Protecting Your Doors…and the People Who Use Them

Safety is always number one, even if you’re doing something routine. Don’t believe us? Consider this. In 2018, pizza—yes, pizza—sent over 3,800 people to the emergency room. One unlucky person was eating a slice when they accidentally swallowed their tongue ring. Another person injured their mouth with a fork. A third person cut themselves instead of the slice.

While automatic door-related injuries are relatively rare, they can happen. But performing some very simple routine maintenance can go a long way toward mitigating accidents. In short, when you protect your automatic doors, you also protect the people who use them. 

Automatic Doors Are Often Safer Than Manual

We’ll get into the risks of automatic doors in just a moment. But first, we need to put that information into context. Here are just a few ways that automatic doors are safer than manual doors:

  • Manual doors can close on someone without warning, while automatic sliding doors have a sensor that stops that from happening. 
  • Manual doors let everyone inside, while automatic doors can help you restrict access.
  • Manual doors invite the spread of germs, while automatic doors can be touch-free and hygienic. 
  • Manual doors can create a bottleneck during emergencies, while automatic doors facilitate a faster exit.
  • Automatic doors can be outfitted with safety measures that slow—and even stop—the spread of fires.          

The Risk of Automatic Doors 

One of the biggest risks is human error. For example, some people misunderstand the type of door they’re approaching, assuming it’s about to open automatically, when that may not be the case. Some doors need you to activate them with a button, while others require you to “badge in.” So, if you want to avoid running into a door, you need to make sure that you pay close attention. You also want to make sure that you never get too close to the door’s moving parts.

You can also encounter technical and mechanical issues. For example, sensors are an important safety feature that detect when someone is in the path of the door. If they’re not working properly, the door could potentially close on someone. It’s also possible for an automatic door to be miscalibrated. If that’s the case, the door could open way too fast, potentially causing serious injury to an unsuspecting visitor. Errors like this are very rare—if you’re taking care of your automatic doors. So, here are a few ways to make a safe product even safer.

How to Make Your Automatic Doors Even Safer

  1. Clear the Surrounding Space – You need to give your automatic doors plenty of room to operate. Make sure the area near your doors is clear of any obstructions, such as signage or large planters. You also want to think about the sensors. Don’t leave anything nearby that might confuse your sensor, even if it’s decorative.
  2. Visually Inspect the Doors – Be sure to perform a regular, non-technical inspection. Check the guards, hinges, sensors, seals, and any other hardware. But don’t just take a look—you also want to have a listen. If anything looks or sounds off, contact a professional immediately. 
  3. Have a Professional Do a Technical Inspection – You obviously want to hire a pro if something is wrong. But you also want to hire a pro if everything appears to be fine. Tune-ups and regular inspections are a part of the process. We can help with our ProActive Maintenance and ProActive Fire Door Inspection Programs.     

The Importance of Maintaining Your Doors

We have a responsibility to protect our doors and the people who use them. So, you’ll want to maintain your doors for moral reasons. But you’ll also want to maintain them for legal reasons. If your doors aren’t maintained, and that results in injury, you could be held responsible. Maintaining your doors also just makes good business sense—you need a working set of doors to ensure continuity of process. 

Do you need someone to come out and make sure your automatic doors are in safe, working order? Reach out to ADA, where quality—and safety—are automatic.