Wednesday, June 25, 2014

What’s The Deal at the Bottom of the Door?

Correct Door Bottom

Modified Door Bottom

In my previous blog, I discussed some of the work involved in a California Certified Access Specialist (CASp) Report and I specifically discussed some of the checks that are required for doors.   One of the door checks involves the rail at the bottom of the door.   In general, the ADA requires the bottom rail to be smooth and a minimum of 10” high.   This is mostly a problem for glass storefront doors.   Newer storefront doors easily meet this requirement, but older doors do not. 
The reason behind the 10” bottom rail is simple…………to assist someone in a wheelchair in opening the door.   The issue is that without a 10” bottom rail, the footrest of the wheelchair may get caught on the door frame and make it difficult if not impossible for someone in a wheelchair to open the door and in a worst case scenario, the glass door could get broken.

The picture shown above on the left was taken at a Macy’s Department Store.   I am not sure if the work they have done is the result of a lawsuit, but they recently made one door at each entry into an accessible door by modifying the bottom rail.   In addition, they have added an International Symbol Accessibility (ISA) as required, although it’s located a little too low.

This picture above on the right depicts how the door bottom on an accessible store front should appear.   You will also notice this door does not have the ISA as required, however, that is a simple correction to make.   You can also see from the photograph that it’s easy for a serial plaintiff to “drive by” and clearly see if your door has the required 10 door bottom without even taking a single measurement.

If the doors into your facility do not have the required 10” door bottom, then you should immediately contact a door contractor to get the door modified to include the required door bottom..