How Does a Commercial Door & Hardware Compare to Residential?
One of the biggest concerns when it comes to owning or running a business or other commercial venture is security. If your building isn’t properly secure, your company faces more than just serious financial risk. The safety of your employees may be at stake as well. That’s why it’s critical to put the security of your building in the hands of professionals who are experienced with commercial structures. Naturally, security starts right at the entrance to your building. It must begin at the door.
When it comes to the installation of secure doors for a place of business, simply having experience with residential properties is not enough; as this article will demonstrate, there’s a great deal of difference between a commercial door and its hardware, and that of a residential one. We’ll compare and contrast a few of those differences below.
Think About Use
Before we begin to break down the differences between commercial doors and residential ones, we should discuss exactly why they are constructed differently. Are residential doors less secure? Don’t those in private homes value their security? Well, the answer isn’t that the residential doors are less secure; quite the opposite, in fact, if they’ve been installed by a reliable company like Harry’s Locksmith, the door of your residence will be incredibly secure.
However, there is still a difference and you cannot simply put the same door as you would in your house and use it for your business. Unless you have a positively enormous family all sharing one house, your residence simply doesn’t get the type of traffic that a place of business does.
If you own a store or any other type of business frequented by the public, then you can potentially have hundreds of guests in a day. That’s hundreds of hands grabbing your doorknob and turning it, and pulling your door open and closed. With that much use, a door made for a residence would simply drop off after a very short period of time. So for a commercial building, you’ll simply need something more heavy-duty.
The Strength of Your Door
When you’re shopping for a commercial door, you may have noticed a UL (Underwriters Laboratories) sign where they are sold. The UL simply means the door has been tested to meet all the safety requirements that have been set in the case of a fire.
Next to the UL sign, you may see the phrase, “Conforms with ANSI.” ANSI is the American National Standards Institute and is responsible for setting standards for many things, not just doors. This entity is responsible for quality control when it comes to selling door hardware for commercial buildings. ANSI will test door hardware for strength and longevity and issue a grade. The strongest and most heavy duty doors will receive Grade 1. Public buildings that see thousands of visitors, such as hospitals or schools, will use Grade 1 doors.
The next most durable door hardware will receive a rating of Grade 2. Grade 2 doors are used for commercial buildings that receive less traffic. Smaller businesses and offices generally make use of these. They are also used in certain residential buildings, such as apartments. Finally, the simplest rating is Grade 3. Grade 3 rated doors are perfect for low-traffic buildings and also work well inside of homes. They are generally not suitable for commercial structures.
It’s About More Than Strength
A commercial door should have hardware with a high ANSI rating, but that’s not all it needs. Residential doors that are used in the home do not need to comply with the often strict codes and laws that businesses have to follow.
Your door must not only be secure, but it must also be accessible. So when you are thinking of getting a new commercial door for your business, you should also check if it is ADA Compliant.
ADA stands for the Americans With Disabilities Act and is a U.S. law designed to make commercial buildings safe and accessible for all. This is where shopping for a door for a business can get a little tricky; a door can be very safe and secure, but not technically comply with the ADA regulations. If that’s the case, you’ll most likely need to look elsewhere.
An ADA compliant door must be able to be accessed with an opening force of five pounds or less. In other words, it must be lightweight as well as strong. The door handle or knob, as well as any latches or locks, must be simple to operate; they cannot require any tight grasping or the twisting of the wrist. There are many more ADA guidelines that you should familiarize yourself with before installing a commercial door. Visit this link on the United States Access Board website for more information.
Another major difference between a residential door and a commercial door is how they are secured. Unlike residences, businesses are often accessed through electrical doors as well as more conventional ones. They may also have electrified locks, keyless entry or other digital means of access. You may also have, depending on your staffing, many copies of the door key in the hands of various employees. Because of this, you may need to change your locks a lot more regularly than you would for a residence. You may also need to order high-security or restricted keys.
Regularly, even if your business has faced no known security threats, you’ll want to upgrade your door to the newest locks. The security of your building may depend on it.
Getting a Commercial Door Installed
Since having a commercial door installed in your place of business requires specialized knowledge and skill, you’ll need to find a locksmith that specializes in the right type of door hardware. Recommended by Three Best Rated as the top locksmith in the Vancouver, WA area, Harry’s Locksmith is the perfect example of a company that can help you with all your needs – commercial and residential – and they have the benefit of experience since they’ve been in the business for decades. Call us today for any questions you may have regarding the security of your commercial building.