Understanding door hardware options and opportunities is the first step in turning threats and weaknesses into strengths. Entry doors with window mesh might be in bad condition, with broken closers, loose hinges, doors that sag or are sticking, latches that do not align properly with the strike, and wide gaps between the door and frame that pry open easily. Other access points might use old technology.
Poorly maintained hardware offers the easiest path for unauthorized entry. Old technology is next and soon might become a weakness. Vendors know the best options for meeting ASTM/BHMA standards for the manufacture and testing commercial grade hardware. ANSI Grade 1 hardware is specifically designed for high-traffic areas because it can withstand the highest number of life cycles and is much harder for an active shooter to break through.
Upgrades that deliver greater safety and security include replacing Grade 2 and 3 components with Grade 1 hardware. A further upgrade involves integrating the latest generation of commercial electronic UPVC door locksets, closers, hinge hardware and alarms with a central control system.
Managers need to pay special attention to levels of access to facilities. Authorized personnel need access and, in emergency situations, rapid and safe egress, while unauthorized personnel have to be kept out. Firefighters and other emergency personnel need ease of entry to locate and evacuate people rapidly.
Increasingly, managers are installing card and PIN UPVC door lock systems, and they are rearranging traffic flows to channel visitor traffic at elevator lobbies toward properly staffed, secure reception areas. Only authorized personnel should be able to enter the main building through locked lobby doors.
Among the most common door hardware components upgraded for improved security are the following:
Standard and custom door closers include surface-mounted and hidden, heavy-duty closers for high-cycle or windy and drafty conditions, as well as ADA-compliant maximum-force-to-operate closers. A closer’s open cycle compresses the spring and positions the fluid through the open valve for closing. The delay valve allows slower-moving traffic to pass. The closing valve slows closing speed to within 6 inches of the stop. The latching valve accelerates closing for the last 6 inches. Closers need regular adjustment to keep the cycles operating as designed.
Hinges. (UPVC door window hinges)
By removing the hinge pins, an attacker can gain access to a facility through a hinged door with window hinge, even when it is locked. Removing a screw and inserting a special pin prevents an attacker from removing the door from its frame, even if door hinge pins are removed.