After writing about door openings every day for 13 years, I have learned that looking at something from different angles, answering similar questions in different ways, and seeing different examples really helps to clarify the code requirements.  Some people can read a code requirement in a book and “get it”…others need a video, drawing, or real-life example.

I have written about hardware mounting heights before.  There is a Decoded article that includes the recommended mounting heights from the Steel Door Institute (SDI).  I answered Quick Question about whether the entire piece of operable hardware needs to be within the allowable mounting height.  California’s acceptable mounting height range is only 10 inches high (the range for most jurisdictions is 14 inches), so I wrote a post alerting readers to a potential problem in California.  An issue with deadbolts and hospital latches kept coming up, so I asked what you all were seeing in a WWYD post.

I think that looking at a requirement from different perspectives really helps to settle the knowledge into a part of our brain where it’s readily accessible.  I guarantee that thousands of people have walked by the doors in today’s Fixed-it Friday photos without thinking twice about them.  But a retired fire marshal who has been reading iDigHardware since the early days took note of the panic hardware location and sent me the photos.

So how high is too high?  According to the model codes and accessibility standards used in most states, operable hardware mounted above 48 inches is too high.  Based on my very unscientific measurement methods, I think these panics are probably within the allowable range of 34-48 inches above the floor (but near the top of the range).  If they were in California I would be a little less confident that they were within the 34-44 inch range required by the California Building Code, but they may still make it.

And for anyone who is wondering about the panic hardware along with the stationary crossbars, I wrote a post about that application back in 2015.  And one about double-cylinder deadbolts on doors with panic hardware.  🙂

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