The Codes Behind Access Control

Author: Brian Rhodes, Published on Mar 27, 2013

In Electronic Access Control, there is one basic rule: Life safety above all else. While simple, this rule often appears to be at odds with the purpose of the system; keeping an area secure. When combined with the huge number of building opening possibilities, the basic rules quickly grow complex. Addressing the potential variations is the job of Codes, or 'design guidelines' adopted as law. In this note, we look at the major codes dictating access control work (including NFPA101, NFPA72, and IBC), discussing what these codes mean in practice, and how to best avoid issues when designing systems.

This reading has been updated in April 2016 to reflect updated code references.

** ********** ****** *******, ***** ** *** ***** ****: **** safety ***** *** ****. ***** ******, **** **** ***** ******* to ** ** **** **** *** ******* ** *** ******; keeping ** **** ******. **** ******** **** *** **** ****** of ******** ******* *************, *** ***** ***** ******* **** *******. Addressing *** ********* ********** ** *** *** ** *****, ** 'design **********' ******* ** ***. ** **** ****, ** **** at *** ***** ***** ********* ****** ******* **** (********* *******, NFPA72, *** ***), ********** **** ***** ***** **** ** ********, and *** ** **** ***** ****** **** ********* *******.

**** ******* *** **** ******* ** ***** **** ** ******* updated **** **********.

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

The ***** **********

***** * *********** ****** ** ***** *** ** *** *********, most ***** *********** *** ********* ***** **** ****** **** * select *** ** ***** **********. *** ****** *******, ***** ********** are:

  • *******:*** ******** '**** ****** ****' ** *** **** ****** **** source ** ******* ****** ***** ** ******** ************, **********, *** occupancy *******.
  • ******: ******* *** *** **** ******, **** **** ** ********* cited ** ********** ****** ******* ******* ** *** ******* *********** required ******* *** **** ***** *** *** **** ***** ******.
  • ***: *** ************* ******** ****, ** ********* ** *** ************* **** *******, ** *** ********* ********* *** ********* *** *********** **** buildings. ** *** ******** ******** ** *** *********, **** ******** resulting ***** **** ** **** ********* **** ******** **** *** source.

******* **** *** *** ******* ******* ***********, ** ** ***** codes *** ***** **** ****** *** ******* *********** ********* ****** control ** *** **.

Not ******** ******

******* **** ***** *****, ********** ******* ******** ** ********* *****, are ******** *** *** ** ****, *** ***** ******** ** an ****** ******* ******** ** ** ********* ***** ********* ** observe *** * ***** *******. ***** ********************** ********** * ******** ***** ****, ********** *** **** ***** ** rules *** ********** *** *** ** *** **** ********* ********* ****.

*******, **** ** ******** *******, *** ****** ** *** ****: life ****** **** ** *********. ** ** *************, ******* ** normal *********, ********* *********, ** **** ********* ***********, *** * door ******* ** ******** **** ******** *** ********. ** **** cases, **** ****** ** ********* ** *** ********** ******** *************, but ** ****** ** ******** ** *** ******** ** ********** access. *** ***** ****, ***** **** ** * ********** ** physical ********. ******* ** ****, **** ******* *** ******* ** Exit ******** *** ********* ******* *** **** ****** *******.

******** ***** *** *********** ****** ** '********* ******' *** **** is *********** *** *** **** *** ** ******* ** *******. In **** ***** '*** **** **** *** *** ***', *** each ******* *** ****** *** **** ********* ** *** ********'* occupancy *** **************.

******* ********* *************** ********* *** ***** ****** ******, *** *** result ** *** ********** ******** ** ********* *** ****** ** be **** ** '******* * ****** ******'. *** *******, * maglock ********** **** *** ** *********** ** *** ******** ****, but ********* ** *******. ********* ***** *** ** **** ** access ********** ** *** *********, *** *** ** *****.

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

***** **** ******** ***************, *** ******** ** * ********** ******* is **** ** ********* *************. *** ***** ** ***** ***** have ******* ************** **** ********* ** **** ** ****** *******:

  • **** *****:*** ******** *** **** **** **** ******* ********; **** ******* an ******** ****** ******** ** ***** **** ** * **** condition. ******* ** **** ********, *** ***** ******* ************, **** doors **** ** ********** ******* ** * **** *** ****** be *** ** ******** *** ********.
  • ********* *****: ******* ********* ***** *** ******, ** ******* ************ ****** during ****** **********, *** ** * **** ***** ***** **** be ******* ** ** ******** ******* * **** ****** ** trapped ** * *********. *** **** ******, ****** ********** ********* doors *** ********** ********** ** ******* ***.
  • "*****" ********** ****** *****:***** ******* **** *********** '**** *********** **' *** ******* ** special *********, *** *** **** ***** ** ********* ** ********* governed ** ****, **** *** **** * '***** ******' *** be (** ** ** *******?) ** ***** ***** *** ** kept ****** ** ******* ************ **** (**: ******* **** **********).

*********** *** ******** **** **** *** ********* *** ******** ********* code ** *****, *** ******* ************ **** ******** *** *********** on ***** ***** **** ** **** ** *****, ****** *** installation **** *********.

Detailed ********

******** ***** *** ******** ********* **** *** ******** ***** ** access ******* ***:

**********, ***** ******* *** ** ********** *** ****** ******* *******, including****** ****,***, *** ********** ********** *****.

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