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Code Development

Stairwell Reentry – Revisited

Something recently caught me by surprise and I feel like I should bring it to light so that anyone who is specifying, supplying, or installing electrified hardware on stairwell doors would be aware of the potential issue…

Access to Panic Hardware

I’m sure you’ve seen panic hardware with some sort of guard or protection above, below, or around the panic. Should the codes define a certain area of free space around the panic hardware, ensuring that the actuating portion is obvious and readily available to someone using the exit? How much clear space is needed?

More on Electric Strikes on Fire Door Assemblies

Recently a question from a code official landed in my inbox – “Can an electric strike on a fire door be operated by a motion sensor?” For example, if a door was often used by people carrying boxes or other large items, could a sensor release the strike so the building occupants could just push on the door rather than turning the lever to exit?

Rescue Hardware on Corridor Doors

Is rescue hardware allowed on a corridor door in a hospital or nursing home? Is the door able to provide an effective barrier to limit the passage of smoke without the frame stop?

Elevator Machine Rooms

Two of our specwriters recently asked me about elevator machine rooms (which would fit the description of “rooms not normally occupied by humans”), because they had specified manual flush bolts on elevator machine rooms, and had been told that automatic flush bolts are required…

WWYD? Fire Door Closing Cycle

I was asked this question last week – when testing a swinging fire door to determine whether it closes and latches, what degree of opening is used? Do you open the door fully? Does the door have to close and latch from any position?

Maneuvering Clearance with Spring Hinges

A question hit my inbox a few weeks ago that I had never considered before: Does a door with spring hinges require the same maneuvering clearance as a door with a door closer?

Swimming Pool Access Control

I know that much of the US is beyond swimming pool season, but this question just came up again so I’ll leave it right here for you to find when you need it…

Clear Opening Width for Double-Egress Pairs

This question landed on my desk recently…What is the minimum clear opening width for each leaf of a double-egress pair?

Fire Door Clearance / Continuous Hinge

Two paragraphs were added in the 2013 edition of NFPA 80 to address continuous hinges used on fire doors. I’ve seen these sections many times and never noticed a potential problem, until it came up twice in the last couple of weeks…

WWYD? Double-Egress Pairs

Here’s a question for all of the distributors, fire door inspectors, AHJs, CDCs, and anyone else out there who has an opinion. When you’re calculating the “prefit” door widths for a double-egress pair…

Locks for Multi-Stall Restrooms

According to the IBC Commentary, the purpose of this requirement is to prevent people from locking themselves in the toilet room to create a safe haven for illicit activities…

Double-Acting Doors

Every so often, I’m asked whether a double-acting door can be used in a location where egress is required in both directions. A double-acting door is one that swings in and out…

Elopement from Schools

I read an article this morning about a 3-year-old boy who eloped from his preschool in Bangor, Maine. The teacher saw him go through the exterior door…

Good News – 2018 IFC on Classroom Security

The classroom security change that will be included in the 2018 IFC is consistent with the IBC, and early adoption of this language would go a long way toward maintaining life safety and creating a uniform set of requirements across the United States.

QQ: Fire Door Frames with Existing Wall Anchors

“When I’m installing a fire-rated frame into an existing opening using existing wall anchors, how much space can I have around the frame, and what is permissible to use to seal that gap?”

QQ: Are deadbolts prohibited in a means of egress?

I’ve had several situations where an AHJ interpreted the term “bolt lock,” used in the International Building Code (IBC), to mean a deadbolt…

Tower of Babel – Sheldon Wolfe

On further thought, I realized I really don’t know much about the countless codes and regulations that govern construction…

2-Operation Follow-Up

When a proposal was made to add a reference in Chapter 7 to the exceptions for 2 operations, the Technical Committee on Means of Egress almost unanimously opposed this change…

I need you.

Let’s not look back on this moment in history and think, “If only we had done something…”

QQ: More on Stairwell Reentry

The questions about stairwell reentry never seem to end. I think it’s time to work on some code development proposals to add some clarity…

WWYD? IBC Changes

This is our big chance to propose some changes to the IBC, to help make it easier to interpret, and to address new developments in products or technologies, or new safety issues that have arisen…

QQ: Empty Tab Slots

The increased enforcement of the inspection requirements for fire door assemblies has brought some pretty intense scrutiny upon the various components.  In some cases we’re finding that NFPA 80 and the model codes don’t currently address the fine details of how these assemblies are tested and constructed. I was recently contacted by a facility that […]

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