri, and Dorma are just a few of the brands we sell and service.
It is critical for a security expert installer, a building contractor, a chief of security, or a company’s maintenance supervisor to consider all types of factors and trust the distributor before deciding the best choice for the door as well as the best ways to secure and allow access to the door.
In today’s world of safety and security, it is necessary for locksmiths, installers, and anyone involved in a building’s security to be aware of changing building codes and safety requirements. The International Building Code (IBC) is the foundation of the complete Family of International Codes®. It is an essential tool to preserve public health and safety that provides safeguards from hazards associated with the built environment.
The other important safeguard to safety is the NFPA101 (National Fire Protection Association) Life Safety Code®. The Life Safety Code is the most widely used source for strategies to protect people based on building construction, protection, and occupancy features that minimize the effects of fire and related hazards. Unique in the field, it is the only document that covers life safety in both new and existing structures.
Keeping up with current regulations is important for building owners, locksmiths, and contractors. Life Safety Codes change all the time. For instance, in the updated NFPA101 guidelines, there are added criteria for door locking to prevent unwanted entry in educational, day care, and business occupancies (Chapters 14-17, 38, and 39) There is also a new reference to NFPA 4 for integrated fire protection and life safety system testing, and new provisions for risk analyses for mass notification systems (Chapter 9).
IBC and NFPA codes are sometimes contradictory, often confusing, and constantly changing. (“Safety vs. Security: Relevant Code Changes,” Lori Greene, Locksmith Ledger, September 2017, Page 12) As an example, in a building stairwell, if doors are locked on the stair side, the IBC requires the doors to have electrified locks that are capable of remote release, regardless of the number of floors the stair is serving.
Both IBC and NFPA state that doors with electromagnetic locks must comply with the requirements for either an application where the lock is released by a sensor or where the lock is released by a switch in door-mounted hardware.
Codes are not just arbitrary. They are changed based on the current needs of our society. As the amount of school shootings have increased, for example, the decision was made to add mandates that “strengthen the current codes for classroom security,” including remote operation of classroom locks electronically from the inside to aid teachers and administrators in protecting their students.
The safety and security world has radically changed in the last three decades. It has become increasingly complex as electronics overwhelm almost all phases of physical security. Now add the extra potential problems of cybersecurity, where almost anything electronic and digital can be compromised. This is why it is so important for security consultants, locksmiths, contractors, and building owners to stay educated about new standards, codes, and updates. Do your homework, talk to your distributor, and be aware of what’s going on in the safety and security world.
If you think the last few years have brought about changes, you haven’t seen anything yet. Transformation of security moves faster and faster. Be alert and stay aware. Your livelihood and customers’ lives depend on it.
To place an order or for a quote, contact your local IDN Branch.
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Arnie Goldman is the President at IDN-Hardware Sales