How Building Codes Impact Access Control System Selection and Installation

When choosing an access control system, it’s important to know if the designs you’re considering will be a good fit for your property. Not only do you need to consider your security goals and your building’s unique layout, but you also need to know how your local building and fire codes can impact the system you choose.

From cabling requirements to exit safety, your access control methods must abide by local standards to be legal and reduce your liability. Here’s how building codes can impact the type of access control system you want to have installed.

Fire Safety Protocol Affects Access Control Standards

All businesses are required to have electromagnetic locks, also called maglocks, connected to the fire alarm system. These fail-safe devices allow doors to open in the event of an emergency, so if there is a fire or power outage, the doors automatically unlock to allow people to exit.

Maglock requirements are critical when choosing and installing an access control system. For example, if you have a turnstile system as part of your access control, activation of the fire alarm must unlock turnstiles for people to exit [1]. The same rule applies if the sprinkler system is activated.

Know Building Code Standards for Door Exits

Door exit standards vary by state. For example, some states require both exit buttons and motion detector activation for exit doors to open, while others may only require one device for exiting. When installing access control, you must know your state’s requirements for exit doors prior to choosing a system.

If you have stairwell doors that you want to install access control features on, know that these doors must be specially configured for use, especially if one or more of the doors is meant to be used as an egress door [2]. In the event of an emergency, doors must be able to open according to fire code.  

Understand Requirements for Cabling for Access Control

Cabling requirements can also affect your access control system decision. Certain jurisdictions may require cable runs of different lengths: some can be every four feet while others may be every eight feet. Knowing these requirements is essential when considering an access control system if you plan on a new-construction build.

Existing cabling runs can increase the equipment and labor necessary to install an access control system with the correct wiring. In addition, existing businesses that want a specific access control system and need to reconfigure their cabling network may also need a building permit [3]. These are all things to consider when choosing an access control system.

Learn More From Our Professionals

Understanding building and fire code requirements is essential when choosing an access control system, and your options aren’t always clear. Surveillance Secure can help you comply with necessary codes while choosing and installing the access control system that makes the most sense for your needs. Call our commercial security professionals to learn more about your options at (877) 388-1248!

Sources:

  1. https://www.osha.gov/laws-regs/standardinterpretations/2003-11-21 
  2. https://www.securityinfowatch.com/access-identity/access-control/article/10853701/codes-and-regulations-for-egress 
  3. https://idighardware.com/2013/03/permits-for-access-control/

 

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