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Fixing a missleading door

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jacobbiljo

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Post Mon Nov 21, 2016 3:14 am

Fixing a missleading door

I have had a small pet project on the back of my mind for months and I thought I would propose it to the experienced minds here to get a second opinion.

We are having a user design problem with the way the door is currently setup. On open house nights when the general public comes to our shop, most people think the door is locked after grabbing the big push bar and either stand outside and wait or knock and expect someone to come answer.

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Our current setup uses a Electronic Deadbolt for nighttime locking only, a entry function doorknob and an electronic latch controlled by a fob reader. During normal hours members unlock the deadbolt and scan in to release the door handle catch. During open house hours we unlock the deadbolt and the knob so all anyone has to do is turn the knob. Everyone sees the giant push bar and tries that without any luck. We are hesitant to remove the push bar to not change the aesthetics of the door and don't want to put the electronic latch on a timer for the cases when no one is in the building during open house hours.

Is there some type of dead latch which has the ability to latch the bolt retracted or maybe you can suggest a better way to do things.

Thanks in advance
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candado3

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Post Mon Nov 21, 2016 2:47 pm

Re: Fixing a missleading door

Why not just place a sign above the pusher that reads "USE DOORKNOB" or something to that affect?
It can be permanent, or removable so that it will only be there on open house nights.
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jacobbiljo

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Post Mon Nov 21, 2016 4:42 pm

Re: Fixing a missleading door

Yes that is the easy fix but it's a dark alleyway so most non obtrusive signs wouldn't be readable. A nice big sign on the door isn't a long term solution either.
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dmasters

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Post Mon Nov 21, 2016 6:35 pm

Re: Fixing a missleading door

Low budget, low tech: tape the latch with Gorilla Tape :) It also doesn't advertise to the uninvited denizens of said "dark alley" that the door is unlocked either.

The only deadlatch with a hold-back function that I can think of is for aluminum storefronts.
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DIY Dave

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Post Sat Nov 26, 2016 2:31 pm

Re: Fixing a missleading door

You said you have a fob reader (which would be connected to access control) so why not change the programming to keep the electric strike unlocked during open hours? Then pushing the bar is all they would have to do
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selim

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Post Sat Nov 26, 2016 3:13 pm

Re: Fixing a missleading door

you took the words out of my mouth Dave,, great answer
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Jaakko Fagerlund

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Post Sat Nov 26, 2016 7:46 pm

Re: Fixing a missleading door

There is also another major design fail here: push-bar. FFS, it doesn't need grabbing to push open a door, only to pull it open. I see this everywhere and don't wonder anymore why doors have "push/pull" instructions written next to the handle, because the design is not there to make it obvious how it operates.
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jacobbiljo

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Location: Toronto,Ontario

Post Sun Nov 27, 2016 12:52 pm

Re: Fixing a missleading door

Thanks for the thought put into this everyone. Our worry about just adding a schedule is that there is no guarantee that anyone is actually in the building when open house hours start. Someone could be working in the space so they have unlocked the deadbolt but stepped out to get a coffee when the door unlocks letting anyone in.
We might do something along those lines but also add a button so you have to press a button acknowledging you are there before the unlocking period starts. The problem with this is it requires finding the people who programmed it in the first place.
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dontlook

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Post Sun Nov 27, 2016 6:29 pm

Re: Fixing a missleading door

I agree with the guys above. I would really look in to removing the pull bar if its a push door, it sounds like it is signaling to the users the behavior that you don't want. It is the larger item on the door and isn't usually accompanied by a requirement to manipulate a door knob.

Some systems have a portal where you can manually put the door in unlocked mode(instead of on a timer) until someone takes it off that. It might be worth investigating if that is something you can access via a web portal.

This makes me think of the book The Design of Everyday Things by Don Norman. Might want to check it out if you have not read it before.

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