Building owners should prominently post safety decals, available from automatic door manufacturers or AAADM. These are easily recognizable, yellow “Automatic Door” decals as well as decals indicating the direction of pedestrian travel and emergency procedures. An arrow sign should be visible from the approach side of a swinging door, and an international “Do Not Enter” sign, in red, should be visible on the wrong-way side of one-way doors.
Decals on two-way doors should be visible from both sides. An AAADM safety information sticker should be affixed to the door or frame in a protected, visible location.
“In addition, building owners can help manufacturers by continuing to enhance safety through specifying inspections by an authorized, AAADM-certified technician,” Angel says.
Automatic doors should be inspected at the time of installation, and then inspections should be scheduled annually. In the event of a malfunction, building owners should not attempt to repair or adjust a door themselves, but instead should call an authorized repair expert.
On their end, manufacturers strive to research, develop, test and implement technologies that will make sensors, mats, mechanisms and the doors themselves function more smoothly and even more safely.
“Members of AAADM are constantly working to improve automatic door materials, design, technology and the application of different technologies in automatic door systems and components,” Angel says. “We also strive to improve installation and maintenance, critical links in the safety chain that should not be overlooked by building designers and owners.”
Since the 1940s, when the first floor-mat device was introduced, innovation and improved safety have been industry hallmarks. Emergency breakout features were introduced in the 1960s, and by the 1970s photoelectric motion detectors, handicapped-access activators, low-energy swing doors and the first American National Standard (ANSI) for power-operated pedestrian doors were introduced. In the 1980s, the first infrared presence sensors were used, and motion detector activation became standard.
In the past decade, automatic folding doors came into use, and the ANSI standard was broadened to encompass them. The formal organization of AAADM was also created.
AAADM recently launched a public awareness campaign to enhance an already exemplary safety record. In the campaign, consumers are reminded that they should exercise reasonable care and caution when passing through automatic doors and should not hesitate or stop in the door opening.
Planned maintenance is extremely important. Building owners should perform a daily safety inspection at a designated time each day. This procedure should also be conducted after any power outage or any other time power to the door has been turned off. Daily safety procedures are outlined on a label that can be obtained from AAADM or any certified inspector.
Building owners should make sure they have a copy of the owner’s manual for operation of all automatic doors and instruct employees on location and operation of function switches, circuit breakers or power-disconnect switches. Employees should also have easy access to the telephone number to call for authorized service.
Chris Johnson is the executive director of the American Association of Automatic Door Manufacturers (AAADM), a trade association that administers a certification and training program for inspectors of automatic doors.
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