In short, yes.
The design and construction of automatic doors is governed by BS EN 16005 – a European Standard that’s the code of practice for safety in the use of automatic doors for pedestrian use. The code applies to all doors installed since April 2013.
According to this code of practice, a risk analysis and health assessment must be carried out prior to the installation of the automatic doors, and the building owner must be issued with an appropriate specification. On top of this, additional protective devices are to be provided when the doors will mainly be used by vulnerable groups such as the elderly, the infirm, disabled people, and young children.
Specific guidelines outlined by BS EN 16005 include:
- Sensor activation zones must be a minimum of 1m, or 1.5m if the door is to be used as a fire escape
- Danger points must be safeguarded up to a height of 2.5m above the floor, while finger protection on swing doors must be safeguarded to a maximum height of 2m.
- All doors should feature a test box with the dimensions 70x30x20cm, and should the door leaf detect the test body, the doorset shall either stop before it touches the reference body, reverse, or switch to low-speed motion.
The code of practice also outlines some more specific guidelines for sliding doors, sliding doors across fire exists, and swing doors. But the standard states that all door types shall undergo routine maintenance according to the manufacturer’s instructions at least once a year.
At Automatic Access, we offer a range of service and maintenance packages as part of our comprehensive after-sales service initiative.
Regular service and maintenance is vital. You may have read stories in the past about automatic doors causing injuries on unsuspecting members of the public. In most, if not all cases, these accidents could have been easily prevented by a simple bit of routine servicing.
For example, we recently read about a woman who was injured in three separate places by a malfunctioning automatic door. The culprit? A rogue piece of tape over the door’s motion sensors.
The article doesn’t specify whether this tape was left here by accident or on purpose. But in any case, it would have taken a trained operative a matter of seconds to spot this oversight during a routine service check-up.
So to return to our opening question, are automatic doors safe?
Yes. As long as you commit to regular servicing, as is outlined by the European Standard, automatic doors are completely safe.
For more information about automatic door safety, or to request some servicing or repairs, give us a call on 0116 269 5050.