Bulletin 143 January 2011 Electromagnetic Locking System Tests, Inspections, and Maintenance
- Posted at: December 07, 2021 00:05:41

Electromagnetic locking devices are intended for use where there is a need for access control or a level of security beyond that provided by traditional exit hardware. These devices should not be indiscriminately selected as alternative locking mechanisms. It is important to note that the design and installation of electromagnetic locking device systems requires careful evaluation to ensure that their operation will be fail safe, allowing timely exit of occupants in the event of any possible emergency. Therefore, any component of these systems which does not operate or conform to the Ontario Building and Fire Codes must be repaired immediately. Until the repairs are completed, the system must be maintained in a “released” condition. All tests and inspections are to be recorded on audit report forms. All repairs and the organizations performing services or taking corrective action must be documented. These records are to be kept at the building premises for a minimum of two years.

Each month the electromagnetic locking system must be tested and inspected as follows:
1. The electromagnetic locking devices shall release immediately upon activation of, (a) the alarm signal where a single stage fire alarm system is installed, (b) the alert signal where a 2 stage fire alarm system is installed, or (c) the alarm signal of a 2 stage fire alarm system installed in a care or detention occupancy.
2. The electromagnetic locking system release switch will be activated and each door with an electromagnetic lock will be checked to ensure that the door lock has released.
3. The electromagnetic locking system release switch will be checked to ensure that the switch is identified and labelled correctly.
4. Each door with an electromagnetic lock will be checked to ensure that the door is identified with a sign having the words “Emergency Exit Unlocked by Fire Alarm” or other approved wording.

During each calendar year, the electromagnetic locking system must be tested and inspected as follows:
1. Each fire alarm pull station located at a door with an electromagnetic lock installed will be activated and the adjacent door checked to ensure that the door lock has released upon (a) the alarm signal where a single stage fire alarm system is installed, (b) the alert signal where a 2 stage fire alarm system is installed, or (c) the alarm signal of a 2 stage fire alarm system installed in a care or detention occupancy.
2. Each door with an electromagnetic lock installed will be checked for panic door hardware. If the panic hardware has been installed in accordance with the Building Code, the electromagnetic locking system will be released immediately.
3. The electromagnetic locking system release switch will be activated and each door with an electromagnetic lock will be checked to ensure that the door lock has released.
4. The electromagnetic locking system release switch will be checked to ensure that the switch is identified and labelled correctly.
5. Each door with an electromagnetic lock will be checked to ensure that the door is identified with a sign having the words “Emergency Exit Unlocked by Fire Alarm” or other approved wording.
6. The power to the fire alarm will be removed and the electromagnetic locking system will be checked to confirm that a release has occurred.
7. The power to the electromagnetic locking system will be removed and the system will be checked to confirm that a release has occurred.
8. A fault will be placed on the wiring between the fire alarm and electromagnetic locking system and the system will be checked to confirm that a release has occurred.
9. If provided, the electromagnetic locking system bypass will be activated and the fire alarm system will be checked to confirm that visual and audible signals are indicated along with the receipt of a trouble condition at the central monitoring station.

This article was contributed by Firepoint Inc, serving the GTA since 1997, developing fire department approved fire safety plans for newly constructed and existing buildings. Although every effort is made to ensure the accuracy, currency and completeness of the information, the bulletin publishers and authors do not guarantee, warrant, represent or undertake that the information provided is correct, accurate or current and shall not be liable for any loss, claim, or demand arising directly or indirectly from any use or reliance upon the bulletin information. Bulletin reproduction in whole or in part is prohibited without the written consent of Firepoint Inc. Copyright 2021 – All Rights Reserved. See www.firepoint.ca or call 905-874-9400.

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