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ADA and Door Hardware
September 10, 2009 - Contact FacilitiesNet Editorial Staff »
Business categories: ADA, doors and hardware Iâ€™m Dan Hounsell, editor of Maintenance Solutions magazine. Todayâ€™s topic is accessibility and door hardware. Among the primary components in determining any facilityâ€™s level of accessibility are its doors and door hardware. A general test for accessible door hardware is determining the required type of grasp. If a door hardware component requires that users apply tight pinching or grasping, or if a user cannot operate the hardware with a closed fist, the component probably is not accessible. Handles that do not meet accessibility guidelines for doors include a round, single-knob door handle and thumb-latch or finger-pull doorknobs that provide less than 1 1/2 inches of clearance. Among the types of accessible door handles are lever-type and push-pull handles. Managers should be careful not to specify single-knob, twist-type handles for installation in lavatories. In many cases, users cannot operate them with a closed fist. Instead, managers should consider installing automatic openers. Regarding door installation, workers should adjust door pressure to 8.5 pounds for exterior pressure and no more than 5 pounds for interior restroom doors. The minimum door width is 32 inches. The maximum allowable change in elevation at a door threshold is a one-quarter-inch vertical rise or a beveled one-half inch. Threshold ramps made of recycled rubber tires can help facilities achieve a compliant threshold transition. Finally, a doorâ€™s swing should not encroach into a clear floor space unless state codes allow such movement. Both the restroom and the accessible stall must have a 60-inch turning radius. Many restrooms only need a simple reversal of the door swing to achieve compliance.