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Gym Door Question

JoeH

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Mar 19, 2021
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5
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NH
We are wanting to put access control on a Gym we are building and are being told that it would violate fire code. Could someone please help understand what is wrong with our desired setup? We were told that we can't use magnetic locks for this purpose but there really isn't another way to do it with this door style.

The doors to the gym are glass and lock using magnetic shear locks. We would like to have them unlock with our access control system. On the inside it would have an emergency release button on the wall next to the door. They would also auto unlock in the event of a fire or other evacuation cause.

016-FCB5-D-4-B67-4121-9797-031-E212-D76-DE.jpg


If you agree that this is a violation of fire code, would you have any suggestions on what we could do to make this work?
 

LGreene

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San Miguel de Allende, Mexico
As long as the doors aren't serving an assembly area that requires panic hardware, I don't know of a reason that you can't add electromagnetic locks with the proper release methods. One option isn't really feasible because of the door type, so you will need to meet the requirements of the code section for sensor-release locks. You need a sensor above the door to unlock the lock, along with the push button, fire alarm release, and unlock on power failure. There may be other requirements in the state or local codes that I don't know about. The model code requirements for mag-locks are described in this video: https://idighardware.com/2018/02/code-requirements-for-electromagnetic-locks-video/.

I would not recommend using shear locks if the doors will be kept locked while the gym is in use. Shear locks are loud, and difficult to keep properly aligned. There is a video here: https://idighardware.com/2009/10/shear-locks-in-action/. I would use direct-hold mag-locks if possible.
 
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cda

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Well
You appear to be an "A" Occupancy

Appears you have a high occupancy load,, maybe over 1000???
Unless you have other businesses attached to you.

So even with 1000 or less the main doors have to have FREE Access to get out at all times. no push button or similar.
 

LGreene

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Oct 20, 2009
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1,126
Location
San Miguel de Allende, Mexico
Well
You appear to be an "A" Occupancy

Appears you have a high occupancy load,, maybe over 1000???
Unless you have other businesses attached to you.

So even with 1000 or less the main doors have to have FREE Access to get out at all times. no push button or similar.
Hi Charles -

How did you figure out the occupancy type and occupant load? Did I miss something?
 

cda

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Hi Charles -

How did you figure out the occupancy type and occupant load? Did I miss something?


Wild guess

Gym

Appears to have a voice evac system, which normally is over 1000, unless the gym, has other businesses or high rise, that would require voice evac.
 

JoeH

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Mar 19, 2021
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5
Location
NH
What qualifies as an assembly area? I suppose people will assemble in a gym but I can't imagine there being more than 10 people in there at a time.
We are a manufacturing facility with less than 500 employees. We aren't open to the general public.
I have been warned by several industry pros that shear locks are loud and are going to be a problem. They are already built into the expensive door system they installed so I'm kind of stuck with them. If we knew they were going to cause this much trouble for us we would have done something else.

I do have a second door with a similar situation that is in the egress path for a medium sized cafeteria. Same style doors.
 

cda

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What qualifies as an assembly area? I suppose people will assemble in a gym but I can't imagine there being more than 10 people in there at a time.
We are a manufacturing facility with less than 500 employees. We aren't open to the general public.
I have been warned by several industry pros that shear locks are loud and are going to be a problem. They are already built into the expensive door system they installed so I'm kind of stuck with them. If we knew they were going to cause this much trouble for us we would have done something else.

I do have a second door with a similar situation that is in the egress path for a medium sized cafeteria. Same style doors.


Sorry assumed. Large commercial gym.

So the doors shown, that swing inward, where do they lead to??? Back into the building, and other offices or uses, or just to the gym area??

How many square feet is the actual gym room???

Without a floor plan hard to give a better answer, but sounds like you might be in better shape, to do what you want to do.

Have you contacted a company to evaluate, your facility, and the doors?????
 

JoeH

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5
Location
NH
It's a good sized gym but not commercial. Employees only.

The doors in that photo lead into the gym itself. The photo was taken while standing in the hallway that leads to the stairwell out (its on the second floor).

Our access control company is the one telling us that we can't use those mag locks on those doors because its a gym. Everything I've been reading about mag locks says that as long as you have a sensor to unlock the door and an emergency release button then it would be acceptable. I just wanted to confirm that I'm reading it correctly before I go back to them.

The gym itself is 1800 sq ft.

Unfortunately I can't supply you with a floor plan.
 

cda

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It's a good sized gym but not commercial. Employees only.

The doors in that photo lead into the gym itself. The photo was taken while standing in the hallway that leads to the stairwell out (its on the second floor).

Our access control company is the one telling us that we can't use those mag locks on those doors because its a gym. Everything I've been reading about mag locks says that as long as you have a sensor to unlock the door and an emergency release button then it would be acceptable. I just wanted to confirm that I'm reading it correctly before I go back to them.

The gym itself is 1800 sq ft.

Unfortunately I can't supply you with a floor plan.


Sorry the questions,,

Gym as in exercise room?? And not say basketball court??

If so and the room is 1800,,, you divide 1800 / 50= 30 occupant load..

So the gym is not an assembly occupancy.

I still have a problem with what other areas those doors serve,

If it is gym only, I think no problem.

Under international building code there are several ways to secure doors,,, and there are some variables involved.
 

JoeH

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Mar 19, 2021
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5
Location
NH
Yeah, it's pretty big, lots of equipment in it. Exercise equipment only, no other use.
I don't have access to the actual floor plans but this is an MS paint version I made from memory (not to scale). The gym doors are circled in red. It is the only entrance and exit to the gym. We want to put a card reader on the hall side of the door and a motion sensor with an emergency release on the gym side.

The door circled in green is the egress path for the cafeteria I mentioned. The idea is that the doors would be open during the day then closed and locked at night. People are allowed to use the gym after hours but not the cafeteria. I fully expect the Cafeteria to be considered an area of assembly, it is quite a bit bigger and pre-covid had seating for a 150ish people. We would like to put a card reader on the hall side and a motion with emergency release on the cafeteria side. Not sure if this would be allowed given its size. I don't have the sq ft of it but I'd guess double the size of the gym.

I will take a look at that code reference guide, thanks.

e hilton: I don't think that is the case. I've asked for their suggestions and they suggested replacing the brand new doors. Over all I trust the company has our best interest in mind, I just think there is some confusion on how they are interpreting the code.

floor-plan.png
 

cda

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If the gym is 1800, I think that door is doable.

The cafeteria sounds like a place of Assembly, so no.

Have you tried to talk to the building Dept and fire Dept???

They may want a permit prior to any work along with their own code requirements
 

cda

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Appears you may be under

2015 IBC. Building code

And
NFPA 1 fire code

You can confirm that with your city
 

LGreene

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Oct 20, 2009
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1,126
Location
San Miguel de Allende, Mexico
The swing of the doors (into the gym) and the fact that there is only one exit for the gym tells me that the occupant load is less than 50 people (or someone made a mistake). I don't know of a reason why you can't use a mag-lock on the gym doors. The cafeteria would be an assembly occupancy and it looks like the occupant load would be well over 50 people which is when the IBC requires panic hardware. The model codes would still allow the mag-locks if all of the other criteria were met, but the doors would also have to have panic hardware.
 
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JoeH

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Mar 19, 2021
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5
Location
NH
The doors actually swing both directions, in and out. I've also been warned that it's probably is going to cause issues with the shear locks. Just trying to work with what I was given.

I've sent off the info you all helped me gather to our integrator. Thanks for the help.
 

LGreene

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Oct 20, 2009
Messages
1,126
Location
San Miguel de Allende, Mexico
The doors actually swing both directions, in and out. I've also been warned that it's probably is going to cause issues with the shear locks. Just trying to work with what I was given.

I've sent off the info you all helped me gather to our integrator. Thanks for the help.

Yes, I can guarantee that you will have problems with shear locks on double-acting doors. Security will be affected by the alignment difficulties. I know you're trying to work with what you have, but the doors could be changed to single-acting with direct-hold mag-locks if you can't keep the shear locks working. The frame head condition might be a little challenging but it could be done.
 

ADAguy

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Sep 11, 2013
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Location
California
What qualifies as an assembly area? I suppose people will assemble in a gym but I can't imagine there being more than 10 people in there at a time.
We are a manufacturing facility with less than 500 employees. We aren't open to the general public.
I have been warned by several industry pros that shear locks are loud and are going to be a problem. They are already built into the expensive door system they installed so I'm kind of stuck with them. If we knew they were going to cause this much trouble for us we would have done something else.

I do have a second door with a similar situation that is in the egress path for a medium sized cafeteria. Same style doors.
How did you get through plan check?
 
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