The Access Control Codes Guide: IBC, NFPA 72, 80 & 101

By Brian Rhodes, Published Nov 07, 2019, 10:30am EST (Info+)

For access, there is one basic maxim: Life safety above all else. But how do you know if all applicable codes are being followed?

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While the basic maxim is simple to understand, many potential variations of rules exist, and access control professionals must understand them and how they apply.

In addition to looking at why codes are necessary, we examine the major codes dictating access control work including:

  • IBC: International Building Codes
  • NFPA 72: Fire Alarm
  • NFPA 80: Fire Doors
  • NFPA 101: Life Safety

This guide also provides the three steps needed to find which code applies to an opening, how to find local exceptions to broader codes, and which specific door functions impact code application.

Why ************** ** *********

*************, * ******* ** ********* *** deaths *** *** ****** ****** ***** are ******.

** *** **, ********* **** ***'* 1911******** ********** ****(******* ****** ***) ***** *** ********** of ******** ******** *** ********** ****** routes ** * *********, ********** ********* in*** **** ********** ****** ****/****** ***** as * ****** ***********:

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****** ****** ***** *** ******** ** make *********** ******** ********** ***** ******, condensing ****** ************ *** **** ******* subsystems **** ******** ****** ** ****** rules.

The ***** **********

IPVM Image***** * *********** ****** ** ***** are **** *********, **** *********** **** code ****** **** * *** '***** code' **********. ** ***** **** ** these ***** ** ******** ******** *****.

*******, **** ** *** * ************* list, *** ***** ******* *** ** applied ******* *** ****** ******* *******, including ****** **** *****,***, *** ********** ********** ** ******** Jurisdiction *****.

NFPA ***

*** ******** '**** ****** ****' ** the **** ****** **** ****** ** protect ****** ***** ** ******** ************, protection, *** ********* *******.

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***** **** *** ** *************, *** most ******** ******** *** ****** ******* include:

  • **** ***: '************ ********** ****** *****' (2015, ****: *.*.*.*.*; ****: *.*.*.*.*)
  • **** ***: '********* *******' (****, ****: 7.2.1.5.10-12; ****, ****, ****: *.*.*.*.* -*.*.*.*.**)
  • **** ***: '****** ********** ****** *****' (7.2.1.6.2)

************, ************ ********** ******* ******* ** **** (***),**** *******, ********** ******************** ******* ** **** ***.

NFPA **

******* *** **** ******, **** **** is ********* ***** ** ********** ****** control ******* ** *** ******* *********** required ******* *** **** ***** *** the **** ***** ******.

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** *******, **** **** ** *** foundation ** ************ **** ***** **** release **** **** ****** ** ***** detectors ** **** *****.

IBC: ************* ******** ****

*** ***, ********* ***** ************* **** *******, ** *********** * ********* *** designing *** *********** **** *********.

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** *** ******** ******** ** *** authority, **** ******** ********* ***** **** do **** ********* **** ******** **** the ******.

  • ***: '**** **********' (****: ****.*.*; ****, 2009: ****.*.*; ****, ****: ****.*.*)
  • ***: '****** ******* ** ************ ****** Egress *****' (****: ****.*.*.*; ****: ****.*.*.*; 2009: ****.*.*.*; ****, ****: ****.*.*.*)
  • ***: '******************* ****** ****** *****' (****: 1010.1.9.9; ****: ****.*.*.*; ****: ****.*.*.*)

NFPA **

************, **** **** ******** **** ***** and *** **** *** ******** **** for ********** ** * ********.

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International *****

******* **** *** *** ******* ******* authorities ** ** ***** ***** *** cited **** ****** *** ******* *********** governing ****** ******* ** *** **.

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*** *******, ** ******, **** ***** codes *** ****** *** ***** ** the '******** ******** ****: ***'. ******** cited ***** *** ***** **: '**** Release ******** (****, ****: *.*.*.**; ****:*.*.*.**)'

Local **** ********** **** ********

******** ** *********-******** ***** *** ********** ratified ** ************** ****** ************ (****), *** ** ** *** ************** of ****** ******* ********* ** ********* if ***** *********** ****** **** ** normally ******* ** ***** *****.

*** ***** ***** ******* ******** ** local **** ********** **** **** ** obtained ******* *** ***** ***'* ******:

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*******, **** **** ***** ********** *****, the ******* ****** ** *** ****: life ****** **** ** *********.

******, ** ** *************; ****** *********, emergency *********, ** **** ********* ***********, can * **** ******* ** ******** from ******** *** ********.

How ** ********* ***** ***** ***** ** ** *******

** ***** ** ********* ***** ****** codes ***** ** * ******** ******* or **** ** * *******, *** three ***** ***** **** ****** *** answer:

  1. ********* ********** ***** ****
  2. ******** ********* *****
  3. ********* ** ******* ** ********* ******

Determine ********** ***** ****

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***** *********** **** ****** ************* **** ********** ***** *** **** whom*** *** ***** ** ****.

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Building ********* *****

****, ************ *********** ********* ********* **** ****** ***** ******** ** code ***** ** * ***** *******.

********* ***** ****** ***** **** ** lock ******** *** ** ****** ** doors, **** ******** *** *** (** not) ** **** ******* *** ********. In **** ***** '*** **** **** not *** ***', *** **** ******* can **** ********* ** *** ****'* occupancy *** **************.

** **** ***** ***** ******* *** available ** ******* **** ** **********, usually ******* ** ** "********* ********" like **** *******:

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********* ******** '******* *****' ** ****** in ******** **** **************, **** '******** room' ** '******' ********** ***** ***** differ ***** ** **** *** ***** loading. ***** *** **** **** '********* Loads' *** '********* (** ********) **************', the ****** ***** *** *** ***** can ** **********.

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Establish ** ******* ** ********* ******

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******* ****** ** ** ********* ** subject ***** *** ********* ** ****** emergency ********** *****:

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*** ***** ******** ***** **** **** access ********* ********** ***** ***** ****** system **************.

Door ******** *********

***** **** ******** ***************, *** ******** of * ********** ******* ** **** an ********* *************. *** ***** ** doors ***** **** ******* ************** **** installed ** **** ** ****** *******:

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*********** *** ******** **** **** *** floorplan *** ******** ********* **** ** vital, *** ******* ************ **** ******** are *********** ** ***** ***** **** be **** ******* ****** *** ************ work *********.

Comments (7)

I'm in the middle east and every day see maglocks on exit doors with REX buttons and no override green break glass units. I don't know if you have those in the US but they are common place in Eurpoe and are wired in series with the maglock power so you can always break to power to the lock in an emergency by pushing the element on the device.

I was in a manufacturers office not long ago doing training and pointed out that they don't have break glass units on their maglocked doors, they guy is telling me you don't need them and I'm saying what if the controller locks up, he's like no that never happens.... wouldn't you know it a few hours later we are locked in the training room because the REX button is non responsive, clearly a controller lockup which Ive seen many times over the past 20 years from most vendors equipment.

Some parts of the world take this stuff allot more seriously than others, I worked in London for years and its point 1 on the fire officers check list before you can occupy a building.

Agree: 6
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Informative: 1
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Funny

Can anyone guide me for the best/recommended best practices for Access control systems ? Since the code just mentioning the requirements not how you can achieve it & how you can do it in a way that it is tested and recommended (which it is the best practice). I need to have details.

I'm hoping that I can find something like BICSI TDMM manual/best practice . which it is an amazing best practices for cabling installations.

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Funny

You might download BICSI 005-2016, Electronic Safety and Security (ESS) System Design and Implementation Best Practice.

BICSI has stopped updating it, and it was not 'cutting edge' to begin with, but for access install guidelines, it is a valuable reference.

In terms of design, IPVM pushes to be up to date on these aspects, and if there are other good resources members use, I am interested in hearing recommendations too.

Agree: 2
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Informative: 2
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Funny

Then I think I will stick with IPVM. The reason I want a best practice simalr to TDMM. Since I want something that I can refer to when we have any project that we need to issue.

So in this case, what do u recommend to refer if we need to issue a contract for ACS.? I don't to just refer to codes.

Do we need to have our own specs/standard as a company and we refer to codes?

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Funny

I think its worth to mention NFPA 731
"Standard for the Installation of Electronic Premises Security Systems". don't you think that its good to refer to it in any new contract ?

Agree
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Informative
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Funny

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Free Online NFPA and IBC Codes and Standards (ipvm.com)

This link seems to be broken. Is there an updated link?

Agree
Disagree
Informative: 2
Unhelpful
Funny

Hey Nick:

Thanks for catching this. It was a circular reference to the post you're reading now. I deleted that part because it just was confusing. The link you're looking for is the link you're reading now.

Agree
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Informative
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Funny
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