NFMT 2016 – Recap

We are back from the NFMT Show in Baltimore and as always, we had a great time. This is a terrific show to see, and listen to the people who install and maintain our hardware.


The Hager Team arrived in Baltimore Monday to bright blue skies.  After a stop to drop off luggage at the Hilton Inner Harbor we headed to the Baltimore Convention Center to organize the product displays, giveaways and literature in our booth.


The Hilton Inner Harbor and Baltimore Convention Center sit a block from Camden Yards. Too bad baseball season hadn’t started yet!


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National Facilities Management and Technology – NFMT Conference

We are heading to Baltimore next week for the NFMT show! We really enjoy this show as the attendees are facility management and maintenance personnel who get down and dirty with our hardware. The input and feedback we receive from this show is vital to our engineers and product managers.

This year we are bringing our brand new 8200 Series Economy Low Energy Power Operator along with our touchless actuator. Gordon Holmes, who is the Product Manager for this line, will be there to answer questions and demonstrate the product.


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Team Member Profile – Sharon Rainwater

Sharon celebrated 25 years with Hager in February of 2016, which is quite an accomplishment!  Sharon started with Hager Co. in February of 1991 and currently holds the position of Assistant Customer Service Manager.


In Sharon’s own words:

Childhood ambition: Loved music, but chose to be an Administrative Assistant like my mom.

First job:  Steak N Shake.

What led you to the hardware industry:  I was looking for an Administrative Assistant job and Hager had an opening. I was hired by Steve Tenholder to work as an Administrative Assistant for the Marketing Department. I was then asked to work for members of the Hager family a few years later. At that time, Warren Hager was responsible for the Roton Continuous Hinge product line. When he was out of the office, I used to take phone calls and started asking questions about the product. I also worked for Susie Wiegand who would receive phone calls from certain customers on Architectural and Residential products.

Proudest professional moment: When I succeeded in my job at hand and was promoted for my efforts.

Biggest challenge: Learning locks and masterkeying.

Mentor/Hero: My Grandma.

Best advice you ever received: That life is a challenge and you should never stop trying to be a better .person.

Best advice you never received: If you make a mistake, own it and move on. Don’t blame others.

Guilty pleasure: Chocolate.


We are so glad Sharon is on the Hager team, leading with her knowledge and 100% dedication.  Thanks for your hard work and fortitude Sharon!


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During a cold snap, when temperatures dropped below freezing, the deadbolt to my garage froze and the key wouldn’t turn. I was renting at the time so I called the property maintenance company who told me to use a hair dryer to unfreeze the lock, so I could get to work. Then the person added “I’ll send someone out to spray it with WD-40.”

Being in the hardware business we hear and learn new things every day. One of the things I learn early on is while WD-40 is good for a lot of uses, it isn’t good to spray in locks.

Our Director of Engineering, Mark McRae, wrote a White Paper on the subject, which we have shared below. There is a lot of good technical information but basically our Director of Engineering recommends using White Lithium Grease for hinges, locks, and other door hardware.


The WD-40 vs White Lithium Grease vs Silicon Spray by Mark McRae
From getting loose a stuck bolt to lubricating metal to metal and metal to non-metal friction areas.

There are a lot of oils/lubricants/greases available for specific purposes and some that will work for a wide range of applications.

Below is information on WD-40, Silicon Spray and White Lithium Grease as they are by far the most popular “multipurpose” lubricant/greases.


WD-40 (Water Displacement, 40th attempt) is a product that everyone uses indiscriminately on a wide range of materials.

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A Guest Post by Jill Gile – Importance of Technology

Jill Gile works as an Architectural Specifications Representative with the Commencement Bay Architectural Group NW who just launched their new website. She writes about technology and the door and hardware industry.

Importance of Technology

Door hardware is an “old-school” business. There have been a few technological advances over the years, and electrified hardware is a big leap forward, but the industry as a whole is pretty low tech. Sales reps still rely on face-to-face contact with their clients. Buying hardware for an entire project is still done with purchase orders and paperwork.

As a result, the hardware business is a little behind the curve on the internet, especially social networking. Some reps are on LinkedIn (but many of them aren’t actually linking up with anyone). A few sales agencies have websites, but they aren’t much more than a home page with a logo. Many manufacturers websites aren’t much better.

As a newcomer to the business, I was surprised at first. When trying to connect with new colleagues or clients, I often hit a wall on the internet – the names were out there, but there was no way to connect. Websites would have an “under construction” logo that was clearly from 1995. LinkedIn requests would go unanswered. Researching information would lead to rabbit holes returning to the same website with a PDF that wouldn’t download.

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The Station Fire – February 20, 2003

13 years ago 100 people lost their lives and over 200 were injured in The Station fire, a nightclub in Warwick, Rhode Island. It took just 5 1/2 minutes for the fire to engulf the nightclub.

When the fire started the nightclub’s fire alarm did sound but most people headed for the front doors, which they had entered from, instead of 3 other exits which were also available. The narrow hallway leading to the front door exit couldn’t handle the crush of people and the opening became blocked by concert goers and staff.

There were many mitigating factors that lead to this disaster. The purpose of this post is not to assign blame but to not become lax in our thinking it can’t happen again. We need to continue learning about fire and life safety in order to prevent future tragedy.

The National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) held an emergency hearing 30 days after the fire. You would expect to hear from many fire and life safety officials but one NFPA member spoke not as an official, but as a father. Al Gray, a fire and life safety official with the Massachusetts Bay Transit Authority spoke from the heart about his son Derek, who died in the fire. His message was that all buildings, old and new, should be equipped with fire sprinklers.

Due to the age and size of the building The Station was housed many thought the club was exempt from sprinkler system requirements. As it turned out when the building was converted from a restaurant to a nightclub it lost its exemption status. The National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) investigated the fire and created a mock-up of the stage area and dance floor using computer simulations. It was determined a fire sprinkler system would have contained the fire long enough to give everyone time to exit safely. During Mr. Gray’s message he stated “If there were sprinklers in that building, those kids would have got out. That’s it in a nutshell.”

Another factor was the occupant load. The required number of exits and widths of exits in a building are determined based on the calculated occupant load. In an assembly occupancy, it is vital that the main entrance/exit adequately accommodate half the occupant load. During the investigation it was determined that the number of people in the nightclub surpassed the occupancy load.

A number of code provisions were passed as a result of this tragedy.  As of the 2006 Edition of the NFPA 101 Life Safety Code and NFPA 5000 Building Construction and Safety Code fire sprinklers are required in all nursing homes, in new construction of one and two family dwellings, and in all new construction of nightclubs and life facilities, as well as for existing nightclubs and like facilities with capacities over 100.

Sadly, in 2015 another nightclub fire claimed lives in Bucharest, Romania.

Education is key in helping prevent loss of life from fires.

National Fire Protection Association

Door Security and Safety Foundation

National Association of State Fire Marshals


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Team Member Profile: Debra Powers-Wafford

We decided to take a page out of the DHI Doors & Hardware Magazine ‘DHI Face’ Series and occasionally highlight Hager team members to share on this blog. This gives both customers and co-workers an opportunity to see and read about a team member they may associate with.

First up is Debra Powers-Wafford. Debra has been with Hager since 2013 as a Architectural Specification Consultant in the Texas & Oklahoma territory.


In Debra’s own words:

Childhood Ambition:   I wanted to be an Oceanographer. I loved Jacques Cousteau and his adventures of the Great Barrier Reef.

First Job:  My first job was as a vet assistant with the Humane Society. I helped with kennel care for abused animals who had been abandoned so the vet could keep his costs down.

What led you to the hardware industry?  When I became a high school teacher, I needed a summer income and worked at Burgess Sales & Supply in Charlotte, North Carolina. I gave up teaching and started full time there in 2004.

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What were they thinking?

Every so often we come across door openings where we stop and scratch our heads and wonder, what were they thinking?!


This photo was taken by a Hager team member during a stay at a hotel near our Montgomery plant.  The privacy pocket door latch was installed upside down. Not much privacy protection happening here.



Not sure how the hinges and cylindrical lock bore ended up on the same side but worse no one noticed and installed the door anyway.



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Classroom Barricade Devices

We had another post planned but felt this was more important to share.

This video has surfaced on Facebook. It currently has 3,552,279 views, 122,560 shares, 21,189 likes and 1,153 comments.  These are the type of devices that those of us in the hardware industry are fighting against.

Facebook / Future X - via Iframely


From the comments it is evident that people don’t understand the dangers these devices can contribute too. If you have a moment we encourage you to comment on the Facebook post to help education the general population.

Here are links to additional information as to why barricade devices are not a good choice.

National Association of State Fire Marshals – Classroom Door Security Guidelines

Partner Alliance for Safer Schools (PASS) – White Paper on Classroom Barricade Devices

Classroom Barricade Devices and why focusing on them makes us vulnerable to threats

Expert says many of these products are not code compliant and could nullify the warrantees of locks and door hardware.

What Price Security?

Classroom Door Security


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Closer Installation

Hager team members have an affliction.  I’ve heard that other people in the door and hardware industry also have it. When we are out and about in the world we constantly stop and look at door openings. We look to see if the correct hardware is on the door for the application. We also check to see if the hardware has been installed correctly. This affliction can be a quick flick of the eye or a full stop and spend 15 minutes (or longer) examining the door opening.  If you are a friend or family member of a door and hardware professional surely you have been detained by your loved one for this reason. Take pity on them, he or she can’t help it.

This affliction hit our Director of Marketing and Product Development, Bob Wilkins, when he visited his neighborhood deli.  First Bob spotted the closer arm that had ripped out of the door frame.



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