Automatic sliding door at commercial facility.

Automatic Door Compliance

Automatic doors are a great way to create a sanitary doorway access system and increase traffic flow efficiently. But maintaining automatic door compliance can be very complicated. 

Automatic Door Types

There are three main types of automatic doors: 

Swinging Automatic Doors: Automatic swinging doors can have a variety of configurations. These include a single left or right-handed door that swings in or out. Or a pair of doors that swing in the same direction simultaneously. 

Sliding Automatic Doors: This type of automatic door involves flat panels that slide horizontally outwards to open the doorway.

Folding Automatic Doors: These are comprised of two or more separate panels that folding in an accordion style to open an entryway and straighten out to close that entryway. 

Automatic Door Regulations

These automatic doors are referred to as Power-operated pedestrian doors and they require a few features to maintain compliance and assure the safety of all users as documented by the Builders Hardware Manufacturers Association A156.10. There are several features that must be in place and up to standard on your automatic door to maintain compliance.


Sensors shall detect 28-inch minimum high person at a movement rate of 6 inches per second towards the action area (the center of the door). The system must include a means to verify that the sensors are working properly and that each sensor can communicate with the door opening systems.

Control Mats

These are rubber mats placed on the floor on either side of a doorway and they either sense and activate a doors opening or act as a safety measure to prevent a door from opening or hold the door in place. The edge of the exposed area must not exceed ½ an inch thickness.


Automatic doors of all types under the Power-operated pedestrian doors classification must be equipped with signage that reads “AUTOMATIC DOOR”. The letters must be a ½ inch high at a minimum. Depending on the type of door (swinging, folding, sliding) you may require additional signage such as “IN EMERGENCY PUSH TO OPEN”. Always have a professional install and inspect your automatic doors for compliance.

Guide Rails

Two guide rails must be installed on the swing side of each door and stretch all the way to the edge of the widest door in an open position.

Knowing Acts

A knowing act means that the object that activates the automatic door (button) is obvious and viewable. The device cannot be more than 12 feet from the center of the door and the doors must remain open for 5 seconds after the device has been released.

Entrapment Protection

The force required to prevent a swinging door from closing shall not exceed 400 lbs applied 1 inch from the edge of the door. A door shall not close the final 10 degrees (or 2 inches) in less than 1.5 seconds on folding doors. Sensors and control mats shall remain open at least 1.5 seconds after loss of detection. There are a variety of exceptions and additional requirements based on your circumstance and door type. Always have an expert inspect for compliance.

Flying Locksmiths Automatic Door Experts

Installing a compliant automatic door is no small task. There are hundreds of rules and exceptions that must be followed and keeping everything straight can be a nightmare. At the Flying Locksmiths, our experts are certified and trained to maintain and repair automatic doors and keep your facility compliant. If you have any questions please call, click, or chat with our team and we would be happy to help!