What sort of hardware elements are common in storefront and entrance systems?
Our business centers on pivots, exit devises and closers. We have seen a real uptick in access control, specifically electrified panics. The industry is moving that way, as people are much more concerned about security. It’s not just banks and jewelry stores—it’s basic office buildings, Main Street businesses.
We also have seen an increase in demand for products that are compatible with impact in response to changing codes.
How do you avoid compatibility issues with all of the various elements of a storefront system—the framing, glass, hardware, doors, etc.—and how do you ensure that your products are compatible with the overall system?
Unfortunately, when you have things coming from different people and different places. We try to work closely with the OEMs, the entire system manufacturer, to make sure they have whatever they need from us. We make sure it all gets done right on the front end, so once it’s on the job site, the installer doesn’t have to deal with problems.
If problems arise, we have the top-notch people online and in person for people to call. Everybody here is trained, so when people call in, they get the right advice or the right tip the first time. Make sure that everyone here can handle whatever comes in the first time. So customers get it solved.
What other challenges arise during storefront applications?
One of the challenges is making certain that your storefront meets the code for your state. For example, in California, the ADA codes require that no more than 5 pounds of pressure or force is required to open the door. In most of the rest of the country it’s 8 pounds. It is difficult to meet the 5 pound code and still have the door close properly when you turn on the heat and air. You have to adjust both springs and tweak it to marry the stack pressure and meet the ADA codes. The person installing the closure needs to be aware of the code or [he or she] will put in the wrong closure and the building won’t meet code. Additionally, if the installer does put in the right closure, but doesn’t take into account the stack pressure, you’ll have problems with the door not closing.
It is difficult for these installers to be code experts, because there are so many codes they need to keep up with. But we depend on the installers, because they are the ones that have the final say. We try to stay as up-to-date as we can, and foster good relationships with our glaziers, so we are meeting codes. We opened a training facility here at Jackson and offer classes for glaziers and locksmiths.