My next Decoded column looks at how assembly occupancies are addressed in the model codes, as well as some of the assembly-specific requirements related to door openings. Let me know if I missed anything! :)
I'm putting the finishing touches on my lunch and learn presentation for this Thursday, September 29th (1 PM Eastern). If you work with health care facilities in any capacity, this virtual session will help keep you up to date on some of the code requirements specific to these occupancies.
This photo has been in my Fixed-it Friday folder for quite a while, but with football season starting again, I went looking for it. Thank you to Lisa Goodwin Robbins of Kalin Associates for sharing it!
Over the summer, Texas schools were required to complete a list of training, assessments, and inspections, including an Exterior Door Safety Audit. Could similar assessments become standard practice for other states?
I can hear some of you saying, "But there's no exit sign above this door!" While that appears to be true, it doesn't mean the door can have non-code-compliant hardware.
This photo is a great illustration of a problem that has come up before, and I don't have a good answer. What solutions have you seen for double pairs of fire doors like this? WWYD?
Today's Quick Question: Is it code-compliant to install security grilles on multi-stall restroom entrances in schools, to prevent the use of the restrooms during times when they are not supervised?
We have all seen retail doors with non-code-compliant security methods. This has only gotten worse with the pandemic and the current security issues in some areas of the U.S. What would you do if you saw these doors locked while the store was occupied?
Here's a little quiz question...this one caught me by surprise the first time I noticed it: Besides a communicating door between hotel rooms, where might you find a fire door that is not required to be self-closing or automatic-closing?
This Wordless Wednesday photo was taken in a school - the good news is that this hardware is in the process of being replaced. Hopefully the current focus on school security will mean increased attention to life safety as well.
Have you seen lever handles purposely mounted in the vertical position? If you are an AHJ, do you have concerns about this application? Is the hardware violating a code or standard when mounted this way? WWYD?
Today's Quick Question: On a pair of non-fire-rated corridor doors in a health care facility, is one automatic flush bolt required for the inactive leaf, or are two bolts required (top and bottom)?
What is happening in this Fixed-it Friday photo from Debbie White of Allegion? It's a restroom door in a gas station. I'll wait while you think about it.
In recent years, many states have issued guidance on classroom locking procedures. Most of these guidelines follow the adopted building codes, fire codes, and accessibility standards, some do not. Check out the State of Alabama's directive in today's post.
A retired AHJ sent today's Wordless Wednesday photos of a secondary means of egress in a small hamburger restaurant. Technically, the second exit may not be required, but if the door is provided for egress purposes, it must be code-compliant.
Lunch and Learn: Swinging Doors in Health Care Facilities – Requirements and Limitations of the Model Codes
On September 29th (1 PM Eastern), I will be presenting a virtual lunch and learn for the American Society for Healthcare Engineering (ASHE), and it is open to anyone who would like to attend. There's more info in today's post!
Lee Frazier of Allegion sent me this Fixed-it Friday photo, which once again illustrates the age-old problem of security vs. convenience. This door serves as a secondary entrance for a school building, and the latch was taped by summer camp staff.
It's my favorite time of the year - back to school! It's hard to believe that I have a college senior, and a high school junior and senior! But the learning doesn't end with graduation...we have plenty of continuing education available this month.
The fact that this stairwell fire door is now cracked in half helps to explain why drilling wire raceways in existing doors is typically treated as a field modification that must be approved in advance by the listing lab. I'm Wordless!
The code requirements related to doors serving roofs have long been a source of confusion, but changes made in the last few editions of the model codes have helped to clarify the intent. Today's post answers a few of the most frequently asked questions about roof doors.
My next Decoded column addresses important code clarifications related to electrified hardware used in access control systems. I hope this article will help with more consistent interpretations of the requirements.
I saw these beautiful doors and glazed walls in the Mexico City airport last week. While they are gorgeous, this application requires careful attention to the hardware - especially the pivots used to hang the doors. What would you recommend?
I have added a new link to the Codes page on iDigHardware, where you can find information about code adoption as well as links for free access to some of the codes and standards that we refer to regularly. Thanks to John Woestman of BHMA for the tip on FEMA's BCAT!
Remember last month when I mentioned that I might question the condition of a restaurant's kitchen based on their doors and hardware? Well, the same goes for hotels, and these Wordless Wednesday photos of my hotel's fire doors from last week's trip are a compelling example.
Back in 2016 (where does the time go??), I answered a Quick Question: Does every component of a fire door assembly have to be listed/labeled? Today's post includes some updated information found in the enhanced content for NFPA 80.
Over the last few weeks I have spent a lot of time in airports, and I saw several family restroom applications "in the wild," including a restroom door with an automatic operator and an electrified locking system for privacy. Check it out!
Kristi Dietz of LaForce sent me today's Fixed-it Friday photo, taken in a convenience store. When asked to look at this door due to water intrusion, a LaForce employee mentioned the code issues and was told that the door had not been cited for any egress violations.
Specifiers are involved during the construction process—not throughout the life of the building, but there are many ways the choices made during the specification process can affect the durability and function of fire door assemblies for years to come.
What can I say about today's Wordless Wednesday photos from Kevin Doerr, other than a) this is Falcon panic hardware, b) the break-in attempt was unsuccessful, and c) the panic still operated correctly for egress.
Quick Question: For delayed egress locks, the model codes require the activation of the 15-second timer to be an irreversible process. Is it acceptable for an authorized person with a key or credential to rearm the lock during the 15-second period?
The difference between delayed egress and controlled egress systems can be confusing...hopefully this new infographic will help. It explains how these systems work, where they are used, and how to choose the correct application.
On our field trip to the high school last week, we saw this secondary entrance where two different creative solutions had been incorporated. Check them out and let me know what you think...what would you have done differently?
Yesterday, the Today Show on NBC ran a story about how school districts are addressing security - including the role of the doors and locks. With mainstream media covering physical security, this important information will reach millions of people.
Last week I spent a couple of days in Minnesota with our new specwriter apprentices and members of our sales development program. I LOVE working with this group as they begin learning about doors and hardware.
In yesterday's post I wrote about new text that was added to the 2021 IBC Commentary, clarifying the intent of the code regarding "normal locking arrangements." The requirements related to UL 294 listings have also been clarified.
For years, I have been struggling with a common code interpretation related to electrified hardware, and I know that some of you have too. With the release of the 2021 IBC Commentary, this just got a lot easier.
Chuck Strauss of Allegion sent me this Fixed-it Friday photo from a recent trip to Shannon, Ireland. Pretty cool, don't you think? Don't forget to send me photos of any interesting applications you see during your summer vacations!
Electrified hardware can be particularly hard - especially when it comes to codes. To try to reduce the confusion that may result in inconsistent interpretations, I have created a new page called Special Locking Arrangements.
Anthony Gugliotta of Allegion sent me today's Wordless Wednesday photos of some egress doors he saw at a science center during a recent vacation. What do you say?? OK? Or NO WAY?
Would a pair of doors with a hollow metal removable mullion and locksets on both door leaves be more reliable and require less maintenance than a pair with flush bolts and a lockset? What are the challenges with this application? WWYD?
Today is my birthday and I will be spending the day flying to Minneapolis to work with the members of our Specwriter Apprentice Program and Sales Development Program. Meanwhile, back at the ranch, we have 2 Webinar Wednesdays this month!
This Fixed-it Friday photo from David Seeley of Anixter is not the first zip tie "fix" we've seen, but it might be the yuckiest. I may be one of the few people who would look at a restaurant's door and question the condition of the kitchen, but I think this would be a no for me.
There has been a lot of confusion over the last decade or two about smoke barrier doors in hospitals, nursing homes, and other types of health care facilities. The answers to these FAQs should help to clarify the requirements.
I LOVE to receive Wordless Wednesday photos from readers' travels. This one is from Bill Dorner of Allegion, and was taken in a pub in Kinsale, Ireland. The problem of blocked exits is clearly a global issue.
After I posted my Decoded article about fire door clearance, I found out that Hal Kelton of DOORDATA Solutions is presenting a webinar TOMORROW (Wednesday) on how to mitigate problems with fire door gaps! Here's the info...
My next Decoded article addresses a recent study on clearances for fire door assemblies - the results of the testing may surprise you. Please share any input or questions before the article goes to print!
Does this coffee shop exit look weird to anyone else, or is it just me? Any theories about what happened here? Thank you to Charles Anderson for today's Fixed-it Friday photo!
Many school security experts advise schools to keep classroom doors locked at all times, but is that feasible? How do we overcome the challenge of security vs. convenience? WWYD?
Today's Wordless Wednesday post underscores yet again the value of closed doors during a fire. If you haven't heard about the "Close Before You Doze" educational efforts, you can learn more at closeyourdoor.org.
I get a lot of requests for training on fire door assembly inspection, and I just realized that one of my coworker Jeff Tock's sessions was recorded and made available on YouTube! You can check it out in today's post.