By Robb Rittner

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International Building Code (IBC), 2009
Chapter 10: Means of Egress
Section 1008: Doors, Gates and Turnstiles

1008.1.4.4 Access-controlled egress doors.
The entrance doors in a means of egress in buildings with an occupancy in Group A, B, E, I-2, M, R-1 or R-2 and entrance doors to tenant spaces in occupancies in Groups A, B, E, I-2, M, R-1 and R-2 are permitted to be equipped with an approved entrance and egress access control system which shall be installed in accordance with all of the following criteria:

  1. A sensor shall be provided on the egress side arranged to detect an occupant approaching the doors. The doors shall be arranged to unlock by a signal from or loss of power to the sensor.
  2. Loss of power to that part of the access control system which locks the doors shall automatically unlock the doors.
  3. The doors shall be arranged to unlock from a manual unlocking device located 40 inches to 48 inches (1016 mm to 1219 mm) vertically above the floor and within 5 feet (1524 mm) of the secured doors. Ready access shall be provided to the manual unlocking device and the device shall be clearly identified by a sign that reads “PUSH TO EXIT.” When operated, the manual unlocking device shall result in direct interruption of power to the lock—independent of the access control sys- tem electronics—and the doors shall remain unlocked for a minimum of 30 seconds.
  4. Activation of the building fire alarm system, if provided, shall automatically unlock the doors, and the doors shall remain unlocked until the fire alarm system has been reset.
  5. Activation of the building automatic sprinkler or fire detection system, if provided, shall automatically unlock the doors. The doors shall remain unlocked until the fire alarm system has been reset.
  6. Entrance doors in buildings with an occupancy in Group A, B, E or M shall not be secured from the egress side during periods that the building is open to the general public.

1008.1.9.8 Electromagnetically locked egress doors.
Doors in the means of egress that are not otherwise required to have panic hardware in buildings with an occupancy in Group A, B, E, M, R-1 or R-2 and doors to tenant spaces in Group A, B, E, M, R-1 or R-2 shall be permitted to be electromagnetically locked if equipped with listed hardware that incorporates a built-in switch and meet the requirements below:

  1. The listed hardware that is affixed to the door leaf has an obvious method of operation that is readily operated under all lighting conditions.
  2. The listed hardware is capable of being operated with one hand.
  3. Operation of the listed hardware releases to the electromagnetic lock and unlocks the door immediately.

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