Decoded: Fire-Protection-Rated vs. Fire-Resistance-Rated Assemblies (March 2016)

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 |2016-03-24T13:18:31-04:00January 11th, 2016|Articles, Fire Doors|4 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 |2015-10-12T16:19:54-04:00October 12th, 2015|Articles, School Security|0 Comments

Decoded: Patient Room Doors in Health Care Occupancies (August 2015)

The recent nursing home fire in central China which killed 38 elderly residents is a deadly reminder of the responsibility of these facilities to keep their residents safe. While the code requirements for health care facilities and nursing homes go far beyond the doors, frames, and hardware, there are some important considerations for door openings...

By |2015-08-28T10:11:15-04:00June 18th, 2015|Articles, Fire Doors, Health Care|30 Comments

Decoded: Screen Doors and Doors in a Series (July 2015)

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 |2015-08-28T10:05:51-04:00May 14th, 2015|Accessibility, Articles|5 Comments

Decoded: Double-Egress Pairs in a Health Care Occupancy (June 2015)

There is an IBC exception regarding smoke barrier doors that has to be one of the most confusing and widely debated door-related sections in the code. In the 2015 edition, Section 709.5 Exception 1 exempts smoke barrier doors in some health care occupancies from the requirements that apply to smoke barriers in other locations...

By |2017-09-21T10:07:35-04:00April 19th, 2015|Articles, Fire Doors, Health Care, Means of Egress|20 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 (Updated July 2017)

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 |2017-07-22T09:51:12-04:00December 31st, 2014|Articles, Doors & Frames, Means of Egress|8 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 (October 2014)

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 |2018-06-12T10:37:39-04:00August 10th, 2014|Accessibility, Articles|1 Comment

Decoded: Calculating the Occupant Load (September 2014)

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 |2019-05-02T12:27:24-04:00July 8th, 2014|Articles, Means of Egress|70 Comments
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