A Question About New Jersey Maglock Laws In Regards To Fire Alarms?

Does anyone know what New Jerseys laws are as far as tying in a maglock door to a fire alarm?

I understand that there are two ways to do it.

1) The fire alarm signals the access control and that opens the door

2) Tha fire alarm cuts off power to the maglock itself (via relay).

Number two is legal everywhere, I am trying to find out if number one is legal in NJ. When looking at existing maglock installs that I have been asked to look over, I see most of them dont have any tie in to the fire alarm at all.

Thanks


NJ is an IBC 2009 state, but the NJAC 5:70 Uniform Fire Code may be worth checking.

A call to the NJ Division of Fire Safety is probably worth your effort: (609) 633-7129

Also, its worth clarifying that IBC mandates direct power interruption to the maglock. If the alarm gets pulled, power is physically dropped. Method number 1 is not legal under IBC2009.

Thank you.

I guess ultimately it is up to your local AHJ but depending on what type of hardware is on the door determines if you need to do it at all. The new NFPA and IBC codes address doors with hardware that directly interrupt power to the lock totally separate from a door unlocked with a sensor. If you have a panic bar that directly interrupts power you aren't required to have any fire alarm integration at all. In any other scenario you are required to have the door unlock upon a fire alarm and remain unlocked until it is reset but I can't find anything specifically describing which method in your above scenario is correct. We always use a power supply with a fire alarm interface so the power is interrupted directly without any input or decision making from a control panel. This scenario obviously makes the most sense.

So in reading the codes it seems as if either scenario as long as it removes power from the lock until the fire alarm is reset is acceptable. I will follow up though and present that question to somebody more qualifed to make that decision. We also see many many installs using maglocks with no tie in to the fire alarm in addition to not having a secondary means of egress.

From what you have seen in NJ, if there is a fire cut off, are you required to have a panic bar button as well? Thanks

Yes. They address different risks.

Fire alarm power interruption is as much about letting firemen in as it is letting people out.

But not every facility has a fire alarm. However, people still need to be able to emergency egress.

That is where the exit device/panic bar release is important.

Fire alarm power interruption is as much about letting firemen in as it is letting people out.

That makes sense, but in the case Carl described:

If you have a panic bar that directly interrupts power you aren't required to have any fire alarm integration at all.

how would the firemen get in?

Firemen prefer that you unlock the door for fire, or you have a Knox box with a key or card inside.

But that doesn't mean they won't kick your door down, take an ax to it, or otherwise gain entry in the event of fire. That glass door will last all of a minute if you don't unlock the door for them.

Agreed. They also prefer any Burg Blasters be disabled as well.

Devices like that, and there are a few versions around, are largely prohibited by code in Commercial applications.

Valid Point. I took that info from an Assa Abloy white paper summarizing the new codes and it makes sense for egress since you are breaking power with a simple panic bar but that raises a good question? Some people have security concerns about the building opening up when the fire alarm goes off too. Say I'm in a school and the school of course is locked down like most are now. If I wanted to override all of this I just pull the fire alarm. A Knox box is the next course of action or they just tear it down like Ethan said.

It really is not up to the AHJ. You must directly interrupt power to the lock. Have the fire alarm vendor install a relay from the fire system, and one leg of your lock power flows through that relay. Fire alarm is activated, door opens. Code requirement.

My first access job 30 years ago I asked the Fire Chief what he wanted to be able to get in. He looked at me, grabbed his ax off the truck and said "I have a master key to every building ever built. I will make a door". He told me to do whatever I wanted. But that was 30 years ago.

Double post for some reason.

I just got off the phone with my fire inspector in my town in NJ. He told me that all he looks at is if the door opens when the fire alarm triggers. He doesnt care what causes it to pop open as long as it does.

He doesnt care what causes it to pop open as long as it does.

Good news, it looks like the AHJ has tested and signed off on the electrical work!