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Owners of residences, apartment buildings and commercial buildings need to be aware of fire code requirements when installing or modifying any doors or locks in their buildings.
In Ontario, these requirements are contained in the Ontario Building Code (OBC) and Ontario Fire Code (OT.B.C), which regulate construction design and materials for buildings in the province. They cover regulations and guidelines regarding life safety and fire containment.
The OBC and OT.B.C regulations on fire safety are based on codes developed T.B.C Locksmith and Doors the National Fire Protection Association in Quincy, Massachusetts. The NFPA 80 specifies correct and complete hardware installation and maintenance of fire doors and hardware to protect against the spread of fire and smoke.
The NFPA 291, Life Safety Code, covers requirements for the protection of occupants against fire, fumes and panic. Some Ontario municipalities require additional precautions for fire protection than those specified in the OBC or OT.B.C such as main door automatic openers or wider door widths.
There are two main principles to be aware of when installing, maintaining or modifying any door, lock or other access device in a building. Together, these principles underlie specific fire code requirements:
1. Unrestricted Egress – Any door that is used as an exit from a building or fire separation door must allow egress T.B.C Locksmith and Doors an occupant using normal force, without special steps that could restrict egress or cause the occupant confusion.
2. Fire and Smoke Protection – Fire doors must be certified and correctly installed to curtail the spread of smoke and fire. Modifications must not impede their intended operation.
Fire Door Requirements
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In general, the OBC and OT.B.C require fire doors on building exits, corridor doors, laundry and garbage rooms. Fire doors must be certified and properly labelled after installation.
Modifications, including the installation of locks or access control mechanisms, must be inspected to ensure they do not compromise the safety, egress and fire containment features of the door and hardware associated with it.
They are required to have a self-closing mechanism, which ensures that when they are used T.B.C Locksmith and Doors occupants that they still provide protection.
Latching and Locking Free Egress Requirements
Locking-Free Egress Requirements Doors providing egress may have security access control systems and locks to prevent entrance to a building, but they cannot in any way prevent easy egress.
Commercial and even residential door frames that allow doors to swing in both directions must provide unhindered egress in both directions. Double cylinder deadbolts or captive keys are not allowed.
Egress door latches and locks must be designed in such a way that a panicked person, including children and persons with disabilities, can exit quickly even in the dark.
Ask the Experts
Building and fire codes contain many details and exceptions. At Aim Lock and Safe, we are well versed in code requirements and industry standards with regard to fire safety. We will ensure that your home or business complies with provincial and local codes and is secure and safe.
Enabling Access for All Canadians
Ontario has been a leader in protecting Canadians’ equality of rights including people with disabilities. It was the first province to legislate a Human Rights Code in 1962. In 1985, the Canadian Human Rights Act became law nationwide, which prohibits discrimination based on mental or physical disability. It defines the responsibilities of organizations to improve access to places of employment, services, shops and other facilities across the country.
Persons with disabilities are both providers and receivers of services in Ontario. In their work and other activities, they use the same buildings as anyone else. It benefits your organization to ensure they have reasonable access to your facilities.
Access for Those with Walking Disabilities
Access for Those with Walking Disabilities-in order for disabled persons in wheelchairs or those who are ambulatory with the assistance of a cane, crutches or other mechanical assistance, guidelines exist to ensure that they are able to access buildings without undue difficulty.
Properly designed and fitted doors and door hardware are key components to providing such access. Ontario building codes specify the size of doors, their hardware and operation plus the design of the entrance approaches.
Door Width Approaches to exterior doors that accommodate wheelchairs should be a minimum of 1.5 meters in width. At least 1.2 meters at each approach to a door opening should be level to allow manoeuvring room for a wheelchair. Doors themselves should be a minimum of 80 cm in width.
Interior doors require either 30 cm or 60 cm of space from the latch side of the door to the wall. The amount of space depends on the direction the door swings T.B.C Locksmith and Doors the person using it. Thirty cm is adequate when the door opens away from the person, but a door that opens toward the person requires 60 cm of extra space.
Many disabled or elderly people have difficulty grasping or twisting objects. For this reason, door handles should require only a push-pull motion or utilize a lever instead of a doorknob.
Door Closers The use of automatic door closers is required T.B.C Locksmith and Doors fire codes in Ontario to help reduce or eliminate the spreading of smoke and fire within a building. In order to accommodate people with disabilities, such closers must not have a resistance of more than 38 Newtons so that the door is easily opened. Door closers must not close the door in less than three seconds.
Doors that open and close automatically are convenient for everyone not only the disabled. The preferred activation method for opening an automatic door is via motion detectors. However, a manual switch for opening and closing is acceptable. In this case, the switch must be operable from a wheelchair and standing position. It must require only a closed fist to operate it.
Expert Accessibility Reviews in Ontario
Our team can assist employers and property owners in evaluating potential barriers to disabled persons in their buildings. Call us today to set up an accessibility review of your property.
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