Life Safety Code
NFPA 101 (2009) The Life Safety Code addresses life safety from fire including smoke, fumes and panic, and identifies the minimum criteria for design of egress facilities.
Sections of NFPA 101 & NFPA 80 are devoted to specifics such as:
- Locks Latches & alarm devices
- Special Locking Arrangements
- Panic Hardware & Fire Exit Hardware
- Self-Closing devices
- The inspection of Door Openings
The Americans With Disabilities Act (ADA) is a civil rights law which ensures that equal access be provided for all citizens of the United States not only for those with disabilities but for the general public as well. Under Title III of the ADA, no individual may be discriminated against on the basis of disability with regards to the full and equal enjoyment of the goods, services, facilities, or accommodations of any place of public accommodation by any person who owns, leases (or leases to), or operates a place of public accommodation.
There are several factors you must consider to ensure an opening is ADA compliant.
- Latch requirements for an opening
- Characteristics of a clear opening (thresholds, height, width)
- Maneuvering Clearances
- Opening force requirements for an opening Obstacles for a manual door closer
- Closing speed requirements for a door
- Identify the need for an automated opening
- Minimum speed requirements for an auto operated door
UL 294 is a comprehensive standard developed by UL which is increasingly being adapted by manufacturers, architects and installers of electronic access control.
These requirements apply to the construction, performance, and operation of systems intended to regulate or control:
a) Entry into a protected area or a restricted area or
b) Access to or the use of a device(s) by electrical, electronic or mechanical means.
As is the case with most standards, UL294 references other existing standards, and seeks to establish definitions as well as safety and performance requirements helpful in designing access control components, installing access control systems, and evaluating the performance of the system once installed.
Make it your goal to familiarize yourself with these codes and standards. By knowing and understanding them, you limit your liability, better protect your customers, can be assured you are adhering to prevailing best practices, and by knowing the baseline requirements you can differentiate your company in the marketplace with systems designed to exceed the published minimums.
The most-asked question is: “Where does it say I can’t drill a hole in a fire door?”