Decoded: Panic Hardware Requirements for Rooms Housing Electrical Equipment

NFPA 70 – National Electrical Code (NEC) has been adopted by most US states, and includes requirements for panic hardware or fire exit hardware on certain rooms housing electrical equipment; the voltage and amperage thresholds that determine which rooms require panic hardware were changed in the 2017 edition of this code.

By |2021-07-17T23:05:47-04:00December 18th, 2017|Articles, Panic Hardware|7 Comments

Decoded: Alterations to Fire Door Assemblies

You may remember that I'm working on a series of online code classes, which will be available early in 2018.  To support those classes, I am updating some of my past Decoded articles to include revisions from new editions of the codes and standards.  Here is the latest information regarding alterations of fire door assemblies.

By |2022-03-21T22:48:29-04:00October 19th, 2017|Articles, Doors & Frames, FDAI, Fire Doors|43 Comments

Decoded: Securing Parking Garages (September 2017)

Without proper planning, parking garages can present security and life-safety challenges. People who are authorized to use the parking area – or unauthorized people who are able to enter an open parking garage – may attempt to gain access to other floors of the building...

Decoded: Dwelling Unit & Sleeping Unit Entrance Doors

According to the International Building Code (IBC) and NFPA 101 – The Life Safety Code, most doors in a means of egress are required to unlatch with one releasing operation. One exception to this rule is when a door leads to a residential dwelling unit or sleeping unit...

By |2021-07-01T17:19:21-04:00September 15th, 2016|Articles, Fire Doors, Locks & Keys, Means of Egress|3 Comments

Decoded: Changes to the Life Safety Code for Health Care Occupancies (July 2016)

In case you haven't noticed, there is an interesting conversation happening on my post from earlier in the week about classroom barricade devices. If you have something informative to add in response to the manufacturers of these products...

Decoded: Fire-Protection-Rated vs. Fire-Resistance-Rated Assemblies

Where can we continue to install fire-protection-rated openings (NFPA 252 or UL10C) and where do we need to install fire-resistance-rated openings (ASTM E119 or UL 263)? One clue can be found in NFPA 80. In the 2013 edition, Paragraph states that transom frames and sidelight frames are permitted when a fire-protection rating of 3/4-hour or less is required...

By |2021-07-05T23:29:45-04:00January 11th, 2016|Articles, Fire Doors|9 Comments

Decoded: Communicating Doors Between Sleeping Rooms (February 2016)

A door opening between two adjoining hotel rooms is called a communicating door, and is created by installing two doors within one frame - each swinging in the opposite direction. The purpose of these doors is to allow convenience for family or friends sharing two hotel rooms, but the doors also provide security between the two rooms when occupied by separate parties...

By |2015-12-22T10:38:25-05:00December 7th, 2015|Articles, Fire Doors|17 Comments

Barricade Device Update (October 2015)

In the October issue of Doors & Hardware, I have an article on what took place in Ohio with regard to the state legislation on classroom barricade devices, and another article covering the myths and facts presented at the National Association of State Fire Marshals' annual conference (here's a video version of this information)...

By |2022-02-22T12:04:13-05:00October 12th, 2015|Articles, School Security|1 Comment

Decoded: Fire Door Closing Cycle (September 2015)

It has been 8 years since the annual fire door assembly inspection requirements were added to the 2007 edition of NFPA 80 – Standard for Fire Doors and Other Opening Protectives. Six years ago, the 2009 model codes referenced the 2007 edition of NFPA 80, making the inspections required by code in jurisdictions where those codes were adopted...

By |2015-09-02T13:39:17-04:00August 31st, 2015|Articles, Fire Doors|2 Comments

Decoded: Screen Doors and Doors in a Series

Screen doors are sometimes used in commercial or institutional occupancies, where air transfer through the opening is desired. One example of this would be a door leading from a commercial kitchen to the exterior. In some areas of the country where the climate is temperate, this is a common application which consists of two doors in the same opening, one inswinging and one outswinging. It can be very difficult for people with certain disabilities...

By |2021-06-16T13:29:35-04:00May 14th, 2015|Accessibility, Articles|5 Comments

Decoded: Electrified Hardware Refresher (April 2015)

There are 7 basic code categories for electrified hardware used to control access or egress, and this edition of Decoded provides a brief refresher on each as well as some recent code changes. Many of these code applications, but not all, fall into the category commonly called “special locking arrangements.”

Decoded: Calculating the Egress Width of Door Openings

A common question when replacing doors and hardware during a renovation is whether one leaf of a pair can be “fixed” in place, or whether an opening can be eliminated completely. It’s very risky to make this decision without consulting the Authority Having Jurisdiction (AHJ), but it is helpful to understand some of the factors that could affect the location, size, and quantity of required exits before preparing your request for the AHJ...

By |2022-02-04T15:13:29-05:00December 31st, 2014|Articles, Doors & Frames, Means of Egress|12 Comments

6 Accessibility Changes to Watch Out For (November 2014)

The 2010 Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) Standards for Accessible Design went into effect in March of 2012, but there are several requirements that continue to surprise architects and specifiers as well as door and hardware suppliers. These issues can be costly to resolve if they’re discovered after the doors and hardware are on-site, so it’s important to stay current on the requirements...

Decoded: Fair Housing Act

A common misconception is that the Fair Housing Act applies only to federally-funded housing projects, but according to the US Department of Housing and Urban Development, “The Fair Housing Act requires all ‘covered multifamily dwellings’ designed and constructed for first occupancy after March 13, 1991 to be accessible to and usable by people with disabilities. Covered multifamily dwellings are all dwelling units in buildings containing four or more units with one or more elevators, and all ground floor units in buildings containing four or more units, without an elevator.”

By |2021-06-14T20:12:40-04:00August 10th, 2014|Accessibility, Articles|1 Comment

Decoded: Calculating the Occupant Load

Many code requirements are dependent upon the occupant load of the room or space in question. For example, the International Building Code (IBC) requires panic hardware for doors equipped with a lock or latch, which serve Assembly or Educational occupancies with an occupant load of 50 or more (the occupant load limit for NFPA 101 – The Life Safety Code is 100 or more)...

By |2021-07-12T18:44:49-04:00July 8th, 2014|Articles, Means of Egress|77 Comments
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