Unless you’re a door industry or security professional who works intimately with door openings on a daily basis, you probably take entrances for granted. We tend not to notice doors, frames, hardware, or security components unless they malfunction!
A closer look reveals an interesting truth: Properly specified, installed, and maintained door openings actually make money for a commercial business or organization! Here are some reasons why:
1. Prevent Loss of Property
Secure entrances provide an obvious savings: The reduced risk of theft and damage.
A security system that is regularly tested and monitored provides immense peace of mind and security. Staff should have proper training on how to use the equipment. Video surveillance systems can continuously monitor live action and provide a post-incident assessment. Alarm systems can screen for intrusions and fire conditions and even detect facility operations such as temperature, power outages/surges, and water pressures/levels.
Door locks are important to prevent break-ins. Invest in the highest quality lock within budget. If door hardware is broken or malfunctioning, it is important to have it immediately serviced – otherwise, the building’s security could be compromised.
Finally, prevent loss of property with carefully monitored key policies. Track key distribution to all building staff and design a keying system that minimizes widespread access. It is important to train staff about keeping the right doors locked, proper key policies (issuing and returning), unauthorized key duplication, and haphazard key loaning. A building manager also has to track the number of “master keys” that have been issued.
2. Minimize Disaster Damage
Fires, tornados, and hurricanes can cause devastating destruction – but damage can be diminished with suitable doors, saving a considerable amount of money.
Fire rated doors must meet stringent requirements. When working properly, fire rated doors reduce the spread of fire and smoke, such as in this example. In addition, a fire door, smoke door, and/or egress inspection is encouraged (in many cases – required!) on an annual basis.
Storm doors, commonly known as tornado doors, need to follow particular specifications in construction, testing, and installation. To keep the building’s doors from being sucked out or blown in, the door’s hardware is also tested to hold strong during the pressure changes.
Finally, hurricane doors are designed to resist high winds. Similar to tornado doors, hurricane door components are carefully designed and tested to meet rigorous standards.
3. Keep Occupants Safe
Every commercial enterprise is charged with the safety and security of its building’s occupants. Exterior entrances can be the most vulnerable, so careful design and planning is crucial. Safe businesses attract good employees and customers, making more money for the organization.
Make sure exterior doors are visible from roads and parking lots, so occupants feel safe entering or leaving the building. In addition, doors with lites provide a line of sight for users. This minimizes surprise when passing through an interior door or exterior entrance.
Finally, schools have an additional responsibility to their constituents to have lockdown capabilities for emergency situations. For example, Ripon College recently worked with LaForce to design and install a new security management system.
4. Save Through Sustainability
The U.S. Green Building Council disclosed that “Owners of green buildings reported that their ROI improved by 9.9% on average for new projects.” Organizations following LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) standards are assured that their construction projects are better for the environment than non-LEED structures – and they even make money from such initiatives!
Not only do energy-efficient materials save utility costs for a finished building, but LEED also applies to door openings in the following ways:
- Hollow metal doors can be specified with a certain percentage of recycled content.
- Wood doors can be specified without added urea-formaldehyde.
- Products such as doors and frames can be specified as “regional,” meaning they are manufactured within 500 miles (defined “as the crow flies”) of the jobsite. This minimizes the project’s carbon footprint.
LaForce is committed to lean construction and effective waste management, which further contributes to sustainable door openings. We also offer pre-installation services that reduce jobsite waste for general contractors.
5. Less Staff Required
Staff expenses can decrease with secure door openings. Fewer security personnel are required for buildings that have made an investment in secure entrances – for example, cloud-based security management systems that can be remotely accessed and monitored.
6. Affordable and Interesting Product Options
Secure entrances are possible for firms with budget constraints. LaForce regularly works with many industries to maximize security without stretching financial resources; for example, schools, hospitals, corporate buildings, and other organizations.
An example of a product option that saves customers money is substituting hollow metal doors with the “look” of wood for traditional wood doors. Pictured here is a set of hollow metal doors with a wood-grained finish.
Organizations can also attract customers through interesting and unusual doors. LaForce can provide compelling products such as the beautiful doors provided for Cabrini Chapel in Chicago, pictured to the left.