Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Making Sure Your Automatic Doors Run Properly

It can happen to anyone… you’re getting ready to walk into a building, and maybe the door doesn’t open right away, and you have to stop short. Although the close call may bring a little nervous chuckle in the short term… a lapse in an automatic door’s function is no laughing matter.

Automatic doors are something that a lot of us take for granted. We simply trust that when we step under that sensor, that the door is going to slide right open and clear the path to where we're going. So we may not give a lot of thought to making certain that our automatic doors actually work. Nevertheless, it is important to have a contract in place  for regular maintenance on your doors to make certain that your doors work as intended.

Here are a few things to consider if you have automatic doors in your place of business:

The Potential for Injury

One of the biggest concerns when it comes to automatic doors should be obvious: a door that doesn't work properly may actually malfunction and cause real injury to you, your employees, or your customers. This could lead to you being found at fault due to negligence, which is an expensive thing to fight even if you win the case. Make sure that nobody has any reason to believe that you have been negligent in the maintenance of your place of business.

The Sheer Inconvenience

An automatic door is there for convenience. When you have to prop it open at the start of every day, it's not exactly a convenience anymore, and it makes your place of business look cheap and unprofessional. Make sure that you keep your door working as intended, if only to present a professional appearance.

AAADM Inspections

Sideload Header from an automatic door
(Courtesy: NABCO)
If you want to make sure that your automatic door is going to work as intended, you'll want to get an American Association of Automatic Door Manufacturers (AAADM) certified inspector. This will ensure that your inspector knows what to look for, and what sort of information you need in order to keep your doors code compliant. Some businesses might even go a step farther, and enlist the help of an AAADM Certified door inspector as part of a preventative maintenance contract for their automatic doors to prevent problems from occurring in the first place.

Whether you're installing a new door or just conducting regular maintenance on the door that was already there when you moved in, it's important to make sure that your doors work as intended. It's a good idea to keep the AAADM on your phone and know your inspector by name to ensure that you can get the service you need when you need it.

Proper maintenance now means avoiding problems with doors that don't work -- whether the door doesn't open, or worse, doesn't close and presents a potential security risk.

For more information on automatic doors, their function and maintenance, contact The Door Company at (614) 338-1414.

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Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Ensuring Your Automatic Doors Are ADA Compliant

When installing automatic doors it is important to follow the guidelines set by the Americans with Disabilities Act. ADA compliance is very important for any business. When the Americans with Disabilities Act was established in 1990, it was intended to give disabled people a fair chance to live their life the same as any non-disabled person. It started with a small list of general rules and regulations, and as time passed grew into a very strict and detailed set of rules and regulations that include even the smallest details, such as the regulations for automatic doors.

ADA highly recommends automatic doors, as they are one of the most accessible types of doorways. However, there are still certain rules and regulations that builders must follow when designing and installing automatic doors in order for them to be ADA compliant. There are different regulations based on whether the automatic doors are slow moving or fast moving:
  • Fast moving must be compliant with all the same regulations as ANSI/BHMA A156.10-1985
  • Doors should not close back on themselves faster than 3 seconds.
  • All automatic doors should require no less than 15 pounds of force to close them.
  • All fast moving, full automatic doors should operate by means of a sensor on the door frame, placed properly to detect entry from both the front and sides.
  • Slow moving doors must follow the regulations in ANSI A156.19-1984.
  • Slow moving doors can be operated manually using a push button mechanism.
Non-compliance with ADA standards is very serious. It can result in large fines, and will require the business to make changes to its policies and building standards in order to comply with the violated standards. The Department of Justice is able to fine businesses up to $55,000 for the first offense. In addition to these consequences, non-compliance often results in costly legal battles, media exposure which often results in embarrassment and loss of revenue from lost business. It is best to follow ADA regulations now and avoid the expensive consequences later.

For example, in 2009, there were at least 12 separate occasions where the violations resulted in some serious consequences. In New York, five different hotels in the Theater District were sued for violations due to significant barriers to accessibility. This lawsuit resulted in large fines and loss of business. The hotels also had to undergo major renovations and to rewrite their policies concerning service animals, and treatment of disabled patrons.

Rather than be subject to these serious consequences, it is better to be ADA compliant; not only when installing automatic doors, but also in making sure they are properly maintained over time. For more information on automatic door maintenance, or to speak with an American Association of Automatic Door Manufacturers (AAADM) certified door inspector about options for a preventative maintenance contract for your automatic doors, give The Door Company a call at (614) 338-1414.

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Monday, April 1, 2013

The Merits of Automatic Doors for Your Business

The installation of automatic doors for most industries is to increase productivity, attract customer participation and enhance convenience and promote security. Automatic doors are multifunctional and multipurpose. They are normally used in areas where there is a high volume of traffic. They provide easy access to an entrance or exit entry way.

Automatic doors are seen in stores, in apartment complexes and in medical facilities. They provide convenience and ease for disabled and injured patients, and they service as a security systems in areas where unauthorized entry is prohibited. The type of automatic doors individuals and businesses install depends on their intended purpose.

GT 1175 Whisper Slider
(Courtesy: NABCO)
For instance, the GT 1175 Whisper Slider has double sliding doors, and these are the most popular choice for businesses. These types of doors are typically seen in shopping centers, hotels, drug stores and laboratories. The wide door opening allows at least two or more people to enter or exit a room at the same time. The doors is motorized and the slider is on actual rollers, making opening and closing the doors a breeze. The doors slide open automatically when as visitors approach, and close just as quickly when visitors safely pass through them.

The GT 400 Swing Open Door gently swings open to allow passage into any building structure. The door is great for an original entrance way, or as a replacement door. The door speeds can be adjusted to faster or slower speeds for safety reasons. If the door is used in buildings where handicap accessibility is mandatory, setting the door to a much slower opening speed is preferable. This prevents injury to the pedestrians that are either entering or exiting the building. The built in sensor allows the door to swing open and close automatically.

GT 1400 Folding Door
(Courtesy: NABCO)
The GT 400 can be customized to open and close in reverse directions. The door can be programmed to remain open for a length of time, as to allow pedestrians to enter and exit quickly. This is a great feature to use, when there is a lot of loading and unloading to do. The springs are heavy duty, so there is no need to worry about the door suddenly breaking or closing without any warning.

When used in a medical setting, automatic doors allow doctors and other authorized personnel access to restricted areas in the facility. The doors are meant to keep patients and visitors out of undesignated areas.

The GT System 1400 Folding Door is good for any building. These doors are typically used in smaller areas with limited space is quite limited. The door swings open and folds to allow visitors safe passage. Compared to similar type doors, sweeping is dramatically reduced. There are several built-in safety features as well, and owners can adjust the locking options and door speed. The doors are compliant with high impact hurricane warnings.

Whatever the purpose, automatic doors can provide viable and convenient solutions that can make building access easier and safer. For more information on how automatic doors can benefit your business or facility, call us at (614) 338-1414.

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