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! :)
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!
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?
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?
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.
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.
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.
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?
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.
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!
Thomas Reinhardt sent me today's Wordless Wednesday photo of a door with an egress problem. I can appreciate that someone manufactured a rolling rack for the AC unit and it can be moved out of the way if the exit is needed, but...no.
Jeff Weller of Southwest Entrances sent me this Wordless Wednesday photo from a trip to Quebec City. I have to say...this was definitely a first for me. This "exit" leads to an exterior fire escape.
Although the model codes do allow turnstiles if certain criteria are met, egress and accessibility requirements must be addressed in order to ensure adequate life safety and access for all building occupants.
Last week I posted a photo that was submitted by Bruce Gill of North Central Supply as part of the 3,000-post celebration, and the photo raised a few Quick Questions about the mag-lock...
As we continue to celebrate the 3,000-post milestone, I don't know what to say about today's Wordless Wednesday photo sent by Bruce Gill of North Central Supply. SMH
Sent in by Pak Keung Yip, this photo was taken on the back porch of a residential home, where the contractor provided a knife to cut out a screen that might block the exit. I love the creativity and thought that went into this solution, but I'm a little wordless.
I didn't have to look far during my road trip to find an egress problem. The coffee was GREAT, but the rear exit would be confusing during an emergency. Maybe next time I will work up the nerve to pull back the curtain.
Yesterday's post about protruding objects raised a related Quick Question: The IBC section addressing limitations on protruding objects references projections into "circulation paths." What is a circulation path?
I know that many of iDigHardware's readers are ultra-focused on door openings (me too!), but every so often I see a non-door application illustrating a code requirement that could also apply to doors and hardware.
Last week I wrote about fire doors vs. fire exits, and I mentioned that I would try to change/clarify the Merriam-Webster definition for "fire-exit bolt." I received this Quick Question: What IS a fire-exit bolt?
I guarantee that thousands of people have walked by the doors in today's Fixed-it Friday photos without thinking twice about them. But a retired fire marshal took note of the panic hardware location and sent me the photos.
Today's Quick Question comes up frequently (twice in the last week!), and it's an important concept to understand: Is a fire exit the same as a fire door? Are the code requirements for each of these openings the same?
Today's Wordless Wednesday photo came from one of my retired fire marshal pals, which reminds me how much I love the fact that people who have retired are still engaged with iDigHardware.
I was going to post this photo from a retired fire marshal for Wordless Wednesday, but then I noticed the "fix" from when they electrified the panic hardware. Fixed-it Friday seems more appropriate.
When the media publicizes the use of non-code-compliant security in a particular school district or jurisdiction, it's easy to jump to the conclusion that this must be a good idea. It's not.
I recently wrote about a bill in Michigan's state legislature that would expand the use of classroom barricade devices in the state. That bill has been signed into law, allowing barricade devices to be used on doors serving assembly spaces.
Nancy Chiang of Cuningham Group Architecture sent me today's Fixed-it Friday photo, and I'm wondering what you all think. This door is in a zoo exhibit, where the chains are used to keep the "wildlife" from passing through between two areas.
One of my retired fire marshal friends sent me today's Wordless Wednesday photos...neither life safety nor security is winning here. Don't forget to send me your Wordless Wednesday and Fixed-it Friday photos!
My Decoded course has been taken thousands of times on-demand, along with countless attendees who have participated in live Decoded classes taught by my Allegion coworkers. I just updated all 4 classes and they're ready to go!
This article - about balancing life safety with school security - is the cover story for the Spring 2022 issue of Life Safety Digest. Feel free to share it with school administrators or others who may need it!
Several iDigHardware readers have wished for a simple tool on the site to estimate the occupant load of a space. I have created an occupant load estimator for the International Building Code (IBC), and I'd love some feedback on it.
I'm not sure how or why this happened, but between the two motions to exit and the concrete block "step" to get up and out of the window well, it's a no from me. Happy Fixed-it Friday!
Today's Quick Question: Can on-call rooms in a hospital have occupancy indicator deadbolts that are separate from the latchsets, or do these doors have to unlatch with one releasing motion?
Marc Zolner of Allegion sent me today's Wordless Wednesday photo, taken in a sports facility. For whatever reason, this type of building is a common location for non-code-compliant exits. How many problems do you see?
Last week, several people sent me a link to this photo, which ran on various media sites with an AP article about the MLB lockout. I couldn't resist turning it into a teachable moment - not about baseball, of course...about panic hardware. :)
Logan Piburn sent me these photos the other day and asked for my opinion. Based on the model code excerpts in this post, would you consider these egress doors code-compliant? WWYD?
Some days I just want to give up on reading the news. A Nashville news station posted a report recently asking why more Tennessee schools are not using classroom barricade devices, and I'm wordless.
I often wonder how in the world exits can be blocked, or have hardware that has been modified and will not allow egress - sometimes for YEARS - without anyone noticing. I think the answer may have something to do with today's Quick Question.
The Rhythm Club Fire in Natchez, Mississippi is yet another example of how egress doors can impact life safety during a fire. This video from the National Fallen Firefighters Foundation shares some important information about the lessons learned.
Today's Quick Question...A school district wants to use chains and padlocks to secure the school buildings at night and on weekends. Do the model codes allow this when the building is not occupied?
I have to admit...I was very disappointed when a document from the U.S. government referenced security methods that could conflict with the adopted codes. But there's a new (and improved!) edition of the K-12 School Security Guide!
Today's Wordless Wednesday photos of a security checkpoint in a high school are a great illustration of how easy it is to overlook egress and other code requirements when our attention is focused elsewhere.
NIST - National Institute of Standards and Technology investigated the Station Nightclub Fire and published a list of 10 recommendations based on their findings. Recommendation 5 was related to egress...
I was recently asked to create a class for locksmiths, installers, or others who are looking for a crash course on the most frequently-asked code questions related to door openings. And here it is! Share it with all who could benefit from this training!
I worked on several GSA projects back when I was writing hardware specifications, and I don't remember ever seeing the facilities standards that have been published by the GSA, addressing certain types of federal projects. Here are the highlights...