As many of you know, yesterday was the NFPA Technical Meeting where NFPA members voted to decide whether NFPA 101 should allow two releasing operations for classroom doors, or continue to require one releasing operation to unlatch the door for egress.  If you haven’t been following this issue, there’s more information here.

I will have some more documentation to share once it is posted to the NFPA website, but thanks to the efforts of too many people and organizations to mention, NFPA 101 will continue to require one releasing operation for classroom doors – in fact, for ALL egress doors except dwelling unit entrance doors and doors with existing hardware serving a room with an occupant load of 3 people or less.  UPDATE:  Two appeals have been filed regarding the 1-operation language.  I will have more information to share as soon as the appeals are made public.

The Builders Hardware Manufacturers Association (BHMA) filed 5 certified amending motions (CAM) in response to the proposed changes to NFPA 101.  All 5 motions passed, and the unofficial tally of votes was:

  • CAM 101-3:  180 to 107
  • CAM 101-4:  233 to 41
  • CAM 101-5:  249 to 27
  • CAM 101-6:  245 to 26
  • CAM 101-7:  247 to 22

The momentum clearly progressed toward the 1-operation requirement as each motion was discussed and voted on.  If you’re interested in reading each of the motions, the report of the motions committee can be downloaded here.

Several speakers who opposed the 2-operation change cited the lack of compliance with the accessibility standards, and the resulting difficulty for operation by people with disabilities.  This is important testimony, as it could affect state modifications to the model codes.  A handful of states currently allowing classroom barricade devices and other retrofit security products may need to reconsider whether they are compliant with the Americans With Disabilities Act (ADA).

More to follow…

Photo:  NFPA

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