How Can Pre-Installation Save Time & Money?

DSCN0095 _ smallPre-Installation is the process of installing hardware on doors prior to the doors arriving at the jobsite. This is becoming increasingly popular because of the many benefits it offers the contractor. When hardware is applied at the job site, numerous problems may occur such as missing, misplaced or incorrect hardware; lack of secure storage or staging areas; product defects or damages; and personnel unfamiliar with technical hardware installation. Why not avoid these problems in the first place?

Here are the answers to a few of the more common questions we receive about the pre-installation process:

Q. How does LaForce handle electrified hardware?  All connections are made and tested prior to shipping. LaForce also labels and connects the hardware.

Q. Can doors be sorted or separated? LaForce will package the doors per floor or per project on each skid, making it easy for delivery and onsite installers. Each skid is tagged, and associated hardware (hinges, screws, strike plate, closer screws) is packaged with the skid.

Q. How many doors can fit on a skid? LaForce’s trained experts package a maximum of eight to ten doors per skid. The door heights range from 48” to 56”. We limit the number of doors we stack for safety reasons and to eliminate damage to the doors. We use coated packaging foam between each door for extra protection.

Q. How can LaForce pre-install save time? Jobsite hassles such as incorrect hardware preps, hardware rooms, lost or misplaced hardware are reduced or eliminated.

 Q. How does this contribute to sustainability efforts? Pre-installed hardware reduces on-site packaging waste.

More in our video!

Door Code Violation: Wood Filler

Q: What is wrong with this fire rated door?

A: The wood filler under the armature for the wall magnet is not a fire rated application, and therefore violates NFPA 80.

Q: What should be done to fix this?

A: Replace the armature with the correct fire rated extension.


The Evolution of Intercoms

Door Intercom Systems are a natural add-on for today’s electronic entry control solutions and are an essential tool at many secured entrances. Whether the intercom is a traditional audio only or the more modern version incorporating video, intercoms allow a live person to interact with the visitor prior to “buzzing” them in.

When you picture an intercom system, you probably picture a receptionist available all day to respond to intercom calls. This traditional type of system is still available, and can even support more than one receptionist station, but what should facilities do when having personnel available to monitor the intercom isn’t ideal?

Like many other technologies, intercom systems have greatly changed over the last several years. A new breed of intercom solutions can allow receptionists/personnel to interact with visitors virtually. Aiphone’s JKW-IP Series hands-free color video intercom uses a PC as a master station and is connected to a facility’s existing network. Receptionists can identify and communicate with visitors over the Internet, control PanTilt Zoom functions, open doors, and record videos of visitors on any PC where the free software is installed. When a visitor is at the door, an e-mail alert with a photo of the visitor is sent to the receptionist. The door station can be viewed on up to 10 different PCs and included master station.

If you’re looking for a new intercom solution, whether it be a traditional model or one offering this latest technology, contact your LaForce representative to learn about the variety of options available to you.

Top 10 Fire Door Code Violations

door blockedThere are many ways fire doors can violate building codes. Often, these violations are simply from lack of awareness or lack of maintenance. Here is a list of the most common fire door code violations, according to the Door Security & Safety Foundation:

  1. Painted or missing fire door labels.
  2. Gaps that are too large around the perimeter of the door in the closed position.
  3. Kick-down door holders installed on the door.
  4. Auxiliary hardware items that interfere with the intended function of the door.
  5. Fire doors blocked to stay in the open position.
  6. Area surrounding the fire door assembly blocked by furniture, equipment and/or boxes.
  7. Broken, defective or missing hardware items (latch bolts and/or strike plates, closer arms, cover plates, etc.)
  8. Fire exit hardware installed on doors that are not labeled for use with fire exit hardware.
  9. Missing fastener or hardware attached with the incorrect fasteners.
  10. Bottom flush bolts that do not project a sufficient amount into the strike.

Special-Lite Toilet Partitions

Facility managers and building owners have come to appreciate the durability of Special-Lite Fiberglass Reinforced Polyester (FRP) doors. Wouldn’t it be great to have that same durability in toilet partitions?

Special-Lite has created a line of FRP toilet partitions that are as durable, maintenance-free and long-lasting as their FRP doors. Because of their ability to withstand abuse, Special-Lite’s FRP toilet partitions are ideal for restrooms that are heavily used and frequently abused, such as stadiums, retail centers, and parks.

The construction of Special-Lite toilet partitions makes them a good choice for locker rooms, pools, showers and other corrosive environments as well. Special-Lite toilet partitions are made with a sealed foam construction and individually injected with closed-cell urethane foam that bonds the panel edges and face sheet together to form a solid unit. This makes the toilet partitions 20% lighter than a comparable steel system and less than half the weight of HDPE solid plastic.

The panels and pilasters are 1.25” thick and have an aluminum perimeter edge trim for additional strength. Furthermore, Special-Lite uses full-height continuous material for the wall brackets, door stops, and gear hinges making the system more tolerant of abuse. This also provides a zero sight line system for added privacy.

Special-Lite toilet partitions are available in floor mounted overhead braced configurations for durability, and the urinal screens are wall hung. Four color choices are available: pearl gray, beige, colonial white, and black.

Contact LaForce for more information.

Be Prepared for a Fire Emergency

According to the U.S. Fire Administration, in 2011 nearly 1.4 million fires occurred resulting in over 3,000 deaths, 17,500 injuries and $11.7 billion in losses. It’s National Fire Prevention Week, making it a good time to review how to be prepared for a fire emergency in your facility.

1. Train your staff on fire safety procedures. Educate them on where to go in the event of a fire, how to report a fire, and how to use a fire extinguisher.

2. Test your alarm systems and have your fire extinguishers inspected regularly.

3. Eliminate fire hazards. Keep work spaces free of waste paper and other combustibles, replace damaged electrical cords, and do not overload circuits. Repair or replace equipment that delivers mild electrical shocks, gives off unusual heat or smells odd. Store flammable liquids in approved containers and locations.

4. Hire a certified fire door inspector annually to review your openings. This step ensures that the correct hardware application is used and that all hardware used on an opening works together. When a door functions properly, it allows building occupants to escape as quickly and easily as possible.

LaForce’s certified fire door inspectors are here to help. If you would like to schedule an inspection of your facility, please call us at 1-800-236-8858.

5 Reasons To Use Our Installers

LaForce’s installation staff is here to make our customers jobs easier. They have the expertise to get our products installed efficiently and correctly, saving our customers time and money. Here are five reasons many of our customers have come to rely on our installers.

  1. They can fix anything and know all the tricks of the trade.
  2. They go the extra mile to make our customers happy.
  3. They sweat the small the stuff – hinge locations, hardware preps, etc.
  4. When your door won’t close properly, they’re your guys.
  5. Our 29 installers have over 226 years of service experience just at LaForce.

To learn more about our installation and pre-installation services, visit our website at or call 1-800-236-8858.

Door Control: The First Line of Defense for School Security

Security policies continue to be a top priority for schools. Improvements require a sensible balance between the security needs of the schools, the needs of the teachers and staff, and, of course, the budget. Today’s advancing security solutions developed for schools cover a wide range of applications, so where do you start?

The first line of defense often begins at the door itself and its chosen locking functionality. Much attention is directed toward Classroom Locks and practical/affordable enhancements to meet new challenges. With a classroom security function (a mechanical device):

  1. The teacher can leave the hallway side unlocked or locked as needed.
  2. Students cannot lock the teacher out of the room.
  3. The teacher can lock the hallway side without leaving the room.
  4. Status indication features conveys a lock’s mode- leaving little to chance.
  5. And most importantly free egress is always provided, never hindered.

Electronic entry control solutions, whether stand-alone or always on-line, add significant improvements not attainable with traditional classroom locks. Such improvements include lockdown strategies when/where warranted, real time reporting, and audit trail accountability. Wireless technologies aid in installation challenges, and when entry controls are combined with other security technologies (i.e. audio and visual intercom, video surveillance and recording technologies), they improve operational and life safety expectations.

Stand-Alone Locksets

The newest stand-alone battery operated school solutions enable teachers to lock down their classroom door with the click of a button, similar to a battery operated garage door opener. There is no need for the teacher to go to the door.

Always On-Line Locksets

Even greater control is available for schools looking to integrate their locks. Integrated locksets are always on-line and can receive a school-wide lock down command using a global control process. Using this option means teachers do not need to take independent action to lock down their classrooms. These locksets receive their global command either by a physical hardwired connection or by receiving the command via wireless connection.

There are many available options to fit most any school’s budget and security goals. A LaForce Security Integration specialist can walk you through the choices to find what best fits your needs.

Does Your Security System Meet Fire & Life Safety Codes?

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.