New IBC and NFPA code booksIn the past, some of my colleagues have compared me to Navin Johnson, Steve Martin’s character in The Jerk.  I will admit, Navin’s excitement over the arrival of the new phone book does share some similarities to my reaction to the publication of the new codes.

In the Olden Days, I anxiously awaited the arrival of new codes and standards affecting door openings, because I literally had no idea what changes had been made that would impact our work.  Controlled egress in health care came as a surprise, as did the requirements for UL 294 listings and the 5-pound operable force for hardware.  There was also code language that remained unclear for many editions, like the requirements for electromagnetic locks and cross-corridor doors in health care smoke barriers.

These days, there are no surprises for me when the new code books arrive.  For more than 20 years, the Builders Hardware Manufacturers Association (BHMA) has been very involved with the code development process, and for several editions of the model codes I have worked with BHMA’s Codes, Government, and Industry Affairs Committee (CGIA).  We propose changes that are needed to clarify the intent of the codes and standards or address new technologies and threats.  We also review proposals submitted by other organizations and individuals and suggest modifications if needed.  The work of this committee has an extremely important impact on the door and hardware industry.

Early this year, my Decoded column addressed changes to the 2024 I-Codes, with a separate article covering changes related to electrified hardware.  There will be additional resources shared on the BHMA Codes in Context page next year.  In the meantime, the 2024 model codes are now available for reference!  For free online access to the updated codes, visit the websites of the International Code Council and the National Fire Protection Association.

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