Door closers are handy pieces of hardware that ensure commercial doors close themselves when left ajar. They also control the rate of closing, preventing the door from slamming. They’re certainly helpful, but does your office really need one? Here are some things to consider:
The American With Disabilities Act
Access to business and places of employment is covered extensively by the American With Disabilities Act of 1990 (ADA). The act put in place sweeping reforms for how organizations must accommodate persons with disabilities. Among these are many regulations and guidelines for ensuring access.
The ADA covers many different organizations and affects how most of us work (especially since COVID). Of course, there are exceptions. Depending on the size and nature of a business, specific accommodations wouldn’t be considered reasonable nor required. However, any premises that can be accurately called an office is unlikely to fall under any of these exceptions.
Doors present an accessibility issue for various types of disabilities. Commercial steel doors can be incredibly versatile, but they are often too heavy to be reasonably managed under the terms of the ADA. That being the case, the act outlines requirements for closing speed, among other parameters.
Many commercial door closers are available that can meet these requirements, although they often need to be adjusted to meet them. The force required to open the door shouldn’t be any more than five pounds for interior doors. The closing speed should be longer than five seconds when left to close without any manual intervention to ensure that persons with disabilities can clear the door’s sweep before it closes.
Accessibility isn’t the only thing to consider when evaluating your need for door closers. The commercial steel doors in your office are highly fire-resistant, but they can only slow the spread of fires when they’re closed. Doors left ajar or unlatched can quickly be drawn fully open by the drafts that a fire will cause. That is one of the primary reasons that any business requires commercial door closers.
Fire codes are going to vary from state to state and even county to county. Your obligations as far as door closers are for fire safety will depend on numerous factors, including the size of your business, building occupancy, and your location. Even if the law doesn’t require them, door closers are always a good idea for an office.
The most important doors to include door closers on for fire safety are those accessing stairwells, fire escapes, and designated escape routes. That will generally feature doors with enhanced fire-resistance in general. Fires can spread through an office very quickly, and door closers are an essential line of defense.
The simple fact of the matter is that door closers will improve the fire safety of your office, and they’re among the simplest and most affordable ways to do so.
While your business’s legal obligations to install door closers likely end with the ADA and fire codes, these are far from the only reasons to do so. You likely can’t afford not to install door closers with the level of security they can add to any premises.
For offices, one of the most common ways that unauthorized visitors gain access is through doors that have been left open. Lockpicking and other advanced methods occur less frequently than most people might think compared with how often access points are simply left open.
A door closer fixes this problem for good, preventing doors from being left ajar. It doesn’t matter how advanced your locks are if the door doesn’t close, so the door closer is what ties all of your security measures together.
You should also consider the difference between an open door and an unlocked door. An open door invites potential intruders from afar. They can’t know if a door is locked or not until they try it, which opens them up to a substantial risk of being caught and confronted. There’s no risk involved when noticing that a door is open.
As an essential security feature, not installing door closers could also affect your insurance. Policies vary widely, but most insurance providers consider whether your business is adequately protected or not.
Commercial Door Closers
Whether or not you’re legally obligated to install door closers, they’re a great way to keep your office safer and more accessible. CDF Distributors can provide you with the commercial door hardware you need at affordable prices and with fast and reliable shipping. Check out our devices online!