Are There Public Safety Hazards Associated With Automatic Sliding Doors?
Do you own a store that invites customers to enter through automatic sliding doors? Do you own an office that uses them to make the lives of clients carrying folders of paperwork easier? Whilst these doors are certainly beneficial for permitting entry without actually having to touch anything, it is important to note that there are actually a number of public safety hazards that you need to be aware of. The safety of your visitors should be considered above everything else.
Shoppers laden with bags, people in wheelchairs and parents with prams can enter and exit businesses easier thanks to these doors. But when they aren’t functioning properly, they can pose a crushing hazard. Wouldn’t you feel awful if someone entering your premises had the panels close on them before they were fully through the opening? It is important that you check the system monthly for proper function.
Children should never be allowed to loiter or play near sliding doors, as they are so small that they may not always be detected by the sensor. If the door closes whilst a child is pushing against or touching it, their fingers could easily be pinched or even broken. The best way to safeguard against this hazard is to install additional sensors towards the bottom of the opening and to post signs warning parents.
This problem is most common in premises with double sets of automatic sliding doors. They are often used to help regulate the temperature of the interior, the middle alcove becomes an air pocket so that rain and wind cannot pass further. People are known to become trapped when one of the sensors is on the fritz, as the other set haven?t registered that there is anyone stuck in the alcove trying to get out.
When the sensors are malfunctioning or have been placed in the wrong spot, people trying to enter or leave a business may walk straight into the doors, as they were expecting them to open. Whilst this doesn’t cause many injuries, people have been known to bruise their faces and torso or even to break their noses. It is important that you test the sensors by approaching the opening from various angles and heights.
Most automatic doors are actually fitted with a breakaway feature so that, in the event of a structure fire or power outage, they will still open and allow people to escape. To test whether you have this feature and that it is in good working order, press forwards on the panels without letting them slide open; they should swing off their tracks and open this way. If this feature were to malfunction, people would be trapped.
As you can see, there are a number of public safety hazards that you need to be aware of when it comes to automatic sliding doors. It is essential that the customers, clients and visitors in your premises are kept safe and secure at all times, so ensure that you test all of the hazards outlined above. If you notice a problem or believe that the sensors are in the wrong place, it is important that you have the doors repaired immediately.
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