Which Lock Option Is Most Ideal for ADA Compliance?

June 22, 2021 6:55 pm Published by Leave your thoughts

Americans with disabilities make up about 18 percent of the population right now, and that number is only expected to grow. That’s why the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) sets standards for public buildings. People with disabilities need to be able to access buildings without requiring additional assistance. That’s why ADA compliant locks and hardware are so important when getting your building up to standards.

Traditional door knobs that require gripping and twisting are not ADA compliant—the force they require people to exert is not compatible with many disabilities. Lever-style door handles are the most common ADA compliant lock. Read on to find out more about your options.

What are ADA compliant locks?

ADA compliant locks should be easy to open with one hand, requiring minimal grabbing or pinching. Unlike traditional round knobs, the user shouldn’t have to twist their wrist to be able to open the door. Many manufacturers make ADA-compliant locks for a variety of applications, including the indicator locks you might see on a public restroom (the type that say “occupied” or “vacant,” depending on whether the lock is engaged).

Why do I need ADA compliant locks?

If you run a business or operate a building open to the public, you will probably fall under the ADA’s compliance guidelines. Generally, unless it’s prohibitively expensive to make alterations, your existing building can’t have barriers to access for people with disabilities. Similarly, new construction must be built to be ADA compliant. Not only is it the law—which means you could be hit with serious fines for noncompliance—it’s also just good business. Why bar almost 20 percent of your potential clients and customers from visiting if it can be avoided?

Are there ADA compliant home security locks?

If your household includes people with disabilities, you’ll need ADA compliant home security locks. Although the ADA doesn’t apply to private residences, it’s important that every member of your household be able to get into and out of the home safely. There are many home security lock options available—consider browsing a selection in person to see which type works best for you or your loved ones.

Other ADA lock compliance considerations

When installing an ADA compliant lock, be sure to thoroughly review the building standards. For example, the door should require no more than five pounds of weight to successfully open with one hand. A person should be able to operate the door with a closed fist or open hand.

Similarly, the locking handle may not be more than 48 inches (four feet) above the ground, and no less than 34 inches (nearly three feet). This allows people with wheelchairs to open the doors, and the average person won’t need to bend down too far to use the door handle.

If you have questions about ADA compliant locks, talk to a locksmith—they’ll be familiar with the type of locks you need. Reach out to the experts at Artie’s Lock and Key to learn more about options for your home or business.

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