Most consumers never think twice when buying various types of door hardware but behind the scene, maintenance managers are responsible for ensuring that hardware manufactured and sold meet code standards. Typically, the manager would be involved with door hardware designed for commercial use although hardware used in apartments, condominiums, and other shared residential properties, as well as single-family dwellings is a part of this persons responsibility.
Whether door locks and handles are being purchased for a home or business, everything sold in the United States must meet strict guidelines for functionality. However, the exact codes vary somewhat between different states and municipalities. This means that codes established on a local, state, and federal level would be unique. As a part of this job, maintenance managers have a tough job in staying current on codes and industry standards but taking this job serious is what keeps people protected.
Because of growing concern in safety, applicable codes have become relatively complex. Of course, the top issues that door hardware codes address include safety, security, and accessibility. If the hardware manufactured for security purposes was sold without meeting mandated code standards, in addition to putting people in potential harms way, business and home intrusion due to faulty or inadequate locks cause insurance costs to skyrocket.
Keep in mind that along with standards and codes on a national level, managers must stay current on standards and codes as they relate to the National Fire Protection Agency, and the American National Standards Institute/International Code Council. However, another organization oversees standards and codes for various types of door hardware to include the American with Disabilities Acts. In this last case, people with certain disabilities need solutions for door knobs, handles, pulls, locks, etc so they can get in and out of doors the same as everyone else.
We wanted to provide a few of the standards and codes under the different organizations, and a brief comment about what those are.
• American National Standard for Accessible and Usable Buildings and Facilities (ANSI and ICC) – These door hardware standards and codes are specific to the state of Louisiana stating that codes must coordinate with rebuilding efforts after damage caused by hurricane.
• National Fire Protection (NFPA) – In this case, the organization is responsible for 80 standards and codes relating to fire doors and fire windows. Primarily, the organization makes sure that escape is possible during an emergency while keeping the property protected.
• Interstate Commerce Commission (ICC) – For people living and working in certain parts of the country, high force hurricane winds are common. In this case, codes would apply not just for door hardware but materials of which doors could be made to withstand winds between 130 and 150 miles per hour.
• Access Guidelines for Buildings and Facilities (ADAAG) – The last organization we wanted to mention is this, which establishes and enforces guidelines specific to threshold height and door clearance limits, along with accessible door hardware to include pulls, knobs, handles, latches, locks, and other functioning mechanisms that would be shaped making them easy to grasp and operate with one hand.