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Accessibility Standards for Doors

In addition to compliance with the requirements of building, fire, and life safety codes, swinging egress and fire doors are subject to compliance with accessibility standards; provided their fire safety and life safety properties and functions are not reduced or otherwise compromised. For example, self-closing fire-rated swinging doors are required to return to the fully closed and latched condition every time they are opened—they must reliably close and latch.

Accessibility standards restrict the opening force for swinging doors to not more than 5 lbf (pounds force), which allows doors to be opened more easily. While the reduced opening force allows door to open more easily, due to the mechanical efficiency of the self-closing devices, these doors have much less closing force. In other words, doors that meet the 5 lbf opening force might not reliably return to the fully closed and latched condition. For this reason, ALL of the accessibility standards explicitly exempt swinging fire doors from the 5 lbf opening force requirement.

Americans with Disability Act (ADA) information for door assemblies:

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