Glass Doors and Access Control Tutorial

Author: Brian Rhodes, Published on Feb 22, 2017

The biggest challenge for many access control systems are glass doors.

Unlike wood or steel doors that can be modified to work with electrified locking hardware, glass doors present great challenges. Is all hope lost when requirements call for controlling glass doors? We explain the options and tradeoffs inside.

[IPVM Note: This report was originally published in 2013, but substantially expanded and updated in 2017.]

Problem Defined

Retrofitting electrified locks to 'regular' doors requires drilling or cutting door, frames, and sometimes both. Take maglocks for example: the two major pieces of a maglock must be mounted to both door frame and door in order to secure the opening. In most cases, mounting instructions call for drilling a few holes, slipping in a few sex bolts, and not looking back.

However, doors made of glass are a completely different situation. Glass, even thick tempered glass used in doors, cannot be drilled or cut once manufactured. Despite being very durable to blunt forces, a sharp hard drill bit, or even a slight warping of the pane can cause a dramatic, expensive shatter.

The solution is not any easier using strikes, because in many cases glass doors are 'architecturally significant' features that are not cluttered up with standard locking hardware. In many situations, standard hardware like hinges, exit devices, and leversets are replaced with low-profile, custom pieces designed to maximize beauty. The latch bolt a strike depends on to keep a door locked might not even be included!

So, how do you control a door that cannot be modified, may not have rails/frames for mounting locks, and likely uses non-standard hardware anyway?

*** ******* ********* *** **** ****** ******* ******* *** ***** doors.

****** **** ** ***** ***** **** *** ** ******** ** work **** *********** ******* ********, ***** ***** ******* ***** **********. Is *** **** **** **** ************ **** *** *********** ***** doors? ** ******* *** ******* *** ********* ******.

[**** ****: **** ****** *** ********** ********* ** ****, *** substantially ******** *** ******* ** ****.]

Problem *******

************ *********** ***** ** '*******' ***** ******** ******** ** ******* door, ******, *** ********* ****. **** ******** *** *******: *** two ***** ****** ** * ******* **** ** ******* ** both **** ***** *** **** ** ***** ** ****** *** opening. ** **** *****, ******** ************ **** *** ******** * few *****, ******** ** * ****** *****, *** *** ******* ****.

*******, ***** **** ** ***** *** * ********** ********* *********. Glass, **** ***** ******** ***** **** ** *****, ****** ** drilled ** *** **** ************. ******* ***** **** ******* ** blunt ******, * ***** **** ***** ***, ** **** * slight ******* ** *** **** *** ***** * ********, ********* shatter.

*** ******** ** *** *** ****** ***** *******, ******* ** many ***** ***** ***** *** '*************** ***********' ******** **** *** not ********* ** **** ******** ******* ********. ** **** **********, standard ******** **** ******, **** *******, *** ********* *** ******** with ***-*******, ****** ****** ******** ** ******** ******. *** ***** bolt * ****** ******* ** ** **** * **** ****** might *** **** ** ********!

**, *** ** *** ******* * **** **** ****** ** modified, *** *** **** *****/****** *** ******** *****, *** ****** uses ***-******** ******** ******?

[***************]

Best ******: **** *****

*** ***** ********* *** '**** *******' *********** ********* *** ***** doors ******* *** **** ** ** *********** **** *******, *****, or ********** ** ****.

***** ***** ******* ** *** ******** *** **** *** ********** the **** ****** ** *** **** **** ******* ******** ** mind, ******** *** ********** ****** ******** **** **** ************* ** the ********* ******.

*******, ********** ****** ******* ************** *** *********** *** *** ***** included ***** ****** ** *** ****** ******* ** ****** **** design.

** * ******, *** '*******' ** ************ ******** ** * common *****. ** *** ******** **** ******, ** ******* *** do ********* ***** ******** ****** ** ****.

Two ***** ** ***** ********

****** ********* ********* *** *** ********* ***** ** ***** ********. The ****** ******* ******* *** **** ****** ***** ** ***** type ** ****:

Thin ******

** **** ****** *********** *** ********** *********, '***** *****' *** at ***** ********* ****** *** ******* ** ***** ********.

***** ******** *** ***** *** ******* ****** ******** **** *******, maglocks, ** ***** ********** ** **** ** '*** *******' ** 'glass **** ***' ******** *** ****.

Frameless *****

*** ***** ****, **** ********* ** **** ****, *** '*********' or '**** *******' ***** ********, **** ********** ****** '*********' *** to * ****** *****. ***** ***** **** ** ******* *****, and ***** ** ***** ** *********** ******** **** ****** *********:

**** ***** ** ***** **** ** *************** *********** ** ********** openings, *** *** ***** **** ********* ** **** ***** **** can ** ********* ******* ******* *************.

********, **** ** ******* ******** ** ***** *****, ********** ** cabling *** ********** ******** *** ** ******* *********, ***** ***** is ** ******* ** ******** ** '****' ********** ******.

Retrofit **** *******

******* ********* ** ****** ******* ******* *** ********* ** *** an ****** ** ***** ** ***** *****. *** ***** ****** types ** ******* ******* *** **** ** ********* ***** *******:

  • *******
  • *******
  • ********
  • ********* *****
  • ********** *****

*******

** **** *****, * **** ******* ** **** ******* ****** can ** **** ** ******* * ***** ****. *******, ** no **** ***** ******, ** ** * ********* ******* ** used, ******* *** ** * ******* *** **** *** ** mounting ****, *** **** ******* ** **** ****** **** ******* power/data **** ** * **** **********.

*** ***** ************, * ******** (******* *******) ****** ** ** option. ******** **** ******** **** *** ***** ********* ** **** the **** ** ***** ******* *** ******:

*** ********** *-***, ******** ********** ****** ******* **** ******, ** *** ******. *******, ******* ***********, ******* ********** ****** support, *** ******** ******** *******/***** **** **** *** ** * big *********** *******.

*******, ** ***** ** **** ******** *******, ****** ******* *** uncommon, *** *** ********** **** **** * *******-***** ********* ****** that ** ********** **** **** ****** ******* ** *** ******.

*******

** *********** *****, ******** ******* *** *** ********* ********* ** most **** ***** ********* *****. ** ******, *** ****** ****** is ** ******** **** ** * ***** *** ** *** must ** ******* *** ** ************** ********* ******* ** ** fitted.

*** **** ******, **** ******* *** **** ** ******* ***** doors, **** *** ****** ******* *** ************* **** * **** adjacent **** ***** *** **** **** *****, ** *** ** all.

********

************ ******** ** ********* ***** ***** *** ** ** ******, but **** **** *** **** **** * *** ****.******* ****************** ******* *********** ****** **** **** *** *** **** ** *** **** for ** ******** ** *****:

*** ******* ** **** ******** ** **** ** ******** ** epoxy ****** ** *** **** ** ********, *** *** ****** assembly ** ****** ****** *** ****** **** *** **** ** shut *** ******* ** *********. ** **** *****, *** ******* is **** ** ***** **** * *********** **** ******** ** set ******, *** ** *** **** ** ** ***** ** pried *****.

Door ****** ********

*******, ***** *** ****/******** ************ *** ** ****** ** **** glass *****, *** ******** ***** ******** *** **** ** ******* in ** ******* ********* * *** ***** ** ****** *** magnet:

***** **** *********** *** ** ********* ** **** ***** ********, it ********* ** *** ** **** ****** ******** ** **** with * *********** ************* ********** *****, ***** ** **** ******** entries ** *******.

Dangerous ******** *** ********

**** ******** *** *** ****** *********** ******** *** ***** ******* headers. *******, ***** ******** *** ********* *** ******** *** *** because ** *** ******* **** *******:

** *** *** ******* ** ******* ***** ***** ***** *** be ** * **** ********* ** ****** ******** ********* ** they **** **** *****. ******** **** *** ********* ******** *** cause *** ******* ** **** * **** ******, ** ********* prevent ****** *** **** ****** ** ********* ****** ***.

**************

**** ******* ******* *** ******** *** ** ****, * ********* lock ** ***** *** **** ******. ********** ******** ************* ****** the****************-**** ******** *******. **** *** ******* * ******* *** ******, but *** ***** ***** ** ** ******/******** ** ******** **** controllers:

**** ******** ******* * '******** *********' **** **** ****** ** stationary *** *** *** ****** **** *****. **** ********, *** motion ** *** **** ***** *** ****** ***, *** **** door ** ****** *** '****' ******* **** **** *** *** which ******* ** '******' ********.

***** *** ******* ** *** ******** *** *** ****, *** mounting ******** ******. *** **** ** ***** ******** **** ***** slabs, ***** *** **** **** ** ******* **** * **** rail ** ************ *****.

**** ***** **** ***** *** *** **** ** ******:

**** ******** *** '**** ****' *******, ******* ***** ********** ********, and *** ********* ** *** ** *** ** *****.

*******

******** ******* *** *** **** ** **** ********* **** *** 3360, *** ******** ********** ***** *** ******** ** *******:

  • *** ****:~$*********, *** ******** ********* *** ******** ** **** ***** *** install.
  • *** ****:~$*********, *** *** ******* ********** **** **** ** ******** ********.

**** ******* *** '***-******' *** *** ** ******** ** *** field ********* ** **** *****. * *********** ********* ********** ** the ****** ** ******* ***** ****** **** **** ** *** inside ** ******* ** ********* ********* ** ******* ******. **** conduit ***** ******* *** '*****' ********* ********** ** *** **** or ******* ********** ********* ****** *** ******** **** ** *** 3371.

*** ************ ********** ****** ******* ** ******* **** ************* ***** power ********, *** **** *** ********* ******** **** **** **** controllers. **** *********** **** ** ********** $** - $** ** cost *** ******.

Unnetworked, ********** *****

******* ********* **** ********* * ******** ******, **** ******, *** ********** ******** **** mounts ** * **** ******* ********. *******, *** **** **** and ********-****** ******** **** **** ******* **** *** **** *** strike ***** ** *** ***** ****.

*** ******* ******* ********** **** **** ****** **** ** ****** credentials *****, *** ** *** *********** ** ******** ****** ******* and ** ******** ******* *** **********.

******* ******* ** *** ******* ** **** ** *** ** mounted ** ****** ****** ** ****** ********* ***** ******** **** a ******* ********* ** */*" ** **.* **.

*******

*** ***** **** ********** **** ** ********* **** ****** ******* for ~$***, *** ** ******* ********** **** ********* **** ******* or ** ******.

Other *********

******* ***** *******, ** ** ******** ** ***** '***********' ******** to ***** ***** ***** ****-******** ********* *** ******* ******** ******. While ***** ******** **** ****** ******** *** ***** *** **** the **** ** **** ******, ***** ******** ********* ***** **** risks:

  • **** *****: ****** ******** * ******* ** ** * **** *** seem ****, *** ********** ** ******** **** **** ***** '****-***'. Maglock ********* **** ** ** ********* ** **** *** **** and ***** **** *******, *** ****** ***** ** ****, ***** doors **** ** *********** ** ***. ****** *** ********* *********** where *** ******** ***** ** ****, *** ******* *** ***** the ****. (*** ***** **** ***** ** *******)
  • ******* *********: *** **** ** ***** ** ********* **** *** **** bond ** *****, ******* *** ****** ** *** ********, *** withstand ******* ****** ***** ** *** ****** ** *** ******* are **** ****** *** *********. ********** *** ** **** ** initially ***** ******** *********** **********-**** ***** ********, *** **** **** **** **** **** **** ******* ** is *** ***** *** ******* ***. ******** ******** ****, **** Securitron's***** **** ******** ***(~$*********) **** ** **** *******.
  • ****** ****:**** * **** *****, ** ******* ** ** ********* ******** flaw *** ** **** ********* ** ****** **** **** *** hardware. *** ********* **** ****** ****** ** ******* ** ****** off. **** * ***** **** *****, ** ***** ******* ** replacement ** *** **** *** ******* ********.
  • *********: ******* ** *** ***** ****** *** ********* ******** *****, the ******* **** ** ***** ******** *** ********* ** ******** with ******** ** *****. ***** *** ********* *** ********* **** resistant ** ******* ***** **** ***, ****, *********** ******* ******** adhesives, ***** ******** ** ********** ** ********* *** ********** ** physically ******** *******.

[****: **** ******** *** ********** ******* ** **** *** *** substantially ******* ** ****.]

Comments (12)

Another option not discussed is the sheer lock maglock version. Typically you will have a metal cover (glued vs bolted) at the top of the glass vs full open glass and should be part of an original design and not easy to retrofit.

Hi

A very good option. Shear Maglocks work and well. On swinging doors, they require that the doors resting/settling position be perfect. Any variations and the maglocks doesn't lock. Have this happening to us a number of time. The door contractor will insist on the setting only to have it drift with time ... and maglock not locking :(

We will investigate the RCI 3360 solution could be a life savior.

Thanks IPVM

Your door contractor is not wrong. Adjusting door leaves/closers to the correct position for shear maglocks to work correctly is a continual maintenance item. This is a big drawback, like you note. (We note this in our Maglock Selection Guide)

Thanks for the comment!

Any new glass doors we get have top (and sometimes bottom) metal frames for security and stability.

For new doors, we can order with the locking mechanism built in.

And, we try to stay away from mag locks.

Quite recently there's been a break in, in a museum here in Holland. They managed to break in trough a glass door and steal a monstrance (religious item).

They simply smashed in the glass door with a slegdehammer and later on the casing in which it was held as well.

See the video here (at 00:30)

Glad to revive this thread since our problem is ongoing with 4 set of doors., 8 floors each with a swinging doors in a particular building .. Buidling consdtruction seems to play a big role in this since same door hardware combination ( Door closers, Glass panes, etc) are the exact same at another location where eeverything works and has been for the past 5 years , meanwhile the pesky building keeps on having maglocks (same ) not locking, numerous back and forth from us and door conatracotr to so far no avail... We likely will have to eat this and replace the locks. What would be the best solution in your opinion?

  • Deadbolt?
  • The RCI Solution? Their 3360 mentioned above? There is also a similar solution from a French (?) Company www.sewosy.com.
  • Deadbolt?

We would appreciate any suggestion on this...

Brian;

Take a look at the Blumcraft (a division of C R Laurence) hardware for glass doors. I've mentioned this before in another thread, but it has been a great solution for us on this type of installation and we've had good acceptance from design teams.

The trick is to be early.

The hardware uses a header-mounted electric strike, and the architectural hardware on the glass door incorporates a bolt into the strike that retracts mechanically on exit. The handle appears to be fixed, but actually moves/pivots to disengage the bolt from the strike.

Greg

The Blumcraft looks nice a nice piece of hardware but it also gets bolted through the glass so it can't be retrofit onto an existing door? That makes it useless for about 99% of our opportunities.

Correct; as I mentioned, the trick is to be early on this.

Greg

This is probably for another discussion - but there probably needs to be some mention of laws regarding the use of maglocks (or similar locking devices) in the egress path in case folks decide to use maglocks on these types of doors.

Hey IPVM Team, would be very helpful to see some additional updates in the Glass Door Retrofit Area as it relates to door Lock options, etc. You guys already have a lot of helpful info on the topic in various articles, however, it’s seems, at least for me, that with the Growth of Access Control, these glass door (All Glass/Frameless) are starting to pop up a good bit more. Have researched New options, but still a difficult subject to really get concrete recommendations on firmly as the way to go! Look forward to what you guys have coming for 2019!!

Login to read this IPVM report.
Why do I need to log in?
IPVM conducts unique testing and research funded by member's payments enabling us to offer the most independent, accurate and in-depth information.

Related Reports

Cable Trenching for Surveillance on Jan 21, 2019
Trenching cable for surveillance is surprising complex. While using shovels, picks, and hoes is not advanced technology, the proper planning,...
Mobile Surveillance Trailers Guide on Jan 17, 2019
Putting cameras in a place for temporary surveillance where power and communications are not readily available can be complicated and expensive....
Access Control Records Maintenance Guide on Jan 16, 2019
Weeding out old entries, turning off unused credentials, and updating who carries which credentials is as important as to maintaining security as...
Access Control Cabling Tutorial on Jan 15, 2019
Access Control is only as reliable as its cables. While this aspect lacks the sexiness of other components, it remains a vital part of every...
Avigilon Favorability Results 2019 on Jan 15, 2019
Since IPVM's 2017 Avigilon favorability results, the company was acquired by Motorola and has shifted from being an aggressive startup to a more...
Bad: Dahua Villa Video Doorbell Tested on Jan 11, 2019
Doorbells are one of the hottest segments in the residential market but Dahua's Villa Video Doorbell is the worst we have tested.   We bought and...
Winter 2019 IP Networking Course on Jan 10, 2019
Today is the last day to register for the Winter 2019 IP Networking course. This is the only networking course designed specifically for video...
Wavelynx Access Control Manufacturer Profile on Jan 10, 2019
Denver-based WaveLynx is not well known as an access reader manufacturer, but OEMs for big industry brands including Amag, Isonas (Allegion),...
Managed Video Services UL 827B Examined on Jan 09, 2019
Historically, UL listings for central stations have been important, with UL 827 having widespread support. However, few central stations have...
H.265 / HEVC Codec Tutorial on Jan 08, 2019
H.265 support improved significantly in 2018, with H.265 camera/VMS compatibility increased compared to only a year ago, and most manufacturers...

Most Recent Industry Reports

Cable Trenching for Surveillance on Jan 21, 2019
Trenching cable for surveillance is surprisingly complex. While using shovels, picks, and hoes is not advanced technology, the proper planning,...
Milestone Favorability Results 2019 on Jan 21, 2019
Milestone's favorability moderately strengthed, in new IPVM integrator statistics over their results from 2016. While the industry has been...
Intersec 2019 Live Day 1 - Massive China Presence on Jan 21, 2019
There’s a massive presence from Chinese or China-focused video surveillance firms, chiefly Hikvision, Dahua, Huawei, and Infinova, at...
The IP Camera Lock-In Trend: Meraki and Verkada on Jan 18, 2019
Open systems and interoperability have not only been big buzzwords over the past decade, but they have also become core features of video...
NYPD Refutes False SCMP Hikvision Story on Jan 18, 2019
The NYPD has refuted the SCMP Hikvision story, the Voice of America has reported. On January 11, 2018, the SCMP alleged that the NYPD was using...
Mobile Surveillance Trailers Guide on Jan 17, 2019
Putting cameras in a place for temporary surveillance where power and communications are not readily available can be complicated and expensive....
Exacq Favorability Results 2019 on Jan 17, 2019
Exacq favorability amongst integrators has declined sharply, in new IPVM statistics, compared to 2017 IPVM statistics for Exacq. Now, over 5 since...
Testing Bandwidth Vs. Low Light on Jan 16, 2019
Nighttime bandwidth spikes are a major concern in video surveillance. Many calculate bandwidth as a single 24/7 number, but bit rates vary...
Access Control Records Maintenance Guide on Jan 16, 2019
Weeding out old entries, turning off unused credentials, and updating who carries which credentials is as important as to maintaining security as...
UK Fines Security Firms For Illegal Direct Marketing on Jan 16, 2019
Two UK security firms have paid over $200,000 in fines for illegally making hundreds of thousands of calls to people registered on a government...

The world's leading video surveillance information source, IPVM provides the best reporting, testing and training for 10,000+ members globally. Dedicated to independent and objective information, we uniquely refuse any and all advertisements, sponsorship and consulting from manufacturers.

About | FAQ | Contact