January 5, 2018
Automated door and gate systems are very common in both the US and Canada. In fact, many of the same manufacturers, distributers, and dealers operate in both countries, and the use of these products is very similar across borders. However until recently, the product safety standards for these products were not the same. With the publication of ANSI/CAN/UL 325, the safety requirements for these products are now aligned.
Door and Access Systems Manufacturers Association (DASMA) and the Canadian Door Institute of Dealers, Manufacturers and Distributors (CDI), along with input from approximately 40 US and Canadian industry representatives, worked as part of the UL 325 Standards Technical Panel to successfully publish ANSI/CAN/UL 325, Standard For Safety For Door, Drapery, Gate, Louver, and Window Operators and Systems as a Joint Canada-United States National Standard on May 19, 2017 (it is also designated as the 7th edition).
The cooperation between US and Canadian manufacturers and industry partners was essential to harmonize requirements in order to provide the latest in safety standards for the door and gate operator industry across Canada and the US, which will result in the same products being manufactured, purchased and used in both countries. Prior to this, manufacturing a product and selling it into both countries often meant having two different products, sometimes with two different levels of safety.
WHAT IS ANSI/CAN/UL 325?
ANSI/CAN/UL 325 is now the official National Standard of Canada (approved by the Standards Council of Canada (SCC) in addition to the American National Standard (approved by the American National Standards Institute (ANSI)). It outlines the minimum product safety construction, testing, manufacturing and installation requirements for commercial and residential door and gate operators and similar products.
This standard is planned to be published in the 2018 Canadian Electric Code, and over the next few years is expected to be adopted by provincial regulators and become the new norm for the safety of these products. In 2018, products certified by UL complying with the new standard will begin to be available on the market.
SO, WHAT HAS CHANGED?
For products intended for sale in Canada, some key changes in safety requirements in the new standard apply to gate operators, commercial door operators, and residential garage door operators. For example gate operators must now have a minimum of two independent safety entrapment protection devices installed to protect each entrapment zone. The gate operator must also monitor the proper operation of the entrapment protection safety devices when they are external to the operator, otherwise the operator must be limited to constant-pressure-to-close (or open) operation.
For commercial door operators, a system with automatic operation (such as with remote control or a loop or a timer) must have a safety entrapment protection device, such as a photo eye or sensing edge, installed protecting the entrapment zone at the door. Operators must monitor the proper operation of these entrapment protection safety devices; otherwise the operator must be limited to constant-pressure-to-close operation. And for residential garage door operators that now have the ability to close the garage door from a smart phone or mobile device, new visual and audible alerts are required before the door moves.
These are just a few of the new safety requirements to be incorporated into new products destined for the Canadian market and complying with ANSI/CAN/UL 325. Products intended for the US market also need to meet these same requirements, although many of these requirements have already been in place and have been incorporated into products for several years in the US.