Subscriber Discussion

Securing A Warehouse Cage?

My customer has a walk in cage in a warehouse and they want to tie their EAC system in to restrict access. 

The only thing is that I don’t see how to secure the gate while keeping free egress. In my eyes everything can be easily defeated from outside the cage, example a REX PIR can be obstructed from outside the cage, triggering an unlock. Or a storeroom function handle/panic bar could be manipulated through the cage.

Do you have any suggestions on how I can keep the gate secure against outside tampering and still be compliant with egress rules? This is the basic style of cage I'm working with:

At my last gig, the cage came with a strike installed from the factory. We didn't use a RTE, just ignored forced door alarms and used the mechanical means. In order to release it, though, there is only a thumbturn. Probably not really compliant for egress. What I've seen in other places is a paddle release or something similar, and metal plates in front of it in the cage door to prevent people from tampering. Ideally you could build RTE into the paddle, too, but that might be a stretch.

"In order to release it, though, there is only a thumbturn."

I think this is what you're talking about, on the Left:

On the Right is an example of a 'protected' lever handle custom made for gate openings. The handle mounts into a oversized latch plate so people cannot 'go fishing' with wire or rope and easily swing the handle. Is it possible to break in? sure. Does it take forever? That's exactly the point.

If it is possible with the AHJ, I'd use a maglock, looped into the fire alarm, and with a push button RTE rather than PIR.

Then I'd mount the button inside an open-faced enclosure or with an escutcheon plate that prevents some dude with a wire hanger from triggering the release from the outside.

The reason we didn't use a push button RTE was because techs often had to exit with their hands full. We actually considered using a pressure mat on the floor, but the warehouse manager often stood there, too.

The only one of these I have ever done was much larger for pharmaceutical storage and had a sliding door that came from the factory with a magnetic lock. We put a card reader on the outside, a REX/RTE pushbutton on the inside that could not be reached from the outside along with an emergency override button (to kill the power to the lock) with a STI stopper cover.

The picture of the unit you provided appears to have a panic crash bar (with exposed vertical rods?), perhaps that hardware has an electrical solenoid actuation kit that can be installed to unlock the door. If it is a RIM exit crash bar, perhaps a surface mount RIM electric strike might work. It looks like this crash bar could be easily defeated from the outside by putting a short pry bar through the door's grate material and pulling in the bar. You may wish to consider using grating with smaller openings on the door, like expanded metal instead of welded wire.

If you have any better pictures of the gate's door hardware please post them, that will help with determining a solution.

Securitron, a division of Assa Abloy, has an electric gate lock, GL-1, with two mounting kit options for either swing or slider gates. It interfaces with your access control.

Typically, they are welded in place to prevent tampering with the mounting hardware. For egress, Securitron also makes a large button with 30 second timer, out of reach from the outside, or use a carefully aimed PIR.

Hello Ted:

Thanks for the response. Which PIR would you recommend for this situation?

I am familiar with the Securitron XMS. Some AHJ's also require a timer release button that directly cuts lock power to ensure a fail safe functionality.

Thanks Ted. That PIR indeed includes beam aiming adjustments, definitely a 'nice to have' feature for these devices.

The XMS actually was my favorite PIR because of that. You could mount it a ton of different ways, and aim the beam accordingly. It was about $20-30 more expensive than the others we used, though, if I remember correctly.

we used strike with latch guards. in addition, we create a local siren if the door is ever opened without a valid card read(read in/read out). create email/text alerts in addition through the access sytem, and link video, if the customer really wants to get serious.