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A156.31 - 2024 Electric Strikes and Frame Mounted Actuators

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American National Standard for Electric Strikes and Frame Mounted Actuators

ANSI/BHMA A156.31 establishes requirements for Electric Strikes and Frame Mounted Actuators, and includes operational and finish tests. For further information, consult the full standard, ANSI/BHMA A156.31 for Electric Strikes.

BHMA has created this series of Hardware Highlights to provide useful, accessible information about builders hardware for architects, specifiers, builders, building code officials – anyone with an interest in devices that hang, control, secure, and trim the doors. BHMA is the trade association which represents almost all of the North American manufacturers of builders hardware. One of its main activities since 1983 has been the development and maintenance of ANSI-approved standards for 35 separate product categories.

Product Performance: Purchasers of electric strikes and frame mounted actuators certified to A156.31 ( can be assured products will perform to their expectations.

Below are an explanation and some examples of the evaluations conducted for certification:


Building products are expected to last a long time, and builders hardware is no exception. Grade 1 electric strikes, for example, must pass a rigorous test through 500,000 cycles of opening and closing, and be fully functional at the end of the test.


Locksets are counted on to allow carefree operation to those who are authorized, and ensure a high degree of security from the outside. Seven aggressive tests are specified, including a 1500 pound Static Test at 100% and 75% of rated voltage.


An additional duty of builders hardware is to be aesthetically attractive and stay that way. Resistance to corrosion, chemicals, abrasion, and sunlight are all considered in an array of finish tests, providing confidence in the architectural metals and coatings.


Building Codes

Builders hardware provides several attributes that are essential to building safety and performance, including egress and fire protection. BHMA locksets are designed to comply with all applicable requirements. For example, hardware for fire doors is evaluated and listed to UL 10C by an accredited third-party testing laboratory.


There are various types of trim which meet the ADA and A117.1 requirements for operable parts to be “operable with one hand and shall not require tight grasping, pinching or twisting of the wrist.” Lever or paddle type trim meets these stipulations, while knob trim should be avoided for accessible routes. In addition, BHMA certified hardware must comply with the operational forces in their respective standards, which have been shown to be suitable for accessible applications.


Electric Strikes contribute to building sustainability through their verified durability, as well as material characteristics such as recycled content and recyclability. The reliable closing and sealing of openings can also contribute to energy conservation. BHMA has developed Product Category Rules, which will further define sustainability requirements and guide life cycle assessments and environmental performance declarations.

Function Numbers: Another significant contribution of standards for product specification is a numbering system for lock function. Please consult A156.2 for the full list; an example is provided here

Semi Rim Mounted E09311, E09312, E09313: For use with rim exit devices and surface vertical rod exit devices.

This document is not a substitute for the full standard. Refer to the entire standard for full information.

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Participate in the BHMA® Certification Program by voluntarily submitting a hardware product to independent laboratory testing to confirm that it fully meets the criteria of the appropriate ANSI/BHMA® standard.  This industry-wide certification program does not call for a manufacturer to be a BHMA® member in order to certify its products.

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