General Observations from A Door Service Provider & Door Expert Witness
Automatic doors are a worthwhile investment that pay off in terms of providing accessibility, keeping an area climate controlled and more. To protect that investment and users of your automatic door, it’s important to use a door inspection checklist every day. Automatic door inspection is an important part of avoiding costly repairs and preventing avoidable accidents.
Daily Maintenance Can Prevent Injury
According to a door expert witness, “I have seen severe injuries and deaths occur as a result of every type and design of malfunctioning door systems. In older automatic door installations, failure of the sensor floor mats often caused injuries.” (Floor mats are part of your daily preventative maintenance checklist!) The same door expert refers to numerous past cases where injuries resulted from a complete lack of inspection and/or maintenance.
What are some typical incidents that happen when automatic doors malfunction?
Tripping on mats, sensor failure and doors closing too quickly can cause injuries. In one such incident, a woman entering a department store was struck from behind by an automatic swinging door, slicing her Achille’s tendon. Store footage revealed the doors moved too quickly and sensors had to be adjusted. Sensors are one item on your daily preventative maintenance checklist which you can find below.
Preventative Maintenance Checklist
How to maintain an automatic door to avoid costly repairs and safety incidents:
1. Check your doors – A daily safety check for an automatic sliding door includes:
- Sensors: Walk to the door at a moderate pace. Check that the door opens when you are a few feet away and that it slides smoothly and stops without impact. Generally, the sensor should activate the door from no further than five feet away and no closer than 43″ from the door. After stepping out of the sensor area the door should remain open for at least 1.5 seconds.
- Closing Rate: Remain directly between the doors to check that doors stay open. The door should open fully if closed, if open it should remain open for at least 1.5 seconds after you move your hand. The door should be adjusted to close at a rate of no faster than one foot per second. The doors closing speed should become noticeably slower at least two feet before fully closing.
- Door/Door Hardware: Check if the mat (If present) and threshold are secure, check all door panels for broken or cracked glass and make sure an ‘emergency push open’ sign, as well as a ‘caution automatic door’ sign are properly displayed.
- Mats: Step on the opening mat. The door should swing open smoothly without getting caught or being impacted by the mat. A mat should be nearly as wide as the door opening allowing for five inches of room on either side. After stepping off the mat the door should take at least 1.5 seconds before it begins to close. Walk test the mats by standing in several areas.
- Clearance: The door area should be free from merchandise displays or other attractions where people could be hit by the door.
- Keep up with the weather: Keep on top of inclement weather and any issues it may cause. Be sure the floor guides are kept cleaned and free of any debris that could prevent the door from sliding. Exposure to UV rays, freezing rain, snow, and ice, can cause mats to become brittle, have contact problems, and fall apart. If this occurs the automatic door will either fail to open, fail to remain open, or react erratically when stepped upon. All of which can be a safety concern.
By performing regular inspections and maintenance of your automatic door you can prevent avoidable damage and mishaps. Should you require advice from door maintenance specialists, we’re here to help. Trust the professionals at Horton Automatics to protect your investment. Horton Automatics is your trusted automatic door company with door maintenance specialists on hand to perform maintenance and repairs including: sliding door repair and electric gate maintenance. If you need repairs or have any questions about automatic door maintenance, contact us, we’re here to help.
Some of these safety issues can be avoided with modern sensors. If you want to discuss upgrading your automatic sliding door systems or simply require automatic door accessories for existing doors we’d be happy to discuss options.