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Experiencing the New Von Duprin Chexit

Chexit door label from Chexit installation instructions.

Von Duprin Chexit door label from Chexit installation instructions.

Last year Von Duprin began shipping Chexit self-contained delayed egress exit devices that are motorized instead of solenoid driven.  Since they are motorized, the new Chexits draw less current and will probably be more reliable than the previous solenoid-driven version. This means a less serious, less expensive power supply, less need for high capacity, high gauge, high cost wire and greatly increased workable wire run distances – all good things.

The new Chexit will do everything the old Chexit did, including release of the outside lever trim when the external inhibit function is activated by access control or another external switch.  That remains a way to get access control out of a Chexit by simply adding a blank escutcheon or other unlocked outside trim to the Chexit exit device.

As of this writing Exit-only function Chexit devices were being shipped less the part number 040193-00 cable used to connect the E996L to the Chexit PC board.  The cables are only provided if you order the Chexit from the factory with trim, but that is okay as long as you want to use no trim or non-electric trim.  Electrified trim is a means to provide fail secure access control from the trim side, so if the fire alarm goes off and powers down the Chexit, the fail secure electrified trim will stay locked.  Entry can still be gained by key.

On another note, recently I was involved in an application where the installer was replacing a mortise exit device and wanted delayed egress from the push side and free ingress from the pull side.  Luckily it was a mortise device, so all I had to do was provide a Chexit mortise exit device with blank escutcheon (passage function) trim because THE MORTISE LOCK ACTS INDEPENDENTLY FROM THE CHEXIT ON THE TRIM SIDE. Cool. 🙂

Bear in mind that  the Chexit remains active while people are using the passage function trim to get in, so if they happen to depress the touch bar, say by bumping it up against the wall for two seconds, they may activate the Chexit alarm.   Von Duprin Tech Support suggested a palm switch on the trim side to activate the inhibit circuit in the Chexit while a person enters from that side.

 





It was fun, easy, and I looked like a … Hardware Genius.

Choosing a Delayed Egress System: Self-Contained, or Built from Components?

Delayed egress is a process that delays unauthorized exit from a space while complying with NFPA 101 life safety code.  Use of this process is strictly regulated with the help of building inspectors and fire marshals across the United Sates.  With that in mind it is always a good idea to get your local AHJ (Authority Having Jurisdiction) on board whenever you are planning to install delayed egress on an opening.

When you beginning planning your delayed egress system you will find that many systems on the market are self-contained.    These could be delayed egress electromagnetic locks or electrified delayed egress exit devices.

Here are some examples of self-contained delayed egress maglocks:

  • SDC 1511S
  • Schlage Electronics M490DE
  • Dynalock 3101C

Here are some examples of self-contained delayed egress exit devices:

  • Detex V40 EE
  • Von Duprin Chexit
  • Sargent Electroguard

delayed-egress-anatomy
Almost all delayed egress systems are made up of the same components:

  1. Delayed egress timer and relay logic board
  2. Initiating Switch (to initiate the delayed egress process)
  3. Audible alarm
  4. Signage
  5. Reset switch
  6. Optional bypass switch
  7. Fire Alarm interface
  8. Power supply
  9. Locking device

Therefore it is possible to construct a custom delayed egress system from components.  Later I’ll talk about why you might want to choose a built-from-components delayed egress system instead of a self-contained one.   The following sections describe each part of a built-from-components delayed egress system.

Delayed Egress Timer and Relay Logic Board

This board is UL Listed and specifically designed to perform all delayed egress functions in compliance with life safety code.   Here are some examples of component boards for delayed egress:

  • Securitron XDT-12 or XDT-24
  • Seco-Larm SA-025EQ

The board is the brains of the delayed egress operation.  It has contacts to wire in switches for delayed egress initiation, fire alarm interface and system reset, timers to control nuisance and egress delay, and relays to control locks and notify external devices.

There are also delayed egress controllers that offer more features.  The following may include the delayed egress timer/relay board and some other required feature(s) such as the initiation switch or the audible alarm.

  • Alarm Controls DE-1
  • Security Door Controls 101-DE
  • Securitron BA-XDT-12 or BA-XDT-24

Initiating Switch

The switch that initiates the delayed egress process shares several characteristics with any request-to-exit switch.  To comply with life safety regulations it must require no prior knowledge to operate; it must require no more than one motion to operate; and it must be placed in relation to the door according to life safety standards in your local jurisdiction.  I think that the best possible initiation device is a mechanical push bar with a switch, such as the Adams Rite 8099-M or the Securitron EMB.  In a panic situation it remains obvious that to get out, one must push on the bar, and because it is mechanical it is unaffected by power outage.  If it is wired to open the contact when pushed, if the wires leading to it are cut it will initiate the delayed egress process.

In rare circumstances where it might be permitted, the locking device might be a fail safe electrified mortise lock that is locked on both sides, inside and out.  Then the initiation switch might be a palm switch next to the door.

Audible Alarm

The mandatory audible alarm sounds for 15 seconds before the delayed egress controller releases the locking device to allow exit.  It’s loudness must be between 81 and 88 decibels.  In some jurisdictions the alarm must be manually reset at the door; in others it may be self resetting via timer or door position switch.  Yet another reason to have a heart-to-heart talk with your local AHJ when designing your delayed egress system.

Signage

The wording on the mandatory sign must comply with life safety code.  There are minor variations in wording.  I suggest buying a sign that is part of a delayed egress system.  The sign that comes standard with the Von Duprin Chexit is readily available as a separate part.

Reset Switch

As mentioned in the “Audible Alarm” section above, a delayed egress system reset switch located at the door is mandatory in some jurisdictions.  Check with your local AHJ.  In some jurisdictions delayed egress systems are allowed to be reset by remote switch or other means, such as a door position switch.

Any kind of momentary contact switch will do the reset switch job, but delayed egress system reset switches located at the door almost always require some kind of security to prevent unauthorized resetting.   Standalone keypads or key switches are often used for this purpose.  Delayed egress systems can also be integrated into existing access control.

Optional Bypass Switch

Not required but often needed, the optional bypass switch allows authorized personnel to exit without triggering the delayed egress system.  Again, any momentary contact switch will do, but usually some security is required.  If you are using a keypad as the system reset switch and the keypad has more than one relay, you can program the second relay to be the bypass switch.

If access from the exterior side is required a bypass switch is required on that side.  Sometimes security is not needed from the exterior side.  In that case a simple momentary contact pushbutton will do the job.

Fire Alarm Interface

The mandatory fire alarm interface allows enables fire alarm panel to deactivate the delayed egress system immediately in the event of a fire alarm.  This is an integral part of the life safety code that allows a delayed egress system to exist.  Therefore, if your building does not have a fire alarm panel, without special permission from the local AHJ you cannot have a delayed egress system.

Power Supply

All delayed egress systems I have had experience with run on low voltage power that comes from a low voltage power supply.  Generally delayed egress systems require regulated and filtered power at 12 or 24 volts.  Delayed egress controllers draw very little current, but as will all electrically operated systems, the current draw of all attached devices must be taken into account when selecting a power supply.

Locking Device

The locking device must be electrically locked and fail safe from the egress (interior) side.  The most frequently used locking device in a component based delayed egress system is the electromagnetic lock.

Why Build a Delayed Egress System?

Why would you put together a delayed egress system from components when there are so many good self-contained systems?

  1.  To Save Money.  Piecing together a delayed egress system can be significantly cheaper than buying a self contained delayed egress system.
  2.  To take advantage of existing hardware.  For example, if there is already an electromagnetic lock on the door, adding the other components is relatively easy.
  3. Conditions at the door prohibit use of a self contained delayed egress system.  For example, door size or the presence of existing hardware may require the installer to seek a more creative solution.

 





Bottom line, unless you have a prison, you cannot lock ’em in.  Well, not without permission.  🙂

Locking People In

I often get a request to help create a system that locks people in.  People want to lock children inside a daycare center, students inside a “Time-Out” room, babies inside a nursery in a maternity hospital or patients inside, for example, an Alzheimer’s disease in-patient facility for their own good.

“Well, what if there’s a fire?” I ask.

That’s really the issue.  If we are keeping them in, how are they supposed to get out in the event of a fire?  Yet, except when there is a fire or other emergency that renders the building unsafe, it is in their best interest if they are kept inside.

Often, people simply want to lock people in with an electromagnetic lock or other device.  Since this is certainly a violation of life safety code, any injury that may result would be uninsurable and could invite litigation.

I discuss delayed egress systems in depth in another article (click here to read).     A delayed egress system is really the right way to do this, since it is actually covered in the NFPA 101A Special Locking Arrangements section of the fire safety code, but it is fairly inconvenient to use.  To get out without setting off an alarm users must use some kind of bypass request to exit switch like a keypad, card reader or key switch – much less convenient than, say, simply pushing a door open via the push pad on an exit device.

The gist of a delayed egress system is that, after a short ‘nuisance’ delay, the lock sounds an alarm for fifteen seconds and then lets the person out.  That means that authorities on the secured premises have fifteen seconds to get to the exit and prevent unauthorized egress.

Where unauthorized egress is not a life threatening prospect, therefore, a delayed egress system is perfectly adequate.  However, when a person’s life may depend on being kept inside their care facility, a more complex solution maybe required.

A great solution for Alzheimer’s or other dementia care facilities is the WanderGuard system by Stanley.  This system is designed for Alzheimer’s and other health care facilities where unscheduled patient departure is an issue, and covers other needs with fall monitoring and patient call capabilities.  Patients are fitted with bracelets that serve as tracking and communication devices.  As one might expect, such a system is not inexpensive and a bit on the overkill side for use in a day care center or maternity facility.  To physically keep people inside the facility, the WanderGuard system is designed to interface with delayed egress locks.

I think that the WanderGuard system would be a good choice for use in maternity ward nurseries as well.

The situation is more challenging when you have a day care center or a “Time-Out” room.

I had heard that Schlage was coming out with a mechanical time out lock, but a search as of today renders only the same Time-Out Room solution:  An electromagnetic lock with a momentary pushbutton.  The troublesome child is forced into a room, the door is shut, and then the teacher or other disciplinarian must physically press the momentary contact pushbutton to keep the magnetic locked locked.  As soon as the teacher lets go, the child is free.

As long as the button is momentary, I have no problem with this idea.  Should there be a fire or other life safety emergency, even if the teacher panics and runs away, leaving the child in the Time Out Room, the child will still be able to leave the room and exit the building.

The right way to prevent the kids in a daycare center from running out of the building and into the street without permission is with a delayed egress system.  True, it may be cumbersome to punch in a code on a keypad or present a proximity card for authorized egress, but delayed egress systems can be easily deactivated for periods of time, say, for drop off and pick up.  A delayed egress system is more expensive than, for example, an electromagnetic lock connected to the fire alarm system for safety.  But if you run the scenario of a fire in your mind, the fire alarm interface to the electromagnet malfunctions, panicked children and day care providers flinging themselves against an illegally locked door, too crazed with fear to think – suddenly a delayed egress system makes a lot more sense.

There is really only one place you can really lock someone in, and that’s in a jail or prison.  Otherwise there must be some provision to let them out – for safety’s sake.

 

Exit Devices with Electric Latch Retraction

Overview

Almost all exit device manufacturers offer the option of electric latch retraction on their touchbar-style exit devices.  Different manufactures may call it by other names such as ‘latch pull-back’ or ‘remote dogging’.  Some people refer a device with electric latch retraction as an ‘electrified exit device’, but that could also refer to electric unlocking of outside trim – a different animal altogether.  Electric latch retraction is accomplished by unsing a powerful solenoid or electric motor to actually retract the latch or latches of an exit device.

The advantages of electric latch retraction over other means of electrically unlocking exit device-equipped openings are:

  • Electric latch retraction is fail secure.  When power is supplied, the latches retract.  When power is shut off, the latches extend, securing the door.
  • Electric latch retraction works well with power operators because when the latches are retracted, the doors can swing free.
  • With electric latch retraction, pairs of doors continue to be latched top and bottom.

Cheaper alternatives, such as using an electromagnetic lock or an electric strike, would result in double doors that are only locked at the top.  If they happen to be aluminum narrow stile doors locked only at the top, a person could actually pull the bottom of the locked door open several inches with very little effort.  Such installations are at best sloppy, at worst not secure.

    Following are examples of electric latch retraction devices by different manufacturers.

    Adams Rite

    Division of Assa Abloy.

    http://www.adamsrite.com/

    Adams Rite makes hardware primarily for aluminum-and-glass storefront type doors, but also for standard hollow metal and wood doors. All of their exit devices are available with latch retraction.

    Their rim devices, the 3700, 8700 and 8800 series require no specific power supply. 12VDC models draw 1.5 amps, 24VDC models draw 600mA.

    All other devices draw an inrush current of 16 amps and require the Adams Rite PS-LR power supply. The PS-LR will power up to 2 Adams Rite exit devices with electric latch retraction.

    They make rim, concealed vertical rod, surface vertical rod, and mortise exit devices.

    They do not offer a retrofit kit for field conversion of existing devices to my knowledge.

    Doromatic

    Division of Ingersoll Rand.

    http://exits.doromatic.com/

    Doromatic makes exit devices primarily for aluminum storefront doors. All of their touchbar-style devices are available with electric latch retraction. Since purchased by Ingersoll Rand they use the Von Duprin type solendoid for latch retraction, and use the Von Duprin PS873-2 power supply to handle the 16-amp inrush current these solenoids draw.

    The PS914-2RS  will power up to 2 exit devices with electric latch retraction.

    Doromatic offers an electric latch retraction field retrofit kit for their 1490 series concealed vertical rod device and their 1590 series rim device. The EL1690 concealed vertical rod device and EL1790 rim device are in fact field retrofit kits to electrify the 1990 and 2090 series crash bar “pipe-type” exit devices for latch retraction.

    Precision

    Division of Stanley.

    http://www.precisionhardware.com/

    Precision makes exit devices for hollow metal, aluminum storefront, and wood doors, fire rated and non fire rated. All touchbar-style exit devices are available with electric latch retraction. ELR devices require an ELR150 series power supply. Use:

    • ELR151 for 1 ELR exit device
    • ELR152 for 2 exit devices
    • ELR153 for 3 exit devices
    • ELR154 for 4 exit devices

    Precision offers ELRK and NELRK series conversion kits to retrofit existing exit devices to electric latch retraction in the field.

    Sargent

    Division of Assa Abloy.

    http://www.sargentlock.com/

    Sargent offers a very wide variety of exit devices in various functions and configurations to accomodate diverse applications. All 80-series models are available with “Remote Dogging / Latch Retraction”. Sargent recommends the Securitron BPS-24-1 power supply, a simple 1-amp, 24VDC power supply, to power it electric latch retraction offerings.

    Sargent offers a retrofit kit to convert existing Sargent exit devices to electric latch retraction in the field.

    Von Duprin

    Division of Ingersoll Rand.

    http://www.vonduprin.com/

    Von Duprin offers electric latch retraction in rim, surface vertical rod, concealed vertical rod, mortise, and three-point exit devices for narrow stile aluminum storefront, standard hollow metal, and wood door applications. These would be the 33, 35, 98 and 99 series. Like the Doromatic exit devices discussed earlier, since they use almost exactly the same solenoid, Von Duprin electric latch retraction devices draw a 16-amp inrush current and therefore require the PS914-2RS to power 1 or 2 devices.

    Von Duprin offers retrofit kits to field convert existing exit devices to electric latch retraction.

    Global Considerations

    • Check door width. Electric latch retraction devices may not fit if the door is too narrow.
    • A means of getting current from the door frame into the device, such as a door cord or electric power transfer will be needed.
    • Voltage drop due to length of wire run could be an issue with high current inrush devices.

    If you have further questions, don’t hesitate to contact me at tomr@rubecom.us


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