Schlage Locks: Setting the Industry Standard

Residential and Commercial Security

The BHMA’s Role in Developing and Testing Lock Products

Before a Schlage lock or any other lock product hits warehouse and store shelves, it has already gone through a bevy of testing processes to determine its market-worthiness.  The Builders Hardware Manufacturers Association (BHMA) is one of a number of agencies responsible for  facilitating the testing process.

The BHMA is a trade organization whose membership is comprised largely of manufacturers of builders hardware in the United States.  In fact, according to the organization[1], eighty percent of all US-based manufacturers of builders hardware are BHMA members.  BHMA membership carries a tremendous amount of weight and credibility in the building industry, thanks to the organization’s long history of working closely with industry leaders and building code developers to ensure that commercial hardware products are made with quality and designed for safety.

The Builders Hardware Manufacturers Association worked with the American National Standards Institute (ANSI) to develop a mutually agreeable and industry-accepted code of standards for the manufacturing of commercial hardware products.  These standards govern products like locks, hinges, door controls and exit devices.

Submitting a particular commercial hardware product is voluntary.  Companies which manufacture and/or distribute a particular product, such as a  Schlage door lock, may submit that product to a BHMA-approved third-party independent testing facility.  That facility then performs the testing as set out by ANSI/BHMA in its standards guide.  Products which meet or exceed these guidelines are given ANSI/BHMA certification.  Most reputable builders will not use or install hardware products that do not carry this endorsement.

The BHMA also conducts periodic in-factory audits.  These audits help to ensure that a product that was previously certified is still being manufactured to the specifications set out by ANSI/BHMA.  Manufacturers who have not continued to adhere to those standards will likely have their certification revoked.

In the case of door locks, (i.e. Schlage,) products are given operational, strength and cycle tests (relating to torque.)  They are also evaluated according to the type of material from which they are made, as well as the type of finish they contain.   All of these contribute to a final grade which is assigned to the product before it reaches the market.

NEXT WEEK: What are Lock Grades and What Do They Mean?

 

[1] The Builders Hardware Manufacturers Association.  “About BHMA.” http://www.buildershardware.com/10.html

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February 11, 2009 - Posted by | Commercial and Residential Security | , , , , , ,

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