Door Hardware: Managers Must Consider Codes and Standards

  June 14, 2011

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.


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