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Enhancing Security with Commercial Door Alarms

Did you know that many properties in Pennsylvania have been a victim of burglary in recent years? According to research, an estimated 23, 354 break-ins were reported in Pennsylvania in 2019. While crime is less common in Pennsylvania than in the whole country, having tight security, especially for your commercial property is ideal. 

For instance, if your facility has rooms with occupancy over 50 and multiple fire exits, installing door alarms will help you make your place more secure. If you own a retail store, a door alarm can help prevent someone from walking out unnoticed.    

What is a Door Alarm?

Door alarms are security devices that are designed to alert building occupants or security personnel when a door is opened or tampered with. They are an important component of any commercial building security system, as they can help to prevent unauthorized access and protect valuable assets. Several types of door alarms are available, each with its own features and benefits such as the following. 

Magnetic Door Alarms

Magnetic door alarms are a simple and effective way to secure doors. They consist of a magnet and a switch that is mounted on the door and the frame. When the door is closed, the magnet and switch are aligned, and the circuit is closed. When the door is opened, the magnet and switch are separated, and the circuit is broken, triggering an alarm. 

Motion Sensors

Motion sensors are another type of door alarm that can be used to detect movement in a specific area. They are often used in conjunction with magnetic door alarms to provide additional security. When a person or object moves within the sensor’s range, the alarm is triggered, alerting building occupants or security personnel. 

Glass Break Sensors

Glass break sensors are devices that can detect the sound of breaking glass. You can place them on doors, glass panels, or windows to provide an extra layer of security. When the sensor detects the sound of breaking glass, it triggers an alarm. 

In what types of buildings and exits are alarms needed? 

Door alarms may be needed in various types of buildings and exits, depending on the specific security needs of the property. Under the Pennsylvania Code, all exit and exit discharge doors shall be provided with panic hardware or fire exit hardware for facilities with an occupant load of 50 people. This applies to assemblies, educational institutions, and high-hazard occupancies. 

Door alarms are important for several reasons such as preventing unauthorized access and enhancing the safety of workers, customers, and guests. The following are several other facilities that may be required to have a door alarm. 

Commercial buildings – Commercial buildings, such as offices, retail stores, and warehouses, must also have door alarms. These buildings often have valuable assets, such as equipment, inventory, and confidential information, that need to be protected from theft or vandalism. Door alarms can be used to secure entrances, exits, and specific areas within the building to prevent unauthorized access and alert security personnel in the event of a breach. 

Educational facilities – Schools, colleges, and universities are required to use door alarms to enhance security and protect students, faculty, and staff. Door alarms can be used to secure entrances, exits, and specific areas within the building, such as laboratories, computer rooms, and storage areas. They can also be used to alert authorities in the event of an emergency or to prevent access to hazardous areas.  

Healthcare facilities – Hospitals, clinics, and other healthcare facilities also need to use door alarms to enhance security and protect patients, staff, and visitors.   

They can help secure entrances, exits, and specific areas within the building, such as patient rooms, medication storage areas, and laboratories. Hospital managers can also use door alarms to alert authorities in the event of an emergency or to prevent access to restricted areas. 

Government buildings – Such as courthouses, police stations, and municipal offices, often use door alarms to enhance security and protect confidential information. Door alarms can secure unlawful egress, in case the person of interest has gained unauthorized access to evidence rooms, holding cells, and server rooms. 

Buildings with multiple exits – Door alarms can help direct traffic to the correct egress in case there is an emergency in buildings with multiple exits. Once the door alarms are on, it would be easy for employees to find their way out. 

What are the Requirements for Door Alarms in Pennsylvania?  

Door alarms come in various forms and specifications, and their functionality may vary from one state to another. In Pennsylvania, door alarms are regulated by the Pennsylvania Department of Labor and Industry (DLI). 

According to the DLI, door alarms must meet specific requirements to be considered compliant with the state’s regulations. These requirements include the type of alarm, the sound level, and the power source. 

Type of Alarm

Pennsylvania door alarms must be electronic and capable of producing a loud, audible sound when the door is opened. The alarm must be tamper-proof and not able to be deactivated without a key or code. 

Sound Level

The sound level produced by a door alarm in Pennsylvania must be at least 85 decibels, which is equivalent to the sound level of a passing diesel truck. This is to ensure that the alarm is audible enough to alert people nearby when the door is opened.  

Power Source

Door alarms in Pennsylvania must be powered by a reliable source such as a battery backup system, or a hard-wired connection to a power supply. The power source should be designed to provide continuous power to the alarm, even in the event of a power outage. 

Additionally, door alarms must be installed by licensed and certified professionals. These professionals must ensure that the alarm is installed correctly and is functioning properly. It is also recommended that door alarms are periodically tested to ensure that they are still working correctly. 

Related article: All about Door Locks for Emergency Exits.

In Pennsylvania, commercial door alarms play a crucial role in enhancing security and preventing unauthorized access to properties. This comprehensive guide explores the importance of door alarms in various types of buildings, including commercial buildings, educational facilities, healthcare facilities, government buildings, and more. It also delves into the different types of door alarms, such as magnetic door alarms, motion sensors, and glass break sensors, and their specific functions. Additionally, the article outlines the regulatory requirements for door alarms in Pennsylvania, including the type of alarm, sound level, power source, and installation guidelines.

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