What Makes an Entrance ADA Complaint?
Since the Americans with Disabilities Act took effect in the early 1990s, it has helped improve the quality of life for many disabled individuals that are out living and working in various parts of the country.
Businesses have many different requirements to follow and having ADA compliant entrances are one of the most important details that must be adhered to. The ADA states that people living with disabilities should not be restricted in arriving on site to a building or facility. They should be able to enter as easily as others do. For this reason, it is important to be sure that your facility has met ADA compliance rules.
ADA standards apply to all places of public accommodation, including businesses, commercial facilities, and state and local government buildings and sites.
Whether you’re planning on constructing a new building or you are working on upgrading your business or facility to become ADA compliant, it is important to make sure you understand the various requirements that are outlined by the law. Learn more from our specialty locksmith team at Harry’s Locksmith by gaining many the important details you need below.
Parking and Drop-off Areas
The curbs must have curb cuts at parking and drop-off areas and there should be parking spaces designated for lift vans and other vehicles that require disability accessibility.
Disabled parking spaces should be close to the exit and entrances and should be marked clearly. The minimum number of accessible spaces will vary for each facility, depending on the total amount of parking spaces offered. At least one of every six accessible spaces, needs to be large enough to accommodate vans.
Approaching the Facility
One of the first requirements is that stairs should not be a necessity to enter the building. If there are stairs, there should also be a walkway that is stable and slip resistant and at least 36 inches wide so people with wheelchairs, crutches, canes, and walkers can access it.
If there are objects around the path, they need to be easily detectable for a person with visual disabilities using a cane. Hardened materials such as asphalt, concrete, tile, and wood are firm and stable enough for accessibility. Loose materials like gravel are not firm enough and will not meet ADA guidelines.
The ADA requires that ramps cannot have a greater ratio of one inch in height to 12 inches along the ramp base. If the ramp is longer than six feet, railings on both sides are mandatory. Railings need to be slip resistant and steady and need to be 34 to 38 inches high. In some instances, elevators or platform lifts may be used as an alternative option.
Entering the Facility
If stairs are the main way to enter the building, there should also be a lift or ramp option for the disabled. If there are inaccessible entrances, they should be marked clearly and there should be directions to another alternate accessible entrance in the area that can be used independently.
At the entrance door, there should be a 32-inch clear opening and there should be at least 18 inches of clear space on the pulling side of the door, near the handle. The threshold should not be more than a quarter inch, as this could be a severe tripping hazard. If the edge is beveled, it can be no more than 3/4 inches high.
Door hardware is also important here, as the handle on the door cannot be more than 48 inches
and it should be able to open without tight grasping or twisting. People that have mobility issues or arthritis need to have the option for an easy-to-operate handle, such as a lever or loop handle.
Traditional round door knobs are not accessible because they require twisting and grasping. If your door has an automatic closer on it, it should open at a 90-degree angle and should take three to five seconds to close to allow for a person to get in and out without feeling rushed in fear of the door closing on them.
If there are multiple entrances in the facility, the accessible entrances need to be left open or unlocked during business hours. If there are safety and security precautions in place and the building needs to remain locked, there should be an intercom or doorbell that is mounted no more than four feet above the ground, so the person can alert the staff that they need to enter the building.
Does Your Existing Facility Need Upgrades?
Now that the requirements are outlined above, it is important to survey your facility to see what needs to be done to make it fully ADA compliant.
Start outside and look closely at site arrival points including the parking lot and sidewalk areas. Move next to the entrances and make a checklist of what is already there and what needs to be changed. Be sure to bring along a measuring tape and take accurate measurements so you can be certain that what is there is already compliant.
When in doubt, take pictures, measure a few times, and write things down. This allows you to stay organized and work through the checklist with ease.
If your survey results show that you need to make some changes to your facility, you have likely started searching for an experienced specialty locksmith in the Portland metro area to help get your entrance ADA compliant. Look no further than Harry’s Locksmith.
Our team of knowledgeable locksmiths have worked with businesses and residents for over six decades and we provide a variety of services in addition to helping people with lockouts. We can work quickly to install automatic door operators and have the right kind of hardware for your business to upgrade and meet current ADA standards.
Our specialty locksmith services also include rekeying and master keying services, commercial electronic access control, security solutions, and more. Contact Harry’s Locksmith today for information on the commercial services we provide that will help ensure your facility is ADA compliant.