Incorporating access control into a commercial building can be much more complicated than simply installing a card reader and electric lock. Often, the part that can be overlooked by a security specialist involves fire and life safety. The integration of access control and fire alarm systems has become a growing point of concern with AHJ’s (Authority Having Jurisdiction) in recent years. Whenever an access control system incorporates magnetic locks or fail safe doors, the access control system must be tied into the building’s fire alarm system to physically cut power to the lock and allow free egress from the building. LaForce has valuable experience combining our knowledge of doors, frames, hardware and the integration of access control with the other building systems, including fire alarms.
To meet the stringent requirements of the local fire codes, it is common for the access control system design to be submitted to the fire inspector for approval before the first length of wire is even run. Upon approval and installation, the system also must pass inspection by the local AHJ before occupancy will be granted. If an installed system does not pass inspection, fines, penalties and re-inspection fees will often apply, adding considerable cost to the system or building.
Recently, during the inspection of a complex access control system installed by LaForce, the fire inspector made the comment: “Are we placing bets? Zero out of eight of the systems I’ve inspected so far this week has passed inspection.” Typically, this is not what you want to hear just before the alarm is pulled and your work is put on the line, but thanks to the experience and knowledge of the LaForce team, our system passed the test. When it comes to building security and life safety it is important to use a reputable company that has the ability to design, install and interface your system to meet this complex set of requirements.