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Locks Talk and ARRA :: Part One

Posted by MCS at CMS on December 18, 2009 at 12:23 PM


Preface

For those with stimulus funded projects under way - and especially for those with openings set to receive ANSI Grade 2 primary door hardware from recognizable household brands such as Dexter, Kwikset, Schlage, Weiser or Weslock, or from interchangeable core mainstays like Best and Falcon - quickly:  Memorize the words "plausible deniability" and
stop reading now!

For those still reading - and especially for those with a penchant for acronyms, logic puzzles and long form tax returns - double check that which follows:  Peruse the stimulus funding documentation and search through the guidelines and bulletins from the White House, States and Agencies; then, pry for insider information from the "brands" and "companies" named or alluded and, finally, try not to get lost in the rhetorical cornucopia of abundance that is The Federal Register!


Unless a project is specified to have certain Grade One commercial door hardware, the likelihood of "made in the USA" components being provided will be extraordinarily slim.  All credible industry consultants are well aware of this, yet, of the stimulus-associated projects that CMS has quoted thus far, most have been specified with either one or more of the seven brands prefaced; however, none of these lock lines are actually fabricated on US soil...

To be clear, this matter is not exclusive to just the brands thus far mentioned.  All producers of such components have evolved - and continue to evolve, albeit to varying degrees - with international concerns handling more and more of the actual fabricating.  Admittedly, most of the insight in this regard has been acquired via casual conversation over the years; however, circumstantial corroboration is readily available to anyone with internet access:

Underwriters Laboratories maintains an online database for these tested and certified tubular and cylindrical latch types (with mortise and unit lock types included as well) and a good portion of their listings are international.  After applying a little search engine savvy, a myriad of historical ties between the listed companies can be found (along with many more historical ties to other unlisted manufacturers as well):  I-TEK with Best, Maxxon, Monarch and Napco; Taiwan Fu Hsing Industrial with Falcon and Yale; Talleres de Escoriaza SA with Assa Abloy, Corbin-Russwin and Yale; Dorma GmbH (Germany), Schlage (China and Mexico) and Stanley/Best (China) with their respective divisions or parent companies in the USA; and so on and so on and so on...


Ultimately, though, this matter is actually not prohibitive with regard to projects funded via the ARRA.  For clarifications in this regard - and for CMS projects only - compliance issues will be addressed via formal request and then summarized and posted here; hence, the anticipatory "Part One" in the title.  For additional circumstantial corroboration in the meantime, take a look at the ARRA waivers to date (there aren't many, and none are for door hardware), carefully note the FAR exclusions (again, there aren't many), and always keep in mind that guidance - as was provided in this article's preface - is substantially suggestion, not regulation...


Categories: FAR and ARRA, Hardware - Primary, Hardware - Secondary

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