Are Your Locks Creating a Safety Hazard?
There are times when a balance must be struck between security and safety, though with the proper door hardware both safety and security may be achieved. Building and fire safety codes tend to err on the side of safety but, again, the right hardware can achieve both. There are codes that apply to both residential and commercial buildings.
In a commercial setting or multi-unit residential buildings, exit hardware is designed to provide both security against unauthorized entry while maintaining safety by providing a ready means of egress in case of emergency. Fire exits must always be kept clear and, generally, allow an occupant to exit without the use of a key or any special knowledge. In some cases, main entrance doors may incorporate a deadbolt that may be used at certain times. Click here for more detailed information.
Safety is an equal concern in residential settings and the problems usually center around the use of double-cylinder deadbolts, which require the use of a key to lock or unlock from both the inside and outside of the door. In many cases, double-cylinder deadbolts are not even allowed by code (click here). Rarely do we recommend their use even when they are allowed.
We have had the occasional request to install a double-cylinder deadbolt on a bedroom or entry door to a home where someone was caring for a relative with Alzheimer's or dementia. Save your time and ours - we won't do it. There are better, safer ways to care for such people with alarms and gps-tracking. Don't ask us to turn a home into a prison.