Hello ACE Network!

Eventually I will expand this page to include other information as needed, but for now I am adding the resources for the monthly RSO meetings, for those of you who choose to present this information to your RSOs.  If you have any requested topics, let me know.  Some of you have asked who the other ACE’s are, so the list is here.

November 2022 – Flush Bottom Rail Requirement

A lot of questions have come up about this requirement recently, so I wrote a FAQ post about it and linked to some other resources.  This requirement is found in the accessibility standards – both the ADA Standards for Accessible Design and ICC A117.1 – Accessible and Usable Buildings and Facilities.  It is not a new requirement but recently there has been increased enforcement.  The intent is for the flush, smooth surface at the bottom of the door on the push side to help prevent a cane, crutch, walker, or wheelchair footpad from catching on the door or on protruding hardware as someone is attempting to push the door open.

If you have any questions, let me know and I will post the answers here.

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October 2022 – Controlled Egress Locks in Health Care

This is not a new topic but there are still many health care facility managers who do not know that controlled egress locks are an option for some types of units.  Prior to the 2009 model codes, the most restrictive method that could be used to prevent elopement was delayed egress hardware, but this is not a great option for some types of units – like memory care.  Beginning with the 2009 model codes, controlled egress locks have been allowed to prevent egress indefinitely, in health care units where patients require containment for their safety or security.

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September 2022 – Normal Locking Arrangements

This update might cause some eyes to glaze over, but for anyone who has run into problems with incorrect interpretations related to electrified hardware, this is important information.  Many AHJs (and others) have tried to apply one of the code sections addressing special locking arrangements to doors with access control readers controlling ingress, and hardware that allows free egress.  These systems are not special locking arrangements (SLA) – they are normal locking arrangements (NLA) – and they must comply with the same code requirements that apply to mechanical hardware.  When an AHJ tries to apply one of the SLA sections to a door with NLA, they may ask for “extra” things like a push button beside the door, or hardware that is listed to UL 294.  Some changes have been made to the 2021 IBC Commentary and the 2024 edition of the IBC, to help clarify the requirements for doors with normal locking arrangements.

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August 2022 – Classroom Door Safety and Security

Classroom security is obviously an important topic for us, and while securing classroom doors and other doors in schools, we have to make sure that the doors remain code-compliant.  There have been some changes in the model codes over the last couple of editions, which I have linked below.  In addition to the slides, there are links to just a few of the dozens (hundreds??) of articles and other resources that we have available on this topic.  If you’re looking for something in particular, let me (Lori) know!

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July 2022 – Temperature Rise Fire Doors

There seems to be a lot of confusion about where temperature rise fire doors are required by code, and which buildings are exempt from the requirements.  This month’s update explains what a temperature rise door is, the purpose of these fire doors, and introduces a new resource on iDigHardware – code summaries on various topics.  I will be organizing these summaries on a page on the site once I have a few done.  The next one is on fail safe vs. fail secure electrified hardware.

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June 2022 – FAQs About Low-Energy Automatic Operators

There is a recent post on iDigHardware that covers some of the FAQs related to low-energy automatic operators.  These FAQ posts are being published in the ASHE newsletter each month.  The post has links to a lot of good information about the requirements of the codes and standards related to automatic operators.  I have included these questions and answers in the ACE update presentation, and some of the links to more info are below.

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May 2022 – Fire Doors in Multifamily Buildings

Recent fires in multifamily buildings have drawn attention to the condition of existing fire doors and the impact a non-code-compliant fire door can have during a fire.  Apartment fires are VERY common, and the fire door assembly required between the corridor and each dwelling unit plays critical role in the passive fire protection of a building.  This month’s presentation doesn’t address a code change, but covers a very important topic when it comes to the safety of building occupants.

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April 2022 – Code Requirements for Electromagnetic Locks

There has been so much confusion regarding the code requirements for electromagnetic locks, and there is a lot of information available on iDigHardware to make sure everyone can get the answers they need.  For this month’s code update, I covered the two common types of systems that include mag-locks, and there are links to a video, a Decoded article, and additional blog posts below.

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March 2022 – FAQs on Fire Door Requirements for Health Care Facilities

This year I will be posting answers to some groups of FAQs that will be shared via the ASHE newsletter with health care facilities across the country.  The materials I am posting this month cover some questions that come up regularly about fire door assemblies.

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February 2022 – Interlocks/Control Vestibules in a Means of Egress

I get tons of questions about interlocks and I wish I had better news to share.  BHMA has proposed new sections for the last few editions of the model codes to address interlocks.  These proposals have not been approved.  This means that every interlock has to be submitted to the AHJ for approval, unless the state or local code includes provisions for interlocks (please send these to me if you see any).  The article linked below includes some suggestions on safety considerations when designing an interlock for submission to the AHJ.

An ACE asked for more info about what is allowed by the model codes for sallyports.  First, sallyports are different from interlocks that allow free passage as long as both doors are not open at the same time.  In a sallyport, both doors are always locked and even if you have the key or credential to unlock the doors you can only unlock one at a time.  The IBC defines a sallyport as: A security vestibule with two or more doors or gates where the intended purpose is to prevent continuous and unobstructed passage by allowing the release of only one door or gate at a time. 

The IBC only allows sallyports in Group I-3 (detention and correctional), and only where there is a procedure for emergency egress:  408.3.7 Sallyports. A sallyport shall be permitted in a means of egress where there are provisions for continuous and unobstructed passage through the sallyport during an emergency egress condition.

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January 2022 – Elevator Lobby Exit Access Doors

In many existing buildings, elevator lobbies do not have direct access to a stairwell – building occupants must leave the lobby, potentially entering a tenant space, to access an exit stair.  NFPA 101 includes a section addressing a way to secure these doors during normal operation, but the IBC does not currently include a similar section.  Several cities and states have already modified the IBC in order to allow these doors to be locked with fail safe electrified locks, and the 2024 edition of the IBC will include new criteria for locking these doors.  Although these requirements do not technically apply until the 2024 IBC is adopted in a project’s jurisdiction, the new section may be used to request a code modification from the AHJ.

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December 2021 – Stairwell Reentry

The requirements for stairwell reentry can be confusing – especially because the model codes vary on this topic.  The intent is for building occupants to be able to leave a stairwell if it becomes compromised during a fire – through doors that are typically locked to prevent access to individual tenant floors.  A change to the 2024 IBC will affect the release methods for doors allowing stairwell reentry.

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November 2021 – Roof Doors

Questions come up all the time about roof doors:  Can you lock them on the roof side, preventing egress from the roof?  Do you have to allow egress from the stairwell to the roof for helicopter rescues like you see in the movies?  The requirements for roof doors have been clarified in the IBC and NFPA 101.  These slides are related to roofs that are not normally occupied, such as roofs with mechanical equipment.  For occupied roofs like roof-top restaurants and roof gardens, refer to the slides posted for June 2021 at the bottom of this page.

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October 2021 – Fire Door Changes

There have been a few recent changes affecting fire doors, involving extraneous labels, field preparations, and terminated stops on rated frames.  Ask yourself these questions:  a) If a fire door is labeled but is installed where a fire door assembly is not required, does the assembly have to be maintained per NFPA 80?  b) What is the maximum hole size that can be drilled in a fire door in the field (hint: it’s not 1 inch!)?  c) Are terminated stops allowed on fire door assemblies?  These questions are answered in the slides and resources below.

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September 2021 – Key-Operated Locks on Egress Doors

A lot of questions have been coming up about double-cylinder deadbolts, which ARE allowed on the main entrance/exit door(s) in certain locations.  A change to the 2015 IBC caused a lot of confusion and has not been resolved yet – the word “exterior” was omitted and now people are asking for double-cylinder deadbolts on interior doors in various locations.  BHMA has submitted a change for the 2024 IBC that will hopefully clarify the intent.  Until the IBC is changed, it’s really important for the RSOs to understand where key-operated locks can be used – and where they shouldn’t.

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August 2021 – Door Opening Force and Operable Force for Hardware

In the 2010 edition of the ADA standards, a limit of 5 pounds of force for operable hardware was introduced via an editorial change.  This is not the type of change that would typically be made as an editorial change – those changes are usually used to correct typos or other errors.  The 5-pound limit on operable force is in conflict with the requirements of some other codes and standards.  The 2017 edition of A117.1 was changed to include limits of 15 pounds for hardware operated with a pushing/pulling motion (like panic hardware) or 28 inch-pounds of rotational motion (for a lever).  These limits have now been included in the 2021 IBC, and the requirements addressing opening force for doors have been separated from the allowable forces for operable hardware.  It’s unclear what will happen with the conflict between the IBC/A117.1 and the ADA standards, but it’s something to watch out for in case the ADA limit is enforced.

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July 2021 – Automatic Operators on Public Entrances

When the 2021 IBC is adopted in a project’s jurisdiction, the code will require automatic operators to be installed on at least one door or one set of doors (exterior and vestibule) at each public entrance in some buildings, based on the occupancy type and occupant load.  Previously, the codes and standards did not require automatic operators in specific locations, although they were sometimes installed to bring a non-code-compliant door into compliance.

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June 2021 – Egress from Exterior Spaces

There is a new section in the 2021 IBC which addresses locking egress doors that serve exterior spaces where the means of egress leads through the interior of the building.  For example, doors serving roof-top restaurants and enclosed courtyards in schools can be locked on the exterior if certain criteria are met.  This new section applies once the 2021 IBC is adopted in a project’s jurisdiction, but could be used to request a code modification prior to adoption.

  • Powerpoint Slides – Egress from Exterior Spaces (+ iDH tip: Decoded Articles)
  • Decoded: Egress From Exterior Spaces
  • 2021 IBC – Egress From Exterior Spaces
  • The iDH tip for June was how to use the Articles page (https://idighardware.com/articles/) which has more than 100 articles from my Decoded column.  I have been writing this column since 2010, so almost all door-related code requirements are covered by these articles.  To find one (here’s the tip), go to the articles page and hit ctrl-f and then start typing something – like flush for flush bolts or clear for clear opening width.  If the first article that pops up is not the one you’re looking for, hit enter to go to the next match.
  • A question came up about whether the panic hardware would still be required if the door was serving an assembly occupancy, and this is not clear in the code.  My understanding is that the key-operated lock would be an alternative to the panic hardware, similar to the key-operated locks on main entrance doors to buildings.  Here is a blog post with more info:  QQ: Panic Hardware Exception.