Under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), businesses need to be accessible to individuals with disabilities. Failing to adhere to the guidelines set out by this law can make your business vulnerable to lawsuits in addition to leaving your premises inaccessible to employees or clients with disabilities. Read on to learn more about the ADA’s guidance for doors and how to remain in compliance.
ADA Door Guidance
One of the most obvious aspects of ADA compliance is making sure your doors are accessible. Sixty-percent of doors in your facility should be accessible to people who use a wheelchair or who have other mobility impairments. Take a look at just some of the guidelines to follow to make sure your doors are ADA compliant.
- Doors need to have at least 32 inches of width (in the opening itself)
- Doors must require 5 lbs. or less force to open/close without the need to tightly grasp.
- Handles themselves should be levers, not knobs.
- The floor beneath the door should be ½ inch or less high.
- Doors should be surrounded with enough room for wheelchair users to get to the door, reach for the door hardware, open the door and get through the doorway.
- Doors should have a closing speed of 5 seconds at a minimum so the user can safely clear the area.
How to Stay in Compliance
These ADA guidelines may seem overwhelming, but there are a few simple steps you can take to ensure your entries and exits are accessible.
Take a walk through your business and take note of how each door operates, keeping in mind the guidance above. If you find that one or more doors aren’t accessible, contact door specialists to handle improvements. An experienced door hardware installer will be able to help you inspect your building and handle any upgrades needed.
Buying parts off Amazon or some other retailer is just going to cost you money in the long run. Improper measurement and installation can not only set you back weeks on your project, but can land you in a whole heap of trouble from potential ADA lawsuits.
Remember, the whole point of ADA-compliance is to allow anyone to enter your facility. Security is just as much about accessibility as it is protection.
Unfortunately, it’s not easy to test for compliance and it requires specialized equipment and knowledge to bring facilities back into code. Luckily, we can test for it with a free security assessment. Let us know if you’d like us to come by and solve that headache for you today.