Access panels provide easy access to some of your building’s most important systems, such as electrical, ductwork, plumbing, and communications for the purposes of repairs, upgrades, cleaning, and also safety.
One of the main benefits of an access panel is that it enables you to gain access to interior components quickly when rapid action is necessary, but also keeps unauthorized people out. For this reason, there are a variety of safety requirements when choosing and installing access panels at your commercial property.
Installation and Operation Safety Measures for Access Panels
The specific building codes governing use of access panels at your property will vary by property type, region, and the specific component that an access panel protects, but in general, some of the safety considerations that you will take into account include during the planning and installation process include:
- Panel Location – Panel location will be dictated by the area you need access to and the layout of the building. For a safe location, the area surrounding the panel itself also needs to be easily accessible, meaning that there are no physical obstacles blocking the panel.
- Panel Accessibility – Many panels will need to be reachable in an emergency, in which case it should be accessible by the average person with basic equipment like a ladder or scissor lift.
- Panel Size – If your access panel is intended to provide enough space for a person to get through, it needs to measure at least 20”x20”. When choosing smaller panels that only need to provide access to a component directly on the other side, be sure that there is enough room to work with tools that might be necessary.
- Material – The material needs to meet building codes for your specific application. In many cases, GFRG access doors are a leading option because they are non-combustible and smoker resistant in addition to having the strength to withstand a variety of applications.
- Installation – An experienced contractor should manage access door installation to provide a secure fit that leaves no sharp edges that could result in injury or damage to the panel, has a tight fit for additional fire safety, and is completely secured to the ceiling or wall.
- Accessibility After Installation – Certain panels need to be easily accessible in cases of emergency. This means they should remain unblocked at all times and be accessible without tools. Others can, and sometimes should, be kept more secure to prevent unauthorized access.
The requirements for your panel will largely depend on what the panel provides access to, as well as where in the property the panel is located. In terms of safety needs, GFRG is the best material for meeting the requirements for access panels in a variety of property types and is effective at securing wiring, plumbing, communications equipment, ductwork, and a variety of other equipment used at commercial properties.
GC Products provides access panels that are a convenient and cost effective choice for your property with several standard sizes readily available. Each meets ASTM standards for safety and our high quality panels provide a professional look once installed for access panels that combine the best in safety, function, and appearance. Learn more about our panels or place an order by contacting GC Products today.