Push handle to sound alarm - door can be opened in 15 seconds


If there’s one door that I don’t want to wait for, it’s an emergency exit. What is the purpose of this delay? I’m thinking theft prevention, but doesn’t that create a dangerous situation?

Not sure where you’re encountering this, but it’s called “delayed egress”, and it’s a fairly common way of securing fire exit doors in places such as nursing homes. There’s a maglock that keeps the door locked, but it can’t actually prevent people from exiting if they know to hold the crash bar till the door unlocks. The delay gives staff a chance to respond before the dementia patient runs off into the night.

Doesn’t sound like the apex of safeness does it. I can’t imagine being in any situation where 15 seconds is going make a difference between living and dieing. Don’t get me wrong, I’m sure it has happened, but it’s got to be extremely rare, and theft prevention is the only answer I can come up with too. This was at a business with merchandise, right, as opposed to say a hospital or theatre.

ETA: Gorsnak’s answer sounds better.

This is at a hospital, but in an area where patients rarely go, so it’s more of an office setting. Yes, we have computers that people might steal. And there’s no security guard there, but there are other “minor” exits without security too.

As for what possible emergencies could hurt people in those 15 seconds, I would think anything that would cause a panic among a large group of people. This door is on a landing between staircases which themsleves are a little treacherous.

I’ve seen them in airport terminals. I assume it’s to prevent unauthorized people from slipping out onto the tarmac before anyone notices.

tdn where is this door in relation to maternity ward/nursery?

About halfway the length of the hospital, so about 500 feet. That’s from the infant discharge area, anyway. I suppose that it might be an attractive exit for an abductor, but there are closer and better ones.

The old fire doors locks opened immediately and triggered an alarm.

These new ones scare me. Imagine if the door lock doesn’t open in 15 seconds. There could be a huge tragedy caused by a malfunction. I seriously wonder how those delayed locks will work in a fire or violent storm flood situation like NY and New Jersey experienced with Sandy.

I hope they don’t use these in large venues, like concerts.

And in a panic situation, is the person going to read the sign? Or just think ‘Oh shit, the door doesn’t work’. And not hold down the bar, put keep pushing and releasing. I would think the later is VERY possible.

I was wondering about that myself.

Meanwhile, others are coming up behind you and pushing those in front, who can’t get out…

They should think about the wording. Until this thread, I thought it meant that the door confoms to some regulation that requires it to be able to be opened in 15 seconds, ie. it is a relatively easy to open door.

A more accurate wording would be something like “This door has a 15 second delay. Keep holding down the bar and it will open.”. That would encourage people to lean on it long enough in an emergency.

Maybe I parse things weirdly.

Push until alarm sounds
Door can be opened
in 15 seconds

That’s the actual wording. Sorry for not getting it right the first time around.

FWIW, it can be opened immediately and without alarm by people with the right security clearance. Other times the alarm sounds, presumably because confused patients try to exit from there.

The simple answer is to push the handle 15 seconds before you actually need to open the door.

Problem solved. :slight_smile:

In the case of a fire, I can’t head right for the door anyway. I have to pull an alarm. Then I have to make a phone call. From a land line, not my cell. Then I have to rescue people. Then I have to shut doors. THEN I can push on the door.

Quite likely in the case of a fire the door is unlocked by the alarm system anyways. If it’s installed correctly, anything that goes wrong will cause the door to revert to standard fire exit behaviour (i.e., push the crash bar and the door opens). For the door to be locked, both the fire alarm relay and the timer relay that gets you the 15s delay have to be energized. Either of them fail, the maglock isn’t powered and the door can be opened.

I believe you have your order of operations mixed up.

You rescue first, then alarm, then contain, then escape.

Yes, with the delayed egress doors I’ve worked with, they are tied into the fire alarm system and will unlock when the fire alarm sounds. If you’re trying to escape a fire, you won’t even have to hit the crash bar… just pushing on the door will open it.

ETA: I work in DC, MD, DE, and NJ, all maglock doors have to be tied into the fire alarm system and unlock once the fire alarm sounds, mandated by building codes.

So I’m trying to get out because there’s a fire at my back. I’ll bring a book to read until the fire alarm sounds. Should happen any minute now. Hope it doesn’t {choke, cough} take too long, I’m on chapter 9 already…

Thank God. I saw this thread and could only think of the Station Fire (NSFW) and how much difference 15 seconds could make, give or take. (At six minutes, someone emerges, completely alight)