Multipoint Lock Access Control Tutorial

Author: Brian Rhodes, Published on Oct 17, 2017

Doors are notoriously weak at stopping entry, and money can be misspent on wrong locks that leave doors quite vulnerable.

While closed and locked doors might deter entry for typical people, breaking in with basic tools often takes mere seconds. In the video below, busting a normal locked door secured by a single lock takes less than a half-minute:

However, most doors can be better hardened against these attacks, by installing multipoint locks or latching points. For every latch that is added, burglar and thieves need more time to overcome it, slowing crime so that authorities have more time to react. When multipoint latches are used, simple exploits are made difficult.

In this note, we examine multipoint latching, and how it typically is deployed to still be code compliant, yet increase the toughness of doors:

  • Door Latches Explained
  • Why More Latches Are Better
  • What Illegal Latching Looks Like
  • The Code Citations Behind Multipoint Latches
  • Commercial Multipoint Latch Locks including Detex, Schlage and Securitech
  • Passive Hinge Pins Add Multipoint Also
  • Configuring Electronic Access To Work With Multipoint Latching

Finally, the 7 question quiz at the end will test your knowledge of multipoint latching.

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Latching *******

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Illegal ********* ******

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Commercially ********* *******

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Quiz ********

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[******: **** ******** *** ********** ********* ** **** *** ************* revised ** ****]

Comments (7)

This is why you should use anti lock snapping locks. They shear in the lock leaving the door protected.

The tool use by the fire fighters seems quite cumbersome to the lock snapping tools which are availible, i guess it has to cover every type of lock and cover. Of course its as only as good as the frame and security of that frame, I have seen secure doors and frame ripped out the wall due to bad fitment by the installer in under a minute.

In countries that use 'European Profile locks', snapping is indeed a risk. Like the video above shows, torquing it even slightly will bust it in half pretty easy. In the US, we use 'mortise locks' that are built like squatty chunks of metal, and 'snapping' is less of a real risk.

However, taking the forked end of a prybar and just popping it out the front is. :(

(See The 5 Major Lock Profiles Explained for more on this.)

One thing that I learn a number of years ago when it comes to residential is a simple, yet effective, way of increasing the strength against a typical kick in. By simply replacing the screws that hold the plate with something like a 4-6 inch wood screw that goes deeper into the wall stud or even a couple of studs (2x4s' really) makes it considerably harder to kick in the door. Of course, taking out the lock like in the above video this wouldn't help much but for the "middle of the night" kick in it sure does add a bit more strength.

Yep... Front doors on the typical home can be a security joke. I'm a heavy sleeper so I use this product from Armor Concepts.

What kind of tool is the firefighter using?

The most popular brand name for those are: Halligan Tools, and they can be pretty pricey for a high-quality unit. $250 or even higher.

However, for thieves looking for one or two uses, knock-offs are not hard to find. My local bargain tool warehouse has a trashcan display full of cheap ones priced at $45 each. I often wonder how many just get stolen from the trashcan.

I've not seen many panels with direct support for having multiple strikes per door, but I have observed that the AXIS A1001, and ONVIF C, does appear to have the ability to have a 2nd strike, independently controllable, via a "double locked" mode. I've also seen wireless locksets, e.g. Onity, which treat the privacy deadbolt as a second lock, which is also solenoid-controlled.

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