31 January 2006

NMA - Potential for a disaster?

| Swaggie
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With events in Poland making the news I wonder who was responsible for designing the locks on the emergency exits for the Peninsula Room at The NMA? We needed to open one the other week at a function – what followed was a comedy.

We had to find a staff member who then had to find a security guard who comes down to find out what door needs opening (they’re locked electronically), he then radios his control room asking them to replace door XYZ, back comes the reply on the radio” ok hang on, err, is that the one” as we hear the lock on the door on the far side of the room being released, “no control it’s XYZ” radios the guard, ‘err hold on” radios the control and at the second attempt they get it right.

Total elapsed time from asking for the door to be opened to gaining access was appx 8 minutes – seems a little off for an ’emergency exit’, The kicker is that you can go down the corridor up the stairs and exit through the restaurant with no doors in the way so maybe they’re hoping people will do that in an emergency.

[ED – In my experience once the control board is switched to “evacuate” all the locks will disarm automatically. Unlocking just one door IS much harder. And most boards in Australia I’ve dealt with will automatically switch to evacuate after a few minutes unless someone competent takes control of them]

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If the operator knows what they are doing, then it’s quite easy to unlock a maglock door. Maybe they need to invest more time training their security staff?

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