How many times have you walked through a door opening with a door closer installed only to have the door almost (or actually) hit you before you are clear of the opening? Or you feel the need to go lift weights in order to pull the door open?
Worse, what if you had a temporary or permanent disability that affected your mobility and you came across a door opening with the above issues? It would be incredibly frustrating trying to maneuver through the opening with crutches or a wheelchair.
The American with Disabilities Act (ADA) was passed in 1990 to ensure equal opportunity for individuals with disabilities in employment, public accommodations, transportation, State and local government services and telecommunications. This meant stores, restaurants, movie theaters, and any public area of a building had to be ADA accessible per the guidelines set.
Door Closers were affected by the ADA guidelines:
4.13.10* Door Closers. If a door has a closer, then the sweep period of the closer shall be adjusted so that from an open position of 70 degrees, the door will take at least 3 seconds to move to a point 3 in (75 mm) from the latch, measured to the leading edge of the door. Appendix Note.
4.13.11* Door Opening Force. The maximum force for pushing or pulling open a door shall be as follows:
(1) Fire doors shall have the minimum opening force allowable by the appropriate administrative authority.
(2) Other doors.
(a) exterior hinged doors: (Reserved).
(b) interior hinged doors: 5 lbf (22.2N)
(c) sliding or folding doors: 5 lbf (22.2N)
These forces do not apply to the force required to retract latch bolts or disengage other devices that may hold the door in a closed position. Appendix Note.
A4.13.11 Door Opening Force. Although most people with disabilities can exert at least 5 lbf (22.2N), both pushing and pulling from a stationary position, a few people with severe disabilities cannot exert 3 lbf (13.13N). Although some people cannot manage the allowable forces in this guideline and many others have difficulty, door closers must have certain minimum closing forces to close doors satisfactorily. Forces for pushing or pulling doors open are measured with a push-pull scale under the following conditions:
(1) Hinged doors: Force applied perpendicular to the door at the door opener or 30 in (760 mm) from the hinged side, whichever is farther from the hinge.
(2) Sliding or folding doors: Force applied parallel to the door at the door pull or latch.
(3) Application of force: Apply force gradually so that the applied force does not exceed the resistance of the door. In high-rise buildings, air-pressure differentials may require a modification of this specification in order to meet the functional intent
The ADA Act is currently being updated and Chapter 4, which deals with doors, has not been released as yet.
It is important that building maintenance technicians keep all public access doors in proper working order. That means making sure the door closers are properly adjusted. A ladder, allen wrench & the instructions are all that are needed to adjust the latching speed and door sweep on a door closer.
For the Hager 5200 and 5300 Door Closer:
For the Hager 5100 Door Closer:
We are currently working on a series of videos to add to our YouTube channel and adjusting door closers will be included.
If you have any questions on door closers, ADA codes or anything else hardware related we are here to help.