Isn’t walking into or out of a building so much easier when it’s through an automatic door?
You don’t have to break your stride, you can carry things in both of your hands and you don’t need to weigh up the whole ‘push or pull?’ debate in your head as you approach it. However, automatic doors are not just there for convenience. They have a whole host of purposes, the main one being that it makes it easier for disabled people to enter or exit a building.
The Law Explained
If your premises are a public building, e.g. a shop, school, bank, hospital, etc, or the public require access to your offices, you are required under the Equality Act 2010 to provide easy access for people with disabilities. This is further to the Disability Discrimination Act, which was passed as law in 1995, which made it illegal to discriminate against disabled people in any way. Also, building regulations require all new builds to include ‘reasonable provision to enable disabled people to gain access to relevant premises’. So, underneath all the laws, rules and regulations, what does this actually mean?
Essentially, service providers must make it easy for disabled people to access and move around the premises. This may include car parks, gates, stairs, toilet, and of course, doors, which is our main point of focus. Doors which are too heavy, get stuck easily, are complicated to open or have a handle which is difficult to access would all fall short of this rule. In this instance, ‘reasonable adjustments’ must be made to allow equality for all customers, which is where we and our automatic doors come in. SDG can install automatic doors, from sliding doors to the conventional swing system doors, to a number of businesses and public sector companies.
It’s important to remember that ‘people with disabilities’ doesn’t just account for those using a wheelchair. You also need to think about people with less obvious disabilities when weighing up which doors would be best suited to your premises. People who are blind or partially sighted, deaf or hard of hearing or have learning disabilities all need to be considered as potential entrants to your building.
As well as aiding those with disabilities, automatic doors have other huge benefits to both your premises and those entering it. They are more time efficient which helps the flow of people, they save space, they look modern and professional and they save energy by keeping the desired air in or out of the building. They are also theoretically safer; you are less likely to get body parts caught or trapped in a door which has been fitted with sensors than one which can swing shut or be pushed open by someone else. However, these are bonuses; the Equality Act is the law.
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So, are you breaking the law by not having an automatic door?
If you provide a service to the public or a section of the public, and haven’t made the ‘reasonable adjustments’ to allow disabled people access to your building, then yes.
By installing one of SDG’s automatic doors, not only are you complying with the law; you’re enabling disabled people to gain freedom and independence, and quite literally opening your doors to more people.
To find out more about our services or if you need advice please contact us. We can supply, fit and repair across the UK and have over 25 years of experience in providing secure doors, gates and barriers.