What is the purpose of an Access Control system?
The purpose of an Access Control System is to restrict who, when, where and how someone enters or exits a room, building or other controlled area. A standard door knob lock is certainly one kind of access control, but a door knob does not provide the when, where and how. Access control can be as simple as a coded keypad that releases an electric strike, to a system of card and biometric readers operating from networked computer database.
What about City of Houston codes regarding access control?
The City of Houston requires that all electronic egress control (magnetic locking) devices are permitted, inspected, approved, and a permit sticker applied by the City Building Department, Planning and Development, Code Enforcement section prior to being allowed into service. That is, any electronic lock installed on any door in any commercial building must be installed in accordance with the policy provided by City. The policy is very specific relating to the integration of the door locking hardware or security equipment with the fire alarm system and general traffic flow through exit routes. Devices found without approved Field Test Permits and stickers are regarded by the Fire Marshal as an illegal exit and ordered to be immediately disconnected and disabled, until approval is obtained from the Building Department. Fines can range from $500-$2000 per violation.
Click here for the IBC 2003 code with Houston Amendments.
Advanced Security & Communications is thoroughly experienced with the Houston IBC Code and knows and understands city and state codes regarding building access and egress.
How do I make sure that my electronic locks are compliant?
Contract Advanced Security & Comminications to do this for you. We can assess and modify the floor plans of your facility showing the required life safety devices in your building and submit them to the City of Houston Code Enforcement Department for approval. After we get the plans approved, we can schedule an inspection with the City so that the City Inspector confirms that all the electronic door locks release upon activation of the fire alarm system.
Is there a quick way to tell if a doorway which has a cardreader and magnetic door lock has been inspected?
Yes. The City Inspector installs a conspicuous sticker inside the door frame with the City emblem and a number on it which signifies that the door has passed the inspection.