Tighter security raises the test bar
Exit devices, locks and alarms that are used in the United States are now subject to additional regulations established last year by the Builders Hardware Manufacturers Association (BHMA) and the American National Standards Institute (ANSI).
The ANSI/BHMA A156.29 standard has set general requirements and specific test methods for these products. Revisions from the previous standard include increased performance requirements for tests and the addition of a slam test, which requires the closer for a door opened to 90 degrees to fully close in 2.5 seconds, with no deceleration.
Until November 2001, when this standard was approved, exit devices, locks and alarms were included in a larger standard that defined general security regulations.
"[However,] heightened interest in security and safety has spurred the recognition and adoption of a separate standard for these product categories," says Mike Tierney, BHMA standards coordinator.
BHMA hopes the new standard will facilitate the development of additional policies with respect to security and the universal adoption of ANSI/BHMA standards in building codes.
Additional requirements include the selection of door samples for testing at random from the finished stock and mounted in accordance with the manufacturer's instructions.
The standard requires tests to be performed on 3-ft.-by-7-ft.-by-13 /4-in. doors of wood or metal, which "must be rigid enough to hold firmly and to withstand the tests."
In addition, alarms are to be test cycled 1,000 times per the intended operation, with all features functioning at the completion of the cycles.
For more information, visit www.buildershardware.com.