In 1990, the Americans with Disabilities Act was signed into law. The legislation, which is still in effect today, ensures people with disabilities have the same access to public facilities and services that people without disabilities do. It lays out a number of different regulations to help owners of public properties ensure this accessibility, including guidelines for interior signage, stairwells, handrails and commercial doors, among many other elements.
All owners of public properties must make sure their properties are fully ADA compliant, or else they are subject to various fines and penalties. Here are some of the guidelines for commercial doors to help you determine if yours comply with ADA standards:
- Revolving doors/turnstiles: Revolving doors and turnstiles cannot be the only means of entering a building at an accessible entrance. There must be an accessible door or gate adjacent to that turnstile or revolving door to facilitate the same pattern of usage.
- Double-leaf doors: If doorways have two leaves that operate independently of each other, at least one of those leaves must meet the specifications outlined below:
- Doorways must have a minimum clearing width of 32 inches when the door is open 90 degrees. That width is measured between the door face and the opposite stop.
- There must be a minimum maneuvering clearance at doors that are not power-assisted or automatic. For example, a front-approach swinging door shall have maneuvering space from the hinge side of the door to a minimum of 18 inches and a preferred distance of 24 inches beyond the latch side and 60 inches perpendicular to the door.
- Thresholds: Thresholds at doors must not exceed ¾ inch in height for exterior sliding doors or ½ inch for other door types.
- Door hardware: All latches, locks, pulls, handles and any other operational hardware on accessible doors must have a shape that allows you to easily grasp it with one hand and does not need to be grasped tightly. Lever-operated or push-type mechanisms are acceptable, as are U-shaped designs.
- Door closers: If the door has a closer, its sweep period must be adjusted so that when it is open 70 degrees, the door will take at least three seconds to move to a point at which it is three inches away from the latch.
- Door opening force: The ADA has specific rules in place regarding the force needed to open doors. For example, fire doors must have the minimum opening force allowable by the authority in charge of administrating the building.
These are just a few examples of some of the ADA guidelines for commercial doors, but the regulations go into far more detail and cover a lot more elements of door usage and design. For more information about the ADA standards your business needs to meet, including those specifically regarding commercial doors, we encourage you to reach out to a trusted door supplier in Alaska today. Replacement Glass would be happy to provide you with more information about the standards affecting your business.