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:
- ICC/ANSI A117.1, Accessible and Usable Buildings and Facilities (2009 Edition) — This link takes you directly to Chapter 4, Accessible Routes in the 2009 edition of A117.1. From there, you can access the entire content of A117.1.
- The 2017 edition of A117.1 was published in May 2017: ICC/ANSI A117.1, Accessible and Usable Buildings and Facilities (2017 Edition)
- 2004 Americans with Disabilities Act Accessibility Guidelines (ADAAG) — This link takes you directly to Chapter 4: Accessible Routes of the ADAAG on the United States Access Board website. From there, you can access the entire 2004 edition of the ADAAG, as well as other related information.
- Uniform Federal Accessibility Standards (UFAS) — This link takes you directly to the Section 4.13 Doors of the UFAS on the United States Access Board website. From there, you can access the entire content of the UFAS.
- 2010 ADA Standards for Accessible Design — This link takes you the Department of Justice website.