In response to tragic events that have impacted our nation, as well as customer requests, National Security and Door has embraced the task of developing solutions that would address the need for an enhanced security door opening. Focus was directed toward aluminum storefront, and hollow metal door & frame applications. These are the primary types of openings found on exterior applications in commercial construction projects.
Components that were considered to be essential in consideration of security door openings were to include items such as:
Fully Serviceable Chain Resistant Interior Locking Hardware and Exterior Trim
Use of Architectural Grade Locking Hardware in lieu of storefront locking hardware
Use of Heavy Duty Manual Door Closers and Low Energy Handicap Operators
Use of Full Mortise Continuous Hinges in lieu of butt hinges and pivots
Security Glazing in Vision Lights and Accessible Side Lights
Concealed Wire Transfer Methods on Electrified Hardware Openings
Standard Duty Hollow Metal Openings constructed with 16 gauge frames and 18 gauge doors
Heavy Duty Hollow Metal Opening constructed with 14 gauge frames and 16 gauge doors
Wide stiles with cross rail construction for Aluminum Openings
Openings should, by design, maintain the Free Egress and Life Safety code requirements found in publications such as the International Building Codes, National Fire Protection 101 Guidelines, International Fire Code, National Association of State Fire Marshalls and The National Clearinghouse for Education Facilities.
We have successfully created an enhanced security door opening by designing our own fully serviceable stainless steel chain resistant pull “CR4500 Series” , and putting together elements from industry sources to create a “Security Opening Assembly” that can meet all of the previously discussed criteria needed in an enhanced security door opening. These “Security Opening Assemblies” can be tailored to meet each project’s requirements and create a much more secure and safe environment. The “Security Opening Assembly” should be considered for use in exterior, interior vestibules, conference rooms, auditoriums, gymnasiums, cafeterias or any opening leading from a place of assemblage, or an opening leading to a place of safe haven. Single doors may be considered as well based on building design and aesthetics. These solutions can be incorporated into new construction projects, as well as applied to a renovation, or security upgrade project.
There have been rumblings of code revisions within the door and hardware industry to make the “chain resistant” design a mandatory requirement at some point in the future. Common sense considerations would lead one to think this is just a natural change that should be adopted in today’s culture.
When considering cost the use of our chain resistant flush pull actually cost less and is considerably more durable than the common place exterior trims used on architectural grade exit devices today. This saves money up front, and over time by reduced service call costs from exterior trim failure.
Another cost aspect to security openings versus traditional openings is one of liability. Even if not embracing every available feature of the enhanced security opening, some features seem to be a must have to avoid the liability of ignoring the need for today’s security. At a minimum, the added value of “chain resistant”, with an upfront cost savings seems to be a common sense decision. It is understood that once an opening is considered a candidate for security consideration as compared to a traditional opening design, the all-inclusive features would cost more, but there is much greater gain in value when all aspects are considered.
After much consideration, research, and investment; National Security and Door has landed on the side of common sense and caution. We take our responsibly to offer security solutions, and value in those solutions with sincere concern. There is a certain liability that may accompany that responsibility for National Security and Door and our customers, as we all make informed decisions as to how to secure an opening.
Often times this is a process, and not an event. New construction is an event, and certainly consideration should be given to how will each opening function. Much like building fire safety has evolved, security and egress codes will incorporate the common sense “chain resistant” applications in the future. When repairing and renovating properties, a smart “buy forward” strategy should be considered. You may not fix every opening at one time, but the conversion to a strategy focused on secure and safe openings has to start somewhere.
For these reasons we have chosen to make it a conscious policy to always offer the “Security Opening Assembly” concept as a first choice, with anything less being the exception. In most, if not all cases, deviating from the “Security Opening Assembly” concept, we will ask for a “Chain Resistant Opening Liability Waiver” as this is methodically becoming an industry standard we cannot ignore.