electronic access control

Why are door closers so important and how do they affect the security of my building?

Why are door closers so Important & how do they affect the security of my building?By Ryan Kaullen, Field Services Manager at Kenton Brothers

It is important to understand that door closers play a pivotal role in the security of your buildings and helping keep spaces secured. What are some of the features door closers offer? Are there different types of grades on door closers?

The simple task of a door closer is to help make sure that when a door opens, it closes and helps with door latching when it returns.  Door closers serve other safety and security capacities such as helping maintain the fire-rating of fire rated openings, preventing damage and wear to other door hardware, and helping doors to close quietly and not slam shut. Door closers are vital to the integrity and safety of an opening. Do not overlook them!

What are some of the features door closers offer?

Door closers offer security and safety as mentioned above, but can also offer building environment benefits as well. You may ask, “What do you mean by building environment?” Just like at your house, when a door isn’t closed your home becomes susceptible to the elements, bugs, unwanted visitors, etc. The same is true for the doors at your workplace. By adding a door closer to applicable doors, you are helping with all of these scenarios.

Preventing damage is another great feature door closers offer. Door closers slow the closing of a door and help them securely latch by pulling the door shut. Damage can come in several forms, including damage to the opening itself or even injury to a person as they are using the opening. By preventing slamming, door closers lengthen the life of the door, the frame, and other door hardware on the opening.

Door closers also offer different options in regards to functionality of a door such as wider degree openings, hold open options, longer arms, heavier duty arms, and more. When evaluating the door and type of closer needed, it’s important to evaluate what the opening is typically used for to help select the right grade, which I will get into later, and any specialty features needed. It is also important to remember that the features we’ve talked about so far are just some of the major benefits door closers offer.

Grades of door closers

Why are door closers so Important & how do they affect the security of my building? Just like other door hardware, door closers also come in different grades and standards for the type of opening they are being installed into. For instance, an exterior opening that sees a lot of foot traffic during the day should have a Grade 1 closer whereas a closet internal to the building that may be used rarely may not need a Grade 1 closer. A Grade 2 closer would be sufficient in this instance.

Grade 1 vs. Grade 2 also comes down to industry standards for cycle count efficiency (how many times that door can be opened before the closer fails.) Grade 1 closers offer double the cycle efficiency of a Grade 2 closer. This is another reason it’s so important to understand the usage/foot traffic the door is going to see in a day. Grade 1 closers cost more than Grade 2 closers, but you need to look at the situation to determine the investment. If one of your doors has a ton of foot traffic every day, and you opt to go with a lower grade closer, you will be replacing it sooner (and more often) than a Grade 1 closer. Often, Grade 1 closers are the better long term financial decision.

When it comes down to selecting a door closer, it’s important to pick the right closer for the given application. Safety and security play a huge role in this decision. Kenton Brothers installs hundreds (if not thousands) of door closers every year. Our Security Consultants can provide insight and industry best practice suggestions for your openings to help you pick the right door closers. Give us a call to discuss!

Commercial vs. Residential: Not All Door Hardware is Made the Same

By Ryan Kaullen, Field Services Manager at Kenton Brothers

One of the biggest requirements that our clients have is their employee and customer safety. This goes hand in hand with the door hardware that is being used. I am going to compare two things in this article; Commercial Grade Hardware vs Residential Grade Hardware and Grade 1 Hardware vs Grade 2 Hardware. All have their proper applications and it’s important to understand when and where they should be used.

Commercial Grade Hardware vs. Residential Grade Hardware

Commercial vs. Residential: Not All Door Hardware is Made the SameCommercial grade hardware is built to withstand areas with higher amounts of traffic than residential buildings require. Essentially what you put on your home isn’t the same as what goes on the front door of a highly used commercial space. Along with commercial hardware being heavier duty,  most commercial buildings have specific requirements when it comes to meeting certain specifications such as UL Listings, ADA compliance, or other life safety conditions.

Residential hardware is made for homes where they won’t get as much wear and tear. Some businesses have used residential hardware in their spaces, but this causes several issues.

1) Warranties by the manufacturer of the residential hardware can be voided because it’s installed in a commercial space.
2) They won’t hold up and will need to be replaced frequently.
3) They don’t meet the life safety requirements of many commercial buildings.

Installing the correct hardware on commercial buildings is incredibly important. The hardware lasts longer, helps with safety and security, and keeps you in compliance.

Grade 1 Lock Grade 2 Lock

Grade 1 Hardware vs. Grade 2 Hardware

When you dig deeper into commercial grade hardware, there are two levels you really want to look at: Grade 1 and Grade 2.

Grade 1 hardware not only meets building requirements for commercial spaces, but it also provides a higher level of security, withstands heavy usage and helps guard against vandalism. Grade 1 hardware can be used anywhere but on exterior openings. They can also be used in doors that protect rooms containing items of high value like IT closets.

Grade 2 door hardware meets light commercial requirements and is a level above residential door hardware. These locks are great for offices, closets and other applications that don’t require heavy usage. Grade 2 hardware is more economical compared to Grade 1, but will last longer than residential hardware.

When selecting the grade of hardware for your facility, your choices may vary from door to door. The type of usage and other factors play into these decisions. It is extremely important to understand where the different grades make good choices. If you have any questions, please reach out to Kenton Brothers so we can help with your facility needs!

The Fortified Village: A Fable of Kenton Brothers Systems for Security in the Medieval Realm

By David Strickland, Vice President of Kenton Brothers

Welcome to Eldoria

The Fortified Village: A Fable of Kenton Brothers Systems for Security in the Medieval RealmIn a distant medieval realm, nestled between rolling hills and dense forests, there existed a peaceful village named Eldoria. The villagers, content in their simple lives, lived in harmony with the land. However, peace is a fragile thing, and the tranquility of Eldoria was shattered when rumors of marauding bandits spread like wildfire. Travelling caravans spoke of their perils and the destruction left behind by these marauders.

These bandits, known for their cunning and ruthlessness, struck fear into the hearts of the villagers. As the threat loomed larger with each passing day, the village elders gathered to seek a solution. It was then that a wise elder, known for his sagacity, spoke of a distant land named Kansas City where Kenton Brothers Systems for Security thrived. This organization, led by the great Lady Gina of Lee’s Summit, was known across the land as the protector of the realm.

Emissaries were dispatched to seek the aid of Lady Gina and Kenton Brothers, and after a long and perilous journey, they arrived at the gates of the city to visit the renowned security experts. The village’s plight reached the ears of Lady Gina and her band of Knights. It was agreed that something must be done to help the people of Eldoria.

The emissaries returned to Eldoria with the good news.

The villagers were filled with hope as they eagerly awaited the arrival of the Kenton Brothers Knights that promised to fortify their village and repel the bandit threat. A caravan bearing the emblem of Kenton Brothers arrived in Eldoria. The villagers marveled at the advanced equipment and the skilled craftsmen who had journeyed to their humble abode.

The head of the caravan, a seasoned security expert named Sir Neal of Systems addressed the villagers.

“Fear not, good people of Eldoria, Lady Gina has heard your pleas for help. Kenton Brothers stands ready to fortify your village against the menace that plagues you,” Sir Neal proclaimed. The crowd cheered as Sir Neal dispatched the Knights of Kenton Brothers across the village to assess the current state of defenses.

Gathering that evening in the Great Tent of Engineering, the knights reported all levels of defensive capabilities and the changes need to repel the great horde of bandits quickly closing in on the village. The Eldoria leaders grew fearful as they heard the reports and understood how poorly the city was prepared for what was to come.

All Eldorian hearts were heavy until Sir Ryan of Service loudly proclaimed that there was no task too great for Kenton Brothers Systems for Security and that working together with Eldoria, great works could be done and they will be prepared to face the threat! The Eldorians were filled with confidence from the Knight’s enthusiastic statement and cheered their support! Laboring through the night, assisted by oil lamps,  Kenton Brothers and the Eldoria leaders created a plan that would preserve their village and surrounding areas.

And so, the work began.

The craftsmen from Kenton Brothers labored day and night, constructing a formidable perimeter around the village. Towering walls were erected, equipped with state-of-the-art surveillance systems that could detect the slightest movement in the surrounding forests. Access control points were installed, ensuring that only those with the villagers’ best interests at heart could enter. Village elders were trained in recognizing threats and identifying counter measures. They in turn trained other villagers on situational awareness and what steps to take to keep their crops, livestock and family safe.

As the villagers observed the transformation, a newfound sense of security enveloped Eldoria. The once fearful whispers were replaced with hopeful conversations, and the children played freely in the meadows once again.

The Bandits

The bandits, hackers, thieves and nare do wells have had an easy time raiding villages throughout the land. Running unopposed across the lands, growing rich in spoils and reputation. Many times raiding abandoned villages as the people would run away in fear the night before. The Bandits numbers growing daily as evildoers all over the realm sought out easy payoffs.

Unaware of the changes taking place in Eldoria, the bandits planned their next raid. Little did they know that Eldoria was no longer an easy target. The night they chose to strike was a dark and bitter night.

As the bandits approached under cover of darkness, they began to set off perimeter alarms. The Eldorian villagers were alerted and immediately sprang to action. Alerts were repeated and everyone assumed their given role and position on the defensive line. All of this before the bandits even knew they had been detected.

The bandits launched their first attack! The bandits encountered an impenetrable barrier – the walls of Eldoria fortified by Kenton Brothers Systems for Security. As the bandits futilely attempted to breach the village, the surveillance systems alerted the villagers and the guards stationed at strategic points. Sir Neal of Systems, leading the defense, rallied the villagers to stand united against the common enemy. The bandits, disoriented and outmatched, were forced to retreat into the darkness from whence they came.

Enraged, the leader of the bandits decided to try again by attacking the rear defenses. There stood Sir Ryan and his Eldorian defenders waiting on the bandits as the surveillance system tracked their movements through the forest. All night long, wave after wave of bandits crashed unsuccessfully against the defenses. Cheers arose at dawn’s light as the bandits scurried into the forest in defeat.


Word of Eldoria’s successful defense spread far and wide, reaching the ears of neighboring villages facing similar threats. The reputation of lady Gina and Kenton Brothers Systems for Security soared, and emissaries from other realms sought their expertise to fortify their own villages against banditry and other perils.

Emboldened by their success, the villagers of Eldoria embraced their newfound security with gratitude. The partnership forged with Kenton Brothers became a symbol of hope, illustrating how advanced security solutions could safeguard even the most vulnerable communities.

As the years passed, Eldoria thrived under the watchful eyes of the Kenton Brothers and their band of Knights and craftsmen. The villagers no longer lived in constant fear, and the bandits, aware of the impenetrable defense, dared not approach the fortified village. The people of Eldoria flourished, their once humble abode transformed into a beacon of safety and prosperity across the lands.

And so, the tale of Eldoria became a legend passed down through generations – a testament to the transformative power of Kenton Brothers Systems for Security in a medieval realm. The villagers lived in peace, secure in the knowledge that their fortified village was a shining example of how innovation and collaboration could triumph over adversity.

If your village is in danger, please send a rider at once!

Which ADA Operator is right for my business?

Which ADA Operator is right for my business?By Ryan Kaullen, Field Services Manager at Kenton Brothers

An ADA Operator is a device that you install on a door to make it suitable for people who need help opening and holding open a door. ADA Operators come in many styles, offerings, and sizes to help meet the needs of a facilities openings. Operators can be integrated to work with a company’s access control platform and can be set to work on specific schedules.

The question becomes which ADA Operator is right for my business?

First let’s discuss some of the common type of ADA Operators.

Low-Energy Operators, Power-Assist Operators, and Full Power Operators are some of the most common types. Each of these Operators are made for a specific purpose:

Low-Energy Operator

A Low-Energy operator allows users of all types of mobility to select either manual operation or automatic operation of the door.

Power-Assist Operator

A Power-Assist Operator uses a motor driven mechanism inside the device to open and close the door, it senses the presence of a person trying to open the door and assists them in doing so.

Full-Power Operator

Full-Power (Or Energy) Operators use more energy to quickly open the doors with a higher amount of force. They use sensors, guide rails, have variable closing speeds, and other internal tools to help at the opening.

Which ADA Operator is right for my business? Which ADA Operator is right for my business?

Access Control Integration and ADA Buttons

Which ADA Operator is right for my business?Next let’s discuss the integration of the operators.

Kenton Brothers installs hundreds of Operators each and every year, and a large portion of these are integrated with our customer’s access control platform. The benefits are simple: They can be controlled via schedules, they work in tandem with physical door hardware to keep your facility secure, they allow employees and or patrons with mobility issues to gain entry at correct times, and the operators become an integral part of the building design.

I also wanted to mention ADA buttons.

ADA buttons can be hardwired, wireless, and wave actuated. Button selection is determined by many things including wire paths available; do you want people touching the buttons or not, location of buttons, and aesthetics. Buttons also come in different sizes depending on the available space in the location where they will be installed.

If you have any questions regarding ADA Operators and how they can fit into your facility’s safety and security methods, please contact one of our security consultants to learn more.

SALTO Systems: Unique Access Control Solutions for a 100+ Year Old Building

By Ryan Kaullen, Field Services Manager at Kenton Brothers

SALTO Systems: Unique Access Control SolutionsIn late 2023, Kenton Brothers was approached by a property management company about adding access control to a local, 100+ year old tenant-based building in Kansas City, MO. The building has more than 16 floors and multiple elevators needed access control. As you can imagine, when the building was being built access control was not in the minds of the architect nor builders. So, the task became how does Kenton Brothers provide access control for this unique situation while keeping costs in-line with the customer’s budget?

SALTO Systems

The answer was an access control platform that supports both online and offline locks while at same time being able to take care of access control for the elevators. The system is made by a company called SALTO Systems. Their array of lock solutions allowed Kenton Brothers technicians to install cable where it was accessible to connect to the server and have some of the locks being online, while also being able to install locks at doors where cable wasn’t an option. All while still granting access or denying access depending on the credential presented.

Here is the interesting feature of this system: Online readers re-program each card as they are presented, and then the new information is carried to the offline locks the next time they are used. This allows the system to be centrally managed without running wires to every lock. (Remember, this building is over 100 years old.) Pretty cool, right?

Our solution allows the property management company to grant access to individuals with the correct credentials into certain spaces like the gym, pool area, rooftop, etc. And they can deny individuals who should not have access to those spaces. Without the SALTO access control system, this is almost impossible to control.

SALTO Systems: Unique Access Control Solutions SALTO Systems: Unique Access Control Solutions

The next phase of the project was the elevators.

To accomplish getting readers to work with the elevators, and the readers needing to be offline readers, Kenton Brothers worked closely with the elevator company whose software and the access control software would work in tandem to take tenants to the correct floors while still allowing the property management company to program proper access to the readers. This was a close coordination between our team and the elevator company to accomplish our customer’s goals. And this was crucial to the success of the project because it again helps keep the flow of traffic of people going to the correct floors where they are allowed to be.

Projects like these are what Kenton Brothers loves to take on. These kinds of projects make us think outside the box, deliver one-of-a-kind systems, and come up with unique and customizable solutions to take care of the customer.  This is the type of work that has made Kenton Brothers stand out for over 127 years.

To see how Kenton Brothers can help with your unique needs, please give us a call.

SALTO Systems: Unique Access Control Solutions SALTO Systems: Unique Access Control Solutions