The Americans with Disabilities Act, or ADA, requires that all public establishments have doors that swing open for customers and employees with physical challenges. As long as the door opens away from the person who is trying to enter or exit, the door is an acceptable option. What you may not know is that you have three separate options for ADA swing door compliance.
The Pressure Mat
In this type of swing door, the weight of a person and a wheelchair or walker on the rubber mats in front of the doors causes the door to swing open. There is a device under the mat that registers weight and sends a signal to the door that someone is trying to gain access. When the door is not locked, it freely swings open every time enough weight and pressure are applied to the mat.
Push Button Access
This is the most common type of ADA-approved door for those with physical challenges. The push button is at eye level for anyone in a wheelchair, and at hip/hand level for those with other devices used to help them walk. Pushing the button is similar to the pressure mats. A signal is sent from the push button to the motor in the door that causes the door to swing open. In recent years, this particular kind of door has been tweaked so that it stays open for at least twenty seconds so that the user can get through safely before the door closes.
Grocery stores generally do not have to have either of the above types of doors because they install electric eye doors. These are doors that automatically open when a radar camera detects a break in its visual field. The doors slide open for everyone, regardless of their level of mobility. Some people think that electric eye doors are silently the most PC (politically correct) doors you can install, as they treat every customer and every employee the same without drawing attention to one's physical challenges.
Additionally, an electric eye door rarely breaks down. The other two options above often have issues with recognizing the signal and/or the weight of someone on the mat. There is also the issue of a door only opening one way, forcing a user to back up to exit or enter a location when the door opens toward him or her. However, whichever door system you choose, they are all compliant with ADA regulations. For more information, contact companies like DOORS FIXED RIGHT, INC.