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A156.40 - 2015 Residential Deadbolts

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American National Standard for Residential Deadbolts

BHMA has created this series of Hardware Highlights to provide useful, accessible information about builders hardware for architects, specifiers, builders, building code officials and anyone with an interest in the devices that hang, control, secure and trim doors. For more information, consult the full standard: ANSI/BHMA A156.40 for Residential Deadbolts.

BHMA is a North American Trade Association that represents almost all of the North American manufacturers of Builders Hardware. Since 1983, its main activities have been developing and maintaining ANSI approved standards for 35 separate product categories.

Product Performance: Purchasers of Deadbolts certified to A156.40 ( can be assured products will perform to their expectations.

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


Attributes that deal with the basic operations of the product are measured to ensure ease of egress and smooth closing. For example, the forces that retract the latch or bolt must not exceed a maximum torque of 9 in.-lbf.


Obviously, building products are expected to last a long time, and builders hardware is no exception. Grade A residential deadbolts, for example, must pass a rigorous test that requires 400,000 cycles of opening and closing.


Deadbolts are counted on to allow carefree operation for those who are authorized, and to ensure a high degree of security from the outside. Seventeen aggressive tests are specified, including one that includes loading the door against the deadbolt with 1,350 pounds of force.


Builders hardware must also be aesthetically attractive, and stay that way. Resistance to corrosion, chemicals, abrasion and sunlight are all considered during variety of finish tests in order to provide confidence in the hardware’s architectural metals/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.


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


Locksets 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: When it comes to product specification, standards also provide a numbering system for lock function. Please consult A156.40 for the full list. An example is provided below:

Deadlocking latch bolt operated by key from either side. No latch bolt hold-back. 


Deadlocking latch bolt operated by key from outside, and by turn from inside. Latch bolt is held back by key or other mechanism. 


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

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