Local and National Access Control Standards
When choosing access control systems hardware for a facility, life safety and security have to be considered. When prioritizing, life safety comes first in every situation. People inside the building must be able to escape quickly in an emergency. That is why there are standards in place to keep access points up to code.
The Life Safety Code is the central international Life Safety Standard in the United States. The National Fire Protection Association revises the Life Safety Code every three years, and the code is also known as NFPA 101. Local Authorities Having Jurisdiction (AHJ) enforce the Life Safety Code. Usually, AHJ means the local fire department.
The International Building Code is the second document that pertains to safety codes in the United States. In other countries, builders and local authorities are recommended to use the IBC as a reference. The core of the IBC is about life safety. This core includes covering allowable construction materials, widths and lengths of hallways, occupancy limits, placements and sizes of doors, fire prevention and more. These building codes also include information about structural resistance to disasters, such as tornadoes, floods, and earthquakes.
NPFA 72, also published and revised by the National Fire Protection Association, is the third document pertaining to safety codes in the United States. This document covers codes on a range of topics, including installation, inspection, location, fire alarm system maintenance and fire warning equipment.
For more information about access control codes and standards, please check out Thomas L. Norman’s book Electronic Access Control