Locked Suite Doors
by Brad Keyes, CHSP, on Aug 5, 2020 1:00:45 AM
Q: In a business office section of the hospital, there are two means of access to the front and rear of the suite. The suite is less than 900 square feet. The manager wants to secure both doors with office locksets. The front door is entered from a public hallway, and the rear door from an adjoining suite that does not "depend" on moving through this office suite for emergency exit. Can you think of any prohibition against securing both doors (lockable from the inside suite and equipped with bypass lever)?
A: You didn’t mention what the occupancy classification is of this area. Is it healthcare occupancy? Is it business occupancy? I will presume it is healthcare occupancy. You can always lock doors into a room or suite, but you cannot lock doors out of a room or suite. Doors are not permitted to be locked in the path of egress, unless they meet the exceptions in 18.104.22.168.4, which are:
- Clinical needs locks
- Specialized protective measure locks
- Delayed egress locks
- Access-control locks
- Elevator lobby locks
Based on what you described, you do not qualify for clinical needs locks, specialized protective measure locks, and elevator lobby locks. That leaves delayed egress locks or access-control locks. Delayed egress locks are only permitted in fully sprinklered or fully smoke detected buildings and would not seem to be an appropriate lock for a business office environment. That leaves access-control locks.
Take a look at section 22.214.171.124.2 of the 2012 LSC for details on the installation of access-control locks. The type of lock you are describing (a bypass lever) does not appear to be permitted since section 126.96.36.199.10.6 does not allow two releases devices to operate the door.