Knowledge Drop for Free Egress

David Cronk, the Access Control Technical Director for Anixter, talks about free egress access control and why it's important in emergencies.

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Free Egress Video Transcript

Hi. I’m David Cronk, the Access Control Technical Director for Anixter. Most people think that the most important function of an access control system is to keep the wrong people out of an area or room. But making sure that everyone can get out safely in the event of an emergency is just as important. Not to mention it’s the law. Free egress is what it’s called and it’s required on every door in the building.

For most access control systems that means you need two things. The first is a motion egress sensor that detects someone approaching the door from the inside and releases the electronic lock for exit. The important thing to remember about a motion egress is that this is not a request for exit. That’s a different device.

The second requirement for free egress in electronic access control systems is a timed egress button. You’ve seen the buttons that say “Push to Exit.” That’s what we’re talking about here. These buttons can be either pneumatic or electronic.

An important aspect of both of these devices is that if they lose power they must default to open so that people can exit even when there is no power.

You can read more about free egress in OSHA 1910.35 or in the National Fire Protection Association publication NFPA101, chapter 7.

For more information on your own access control needs, contact your local Anixter sales representative.