4  FM quick reads on door hardware

1. Door Hardware: Managers Must Consider Codes and Standards

This is Chris Matt, Managing Editor - Print & E-Media with Maintenance Solutions magazine. Today's tip is key codes and standards for door hardware.

Properly specifying door hardware for institutional and commercial facilities requires maintenance and engineering managers to consider the impact of codes and standards when selecting and installing handles, locks, closers, hinges and related products.

By reviewing applicable codes and guidelines for door-hardware products — most importantly, those related to fire and life safety and accessibility — managers can successfully incorporate these standards into the specification process to ensure success.

The official publications provided by the codifying bodies themselves are the main source for information about codes and standards. These standards are available in hard-copy and online versions and are available from reference libraries or by mail, phone, or online from the organization's websites.

The National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) 1: Fire Code, contains references and summaries of more 130 NFPA codes and standards covering a range of fire-protection and life-safety issues. Among the references and summaries:
• NFPA 13, Standard for Installation of Sprinkler Systems
• NFPA 25: Standard for the Inspection, Testing, and Maintenance of Water-Based Fire Protection Systems
• NFPA 54, National Fuel Gas Code
• NFPA 30 Flammable and Combustible Liquid Code

NFPA 80, Standards for Fire Doors and Other Opening Protectives, codifies and references standards for fire doors and fire windows, while NFPA 101, Safety to Life in Buildings and Structures, covers the Life Safety Code.

Authorities having jurisdiction (AHJ) determine the codes that apply in a specific geographic area. They use these codes as the basis for local building codes. Also, the International Code Council (ICC)/American National Standards Institute (ANSI) A117.1, American National Standard for Accessible and Usable Buildings and Facilities, codifies accessibility rules based on the guidelines established under the Americans with Disabilities Act.

Security Retrofit Considerations

I'm Dan Hounsell, editor of Maintenance Solutions magazine. Today's topic is, managing security retrofits.

Facility managers at Miami Children's Hospital have a clear vision for the new central operations center they established as part of a major addition to the 1.2-million-square-foot main campus.

"We're turning this into what you'd find with a 911 system," says Philip Doyle, the hospital's director of public safety and emergency preparedness. One of the biggest challenges related to the security upgrade was that it was a retrofit, not an installation for a new construction project.

"I put in systems before where it was brand new, but here we were taking an existing system and upgrading it," Doyle says. "You never know what you're going to find."

Despite the challenges the upgrade posed for certain types of technology the hospital specified, the access-control system was fairly simple to retrofit. The hospital installed proximity readers throughout the new central energy plant and in other parts of the facility, and the team hopes to replace the remaining swipe-card systems soon, Doyle says.

"That's an easy process," he says of retrofitting the card readers. "You take the reader down, plug in the new proximity reader, bring it back up, and you're good to go. Where the difficulty comes in is that you have 3,000 employees that you have to issue 3,000 new IDs to. Right now, we're in the process of capturing all the employees' photos, trying to upload as much of their information as we can into the access-control system."

Proximity cards grant occupants access after they hold the card within about 6 inches of the reader. This system makes it easier for hospital personnel — whether transporting materials and patients or rushing to attend to an emergency — to move about the facility because they do not have to pull out an ID and swipe it across the reader. The new cards also contain more details about building occupants, such as emergency-contact information.

Lift Specification: Key Questions

This is Chris Matt, Managing Editor of Print & E-Media, with Maintenance Solutions magazine. Today's tip is asking the right questions during lift specification.

Whether a maintenance task involves the one-time use of lift equipment or a longer-term commitment, selecting the right product requires managers to answer a series of important questions, such as:

  • How many technicians does the equipment need to lift for the task, and how much material?

  • What load capacity, platform space and utility access does the task require?

  • How far vertically and horizontally do technicians need to reach?

  • Do they need to reach over and down or rotate materials or components?

  • How will operators transport the lift? Is it a wheeled or tracked self-propelled unit? Does it need a trailer, or a pick-up truck, or a forklift?

  • Will the lift operate and be stored in one location?

  • Will operators need to move the lift over uneven surfaces?

  • Does the task call for a lift with leveling capability or load analysis?

  • How wide and high are access points?

  • Does the task call for alternating-current or direct-current electricity, or gas, propane or diesel fuel?

  • Will technicians need to work over immovable objects, such as ramps, steps, auditorium seats, or roofs?

Door Hardware: Training Tools

This is Chris Matt, Managing Editor of Print & E-Media, with Maintenance Solutions magazine. Today's tip is technician training for doors and door hardware.

Training for front-line technicians is essential for the success of new-generation door hardware because technicians are the first to see and hear about the system's problems, and they are the first responders to these problems. Managers have a number of key considerations when it comes to selecting training related to door hardware. The training should do the following:

  • Ensure a proper mix of both mechanical and electrical skills for the system.

  • Cover inspection of all points of entry for proper operation. This element is critical because the goal is to catch problems when they start to prevent damage to the hardware or the door itself.

  • Discuss trouble-shooting. For example, when a door slams shut, technicians should check the way the closer is adjusted to resume proper operation.

  • Offer guidance on proper installation of hardware. Whether in-house technicians or a contractor performs this task, in-house staff should know proper technique so they can tell if the installation is correct.

  • Review routine maintenance requirements. Issues here include battery checks, normal battery-life expectancy, hinge care, exit- and closer-device care, lock maintenance, latch maintenance and adjustment, and electrical testing.

  • Discuss problems with user set-up related to a PIN, magnetic card, or proximity card, as well as signs of problems, such as the card lock not responding.

Equipment manufacturers and vendors have central roles in training technicians. Some of these companies have been in business for decades, know the issues and are familiar with the most beneficial applications of new technology.


door hardware , codes and standards , ada , nfpa , fire safety

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