Importance of ANSI/BHMA Standards for Quality and Safety in Door Hardware
May 30, 2023
When constructing a new facility, remodeling an old one, or simply making some repairs, the hardware you use on your doors must be high-quality and safe.
You want the products you purchase to be built to last and come from reputable brands with reputable hardware. That’s why it’s important to ensure they have the ANSI/BHMA stamp of approval.
What Are ANSI/BHMA Standards?
BHMA, or Builders Hardware Manufacturers Association, is the only organization that is accredited by the American National Standards Institute (ANSI) for developing standards that apply to the safety and quality of commercial door hardware such as the door lock, hinge, door closer, exit device, and more.
This company was founded nearly 100 years ago, known initially as Hardware Manufacturers’ Statistical Association or HMSA. It started as an organization that gathered and distributed statistics to other agencies. As the organization and its memberships grew, so did their work, dedication, and output, leading to significant changes, including the name.
More than 40 standards cover various products to ensure door assemblies are safe in every situation. To this end, all products are rigorously tested before getting the stamp of approval.
Testing is conducted to check for durability, functionality, and safety. The door hardware with the ANSI/BHMA label are products you can feel comfortable using, knowing they meet all safety requirements.
How Are Door Hardware Standards Helpful?
Having commercial door hardware standards in place is a great way to hold manufacturers accountable for the products they put on the market. It also gives the purchaser peace of mind knowing the hardware they use is highly efficient and reputable.
Having these standards for door hardware also keeps exterior and interior doors in commercial buildings safe and accessible for everyone, including the building owner, and ensures ADA compliance.
Some of the things tested for when obtaining the ANSI/BHMA approval include,
- Operation: The product performs the way it should every time it is used.
- Strength: This ensures the products and the application holds up to everyday use.
- Material Evaluation: Checks to see if the working parts perform at the highest levels and don’t cause any damage to the product or surrounding area.
- Security: This is tested to ensure products hold up to possible forced entry.
- Cycle: This test is performed to ensure the product operates smoothly throughout all cycles; it is tested multiple times. An example is an automatic door, opening, staying open, then slowly closing.
Tests are performed in various ways depending on the product. Every product tested only gets a seal of approval if they pass each test numerous times.
What Does Builders Hardware Include?
Builders hardware is typically the metal features attached to fixtures. They are not part of the actual building structure but are used to help make these structures work easier and provide enhanced functionality. Many different parts can be included in a list of builders’ appliances, but we are more interested in discussing those required for the safety and quality of doors.
- Door Knockers
- Exit devices
- Number plates
- Automatic door openers and accessories
- Safety devices
Where to Find BHMA-Certified Products
If you are searching for BHMA-certified products, the best way to find some is by searching the BHMA website. This website offers many helpful information, links, and tools to help you find certified products and answer other questions about the topic.
You can search for products by clicking on the certification program tab, scrolling down to certified products, then selecting the type of product you want. A list will pop up with all of the BHMA-certified brands available.
You will get information regarding the brand, the material it is made from, the grade number, the standard year, and other vital details. You can use this information to find the exact product you want online or in your local stores.
Only Buy BHMA-Certified
Whether you are purchasing the products yourself or have professionals install an interior or exterior door system for you, you always want to be sure the door accessories and operable parts are BHMA-Certified.
Installation companies should always offer high-quality, durable, and safe products, and by seeing that their hardware is BHMA approved, you know you are getting all three for your commercial buildings.