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Target Hardening Emergency Exit Doors with Exit Control Locks

The only legitimate use of an emergency exit is for fire, an active shooter, or another crisis. Because of this, all retailers hope their emergency exits remain dusty and unused, tucked away in a corner or the back of a building. Unfortunately, emergency exit doors are tempting entry and exit points for criminals precisely because they’re tucked away.

A variety of target hardening methods can deter thieves from using your emergency exit, such as cameras, motion lighting, and signage. Signage may be particularly helpful if your state offers higher penalties for theft through an emergency exit. Clear consequences help discourage bad behavior.

The most effective target hardening, however, includes a physical aspect that will either deter criminals entirely or slow them down long enough for law enforcement to arrive. Exit control locks, for example, strengthen vulnerable emergency exits at their weakest points and help prevent employee and customer theft.

LP Solutions

How Exit Control Locks Strengthen Your Back Door

Typically, the three weakest points of a door are the strike plate, lock hardware, and hinges. “Assuming your door is made of sturdy material, reinforcing your emergency exit at these points will significantly slow down anyone trying to force entry,” said Tim Shafer, marketing manager at Detex.

Detex’s ECL-230X series of exit control locks are designed to reinforce your emergency exit’s weak points. The 230X base model is a dead bolt made from a corrosion-resistant alloy. This strong metal resists rusting, cutting, and sawing, and prevents thieves from prying the door open. The dead bolt has a one-inch throw that engages the door frame a little over ¾ of an inch. The strike plate can be surface or flush mounted, although flush mounting further engages the lock with the door frame and is therefore stronger.

Additional features include photoluminescent signage that glows in the dark, a low-profile push bar that won’t slow down emergency first responders by snagging their clothing, and a 100-decibel alarm powered by a 9-volt battery. The alarm automatically goes off when the door is opened. Everyone in a fifty-foot radius will know that someone or something has gone out, which reduces employee theft. And resetting the alarm can only be accomplished with a control key.

- Digital Partner -

Maximum Strength Exit Control Locks

More contact points with the door frame means more strength. The 230X is a one-point lock that secures the side of the door. Building from the 230X base, other products in this series offer top and/or bottom bolts for further protection. Securing the top and bottom of the door prevents “peeling,” prying the door open from the top or bottom corner.

The 230X-TB has a top and a bottom bolt, each with a ¾-inch throw that engages the strike plate a little over 5/8 of an inch. The 230X-TD has the top bolt of the 230X-TB and the side bolt of the 230X. Finally, the 230X-TDB combines the 230X and 230X-TB with top, side, and bottom bolts. Resistant to 16,000 pounds of pull force, the 230X-TDB offers maximum break-in prevention.

With these exit control locks in place, the hinges remain the only vulnerable point. A determined thief with enough time could cut through them. Hinge bolts are the solution here. Detex’s DX Bolts provide additional contact points with the door frame. Since they are mounted on the inside, even if the hinges are compromised, hinge bolts keep the door locked and secure. Combining the 230X-TDB with DX3 hinge bolts means six locking points. Only the most determined and well-prepared criminals are breaking in that door.

- Digital Partner -

Water and metal aren’t usually friendly. Add in high temperatures, dust, driving rain, and salt, and they’re downright antagonistic. The entire 230X series offers a weatherized version that conforms to UL Solutions standards for temperature and dust and US Department of Defense standards for driving rain and salt fog. The weatherized versions are great for areas prone to floods, tropical storms, dust storms, and high temperatures, or facilities that need to be frequently and thoroughly sanitized.

Detex’s 230X series of exit control locks provide the muscle to control who comes in and notifies store personnel that something has gone out. Easy installation saves on labor costs. And Detex offers a ten-year mechanical warranty and three-year electrical limited manufacturers warranty for further peace of mind.

For more information about Detex’s life safety and security door hardware, visit

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