Liability: Are You at risk?
Does Your Business conform to all current Handicapped, and Fire, Life Safety Codes?
The Department of Justice’s revised regulations for Titles II and III of the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 (ADA) were published in the Federal Register in September 2010. ADA requirements are law and must be followed by contractors and hardware installers. ADA and Fire, Life Safety codes are updated on a regular basis.
The standard door knob has served most of us well for centuries. The problem arises when a person with disabilities tries to grab a knob to rotate it, a crippled hand or arm may prevent them from turning the knob with enough torque to actually open the door easily. No knob locks meet ADA requirements.
A lever actually makes it easier to open a door. The inherent design of the lever (a fulcrum) allows additional force to be applied with the hand, arm or elbow to rotate the lever. Even full hands can go through quickly and easily without dropping items.
The use of ADA access hardware includes automatic doors. Some doors use a sensor to open doors automatically when someone approaches. Other doors push and pull normally for most visitors but offer a ‘pie plate’ handicap button to operate a door upon request.
A standard door closer requires a strong effort be used to open the door. ADA requires the use of ‘Barrier-Free’ closers on some doors. These operate with fewer pounds of effort needed to open a door making it easier to open for the elderly, etc.
We can solve your ADA Hardware problems
and help you conform to code!
Are you aware of the provisions of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA)? Signed into law on July 26 1990, the Americans with Disabilities Act is a wide-ranging legislation intended to make American Society more accessible to people with disabilities.
What does ADA mean to you? As the operator of a business, you need to know that ADA regulations stipulate any place of business, regardless of size or number of employees, both public and private, must provide equal access and “reasonable accommodations” for both the general and disabled public. Basically if the potential exists for a customer to ever visit your facility, you need to be in compliance.
The act has no grandfather clauses, it stipulates, that in existing structures, barriers to entry or services must be removed if “technically feasible.” Cost is not a factor in determining whether an action would be technically feasible.
ADA is civil rights law, and provides for fines and/or private lawsuit or by the Department of Justice. If any private party or group feels you have discriminated against them by denying access, the government will help them sue you.
Security and door hardware manufacturers provide a variety of products designed to help you comply. The advent of the lever lockset is almost totally due to ADA, other products include, power assisted or automatic door operators, keyless entry systems, and egress systems that require no physical action to exit. These products and systems make it possible to bring almost any entry into compliance. Our security professionals are experienced in the selection and installation of this specialized hardware. We understand the complexities of the ADA regulations, as they relate to hardware. Call us for for a no-obligation audit of your facility to determine your needs for ADA compliance.
The American with Disabilities Act cannot be ignored, if a lawsuit, even an unfounded one is brought against you, the cost of defending yourself can be substantial.
Links about ADA
U.S. Department of Justice, Americans with Disabilities Act ADA Home Page
- Hilton, Justice reach deal over disabled guests (seattletimes.nwsource.com)
- Proposed ADA Requirements May Affect Public Internet Use (yro.slashdot.org)
- Designing with ADA Standards: Keep It Accessible (xemion.com)