Ken's CLA FMOE (Fifteen Minutes of Education) Blog

The CLA South Bay Chapter meets the third Thursday of each month at Skeels Warehouse. You don't have to be a member to attend.  Network, learn new stuff, and grab a bite to eat!

Each month at the CLA meeting before the presentation there is an FMOE (Fifteen Minutes of Education).  Usually put on by Ken Jordan, but occassionally by others.  The goal is to take just a few moments each month and learn something new, or be reminded of something that can be applied to the trade.  Here are some of those FMOE’s...


It All Hinges On….Well, Hinges!
By Ken Jordan
March 16, 2017

How important is the lowly door hinge?  Well, it turns out they are pretty darned important!


These relatively inexpensive items of trim are key to the properly functioning of every piece of hardware on the door, and thereby the integrity of the entire locking systems on the building.  Without a properly operating door hinge, the entire system breaks down.


Door hinge type and size are most probably specified by a hardware person long before we get involved.  We have to hope that the person did a good job in specifying the right hinge based on door type, location, and frequency of use.  That the hinge can handle the demand that will be placed on it for many years to come.  If not, a poorly-specified hinge will fail.  It will no longer support the weight of the door and, with every swing, it will break-down and deteriorate. 


You probably can’t see it at the start.  The hinge might start showing signs of wear – discoloration around the knuckles.  As the deterioration progresses, maybe some squeaking…and then the rubbing.  Maybe the arm of the door closer starts rubbing on the door or jamb.  Maybe the latch of the lock doesn’t retract like it should.  Maybe there’s some scuffing on the floor where the bottom of the door is rubbing.


Now things aren’t lining up.  The latch and/or deadbolt are starting to rub on the jamb. 

The seals in the door closer have extra pressure on them because the geometry of the arm is all wrong.  If the geometry is wrong, then maybe the closer no longer closes the door completely to a latching condition.  Now security is compromised.


So let’s take score:  door closer is being damaged, locks are being stressed, flooring may be damaged, and building security is at risk.  The life-cycle of this door is being reduced with every swing.  All because the hinges are failing. 


If this door is in the path of egress or an emergency exit route, life safety may now be compromised.  If this is a fire rated opening, now the integrity of the fire wall is compromised.


See what I mean?  The failure of a simple hinge can become a big deal.  Let’s hope that the correct hinge gets specified correctly in the first place.  And when a hinge starts to fail, let’s hope that it gets identified sooner rather than later so that other hardware items don’t become compromised, so that security doesn’t become compromised, so that life safety doesn’t become compromised. 


Don’t compromise on hinges…everything “hinges” on them!


Safe Schools Locksets and AB211

By Ken Jordan

October 20, 2016

The concept of using door locks that can be locked and unlocked from the inside (secured side) of the door has been around for quite some time now.  The plethora of school shootings in the United States created this category of product, as well as the concept.  The thinking was that in the case of a threat, if one could lock the door from the inside rather than having to open the door and lock it from the outside, we might save lives.

Most school classrooms doors have classroom function locks on them.  This function allows the lock to be left in the locked or unlocked condition by turning the key.  Trouble is that you have to be on the outside of the door to do this.  In the case of a threat from the outside of the classroom, the only way to lock the door is to go outside where the threat is and turn a key in the lock.  That sounds dangerous.

Enter the Safe School function lockset.  Manufacturers figured out a way to maintain the locking functionality on the outside of the lockset while adding a duplicate locking feature on the inside of the lockset.  All while keeping the inside always free to exit.  Studies of school shootings have shown that if potential victims can get behind a locked door, they do not get hurt.  So make it so that, in the event of a threat on the outside of the door, that door can be locked from the inside.

In 2011, smart folks in the California Assembly passed Assembly Bill 211 that reads in part, “On and after July 1, 2011, all new construction projects submitted to the Division of the State Architect…shall include locks that allow doors to classrooms and any room with an occupancy of five or more persons to be locked from the inside.”  “Doors that are locked form the outside at all times and pupil restrooms are exempt…”

So all new school construction projects these days need to include safe school locks on classrooms doors, and any doors where the room occupancy is greater than 4 persons.  I’ll tell you that the statute does not say that it applies to any Tenant Improvement or Retrofit projects, but why not bring all your customers up to code and use safe school locksets anytime you replace a lock?

Think about it…you might save a life.