As I’ve mentioned in previous posts, shortly after the NFPA technical meeting on June 7th, two appeals were filed.  These appeals were submitted in favor of keeping the proposed changes to NFPA 101 that would allow 2 releasing operations for certain egress doors instead of 1 releasing operation.

The appeals, filed by Dave Geenens of Fire Door Solutions and Keith Pardoe of Pardoe Consulting, are now available on NFPA’s website.  To download the appeals, go to NFPA’s page for the Standards Council and click the link that says Part 2.  The appeals begin on page 62 of that PDF file.

Letters supporting and opposing the appeals begin on page 74 of the same PDF.  I think this comment from Vincent Quinterno of the Rhode Island State Fire Marshal’s office sums it up well (page 78 of the Part-2 document):

“Many classroom assaults actually occur from within the classroom itself. The use of these secondary locking mechanism will delay egress for the room itself.  This delay will further increase the danger to occupants.  Also, secondary locking mechanism may create egress difficulties for people with disabilities and not allow them a means of egress to escape danger.”

David Collins, of the Preview Group and also representing the American Institute of Architects (AIA), addressed the impact of installing classroom barricade devices (page 80 of the Part-2 document):

“As an industry, we the designers, builders and owners have relied upon codes and standards working together to provide the appropriate installation of products that have been tested and proven to meet minimum criteria of performance in buildings. These expected minimum criteria have not been established for how secondary devices placed on classroom doors will perform in a crisis situation.  Many of these devices have never been tested to meet any criteria. To simply allow their use is contrary to the goals, objectives and I believe intent, of the Life Safety Code.

The appellants are a product manufacturer and a representative of that same manufacturer. Their interests do not reflect the broad spectrum of the designers, code officials and representatives of the disability community that testified at the hearing in support of the action that was taken. I urge you to uphold the vote at the Technical Meeting on CAMs No. 101-3, 101-5 and 101-6.”

Curt Decker of the National Disability Rights Network verified an important legal aspect (page 84 of the Part-2 document):

“On June 7th, 2017, Chris Griffin offered testimony supporting CAMs 101-3, 101-5, and 101-6 at the technical meeting in Boston.  Chris is the executive director of the Disability Law Center in Massachusetts, and was representing the National Disability Rights Network at those proceedings.  In each case, she testified the language the above-listed appeals (if successful) would reinstate was ‘discriminatory to those with physical or visual impairments, impedes egress, and is in violation of standards and laws regarding accessibility.’ “

I will report back on the results of the appeals after the Standards Council meeting on August 15th.

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