The Americans with Disabilities Act to effect July 26, 1991 and mandates
major changes for access systems. The ADA states that where is is economically
feasible to remove a handicap barrier, it shall be removed."
Building owners and managers need to be aware of how this act effects
their property and what devices are involved in removing access barriers.
While it is traditionally perceived that building a ramp where there
was once steps is the solution . That is only the beginning . The ADA ace
is dealing with Doors, Door Operators. Door Closers, Locks, Handles, Pushbars,
Pulls and more
Although regulations vary, two main issues traditionally have stood
out in regards to entrance:
To accommodate wheelchairs the width of the clear unobstructed opening
of the doorway has generally been established at 32". This requires a 36"
door when opened.
Minimum Width of Clear Opening
Force to Open the Door.
The force required to open the door has always been a handicap barrier
problem. Different conditions exist that make some doors harder to open
than others. The code requirements vary from different agencies. The code
requirements range from 5 to 8.5 lbs.. for interior doors and 8 to 15 lbs.
for exterior doors.
A few factors which might cause a door to be difficult to open include:
a malfunctioning knob or lever which is difficult to turn, air/wind drafts
from AC or outside wind,, a malfunctioning or improperly installed door
closer, loose weather-stripping, an malfunctioning lock latch. Any of these
conditions could cause a door to not meet the minimum force requirements.
If any of your entries do not meet the code, service amy be required in
one or more of the potential problem areas.
The ADA act addresses these issues, as a facility owner. manager you
should be aware of this legislation and the impact is has on your property.
Bros. Lock & Safe has compiled a helpful 24 page ADA Guide to Locking
Hardware. It is available at no charge for the asking. Call us at (714)
636-5652 or e-mail us at Bestlock@aol.com.