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The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) sets forth accessibility guidelines that commercial buildings must follow in order to provide safe and equal access to people with disabilities. One area of concern for many building owners and managers is the height of exit devices on commercial doors. In this article, we'll discuss the ADA height requirements for exit devices and why they are important.
An exit device, also known as a crash bar or panic bar, is a door hardware device that allows people to exit a building quickly and easily in case of an emergency. It is typically installed on commercial doors and consists of a horizontal bar that spans the width of the door. When the bar is pushed, the door unlatches and opens, allowing occupants to quickly exit the building.
The ADA has specific height requirements for exit devices to ensure that they are accessible to people with disabilities. According to the ADA Accessibility Guidelines (ADAAG), the height of the bottom of the exit device must be between 34 inches and 48 inches above the finished floor. This height range ensures that the device is accessible to people who use wheelchairs or other mobility devices.
It's important to note that these requirements apply to the bottom of the exit device, not the top or the middle. The top of the device can be installed at any height, as long as the bottom falls within the 34-48 inch range. Additionally, the guidelines apply to new construction and alterations to existing buildings. If your building was constructed before the ADA was enacted in 1990, you may not be required to retrofit your doors with compliant exit devices, but it is always a good idea to do so.
The ADA height requirements for exit devices are important for several reasons. First and foremost, they ensure that people with disabilities are able to exit a building quickly and safely in case of an emergency. If the exit device is installed too high, it may be difficult or impossible for someone in a wheelchair to reach it.
Additionally, complying with ADA height requirements can help you avoid potential legal issues. If your building is found to be in violation of the ADA, you may be subject to fines and penalties. Complying with ADA guidelines can also help you create a welcoming and accessible environment for all visitors and occupants.
Ensuring that your building's exit devices are installed at the correct height is an important step in creating a safe and accessible environment for all visitors and occupants. The ADA height requirements for exit devices are designed to ensure that people with disabilities are able to exit a building quickly and safely in case of an emergency. If you're unsure whether your building's exit devices are compliant with ADA guidelines, contact Automatic Door and Hardware today. Our knowledgeable staff can help you choose the right exit device for your needs and provide expert installation advice.
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