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Many of Dash Door’s clients are well versed in the various automatic door types and their general uses.  We often find it helpful; however, to point customers who are “newbies” to automatic doors to the information below as provided by Christopher Johnson of the American Association of Automatic Door Manufacturers (AAADM).  It is a good primer on automatic door “basics”.


Before specifying automatic doors for a hotel, restaurant or other hospitality-related application, you should have an understanding of the various types of automatic doors available and laws and standards that apply to you and your door. When automatic doors are properly selected, installed and maintained, they provide welcoming, convenient, secure access that tells your customers you care about them. The first impression is a lasting one, and automatic doors help you leave a positive impression.



The primary standard addressing automatic pedestrian doors is the American National Standard for Power Operated Pedestrian Doors, ANSI/BHMA A156.10. The latest version is dated 2005. The ANSI A156.10 standard provides details and specifications for installation that have been designed to provide a safe, properly functioning automatic door system. For example, the standard contains information regarding minimum or maximum dimensions, recommended forces, and layouts for various components of power-operated door systems. Members of the American Association of Automatic Door Manufacturers (AAADM), a trade association of power-operated automatic door manufacturers, comply with this standard. AAADM administers a program to certify automatic door inspectors. Further information can be obtained on the AAADM website,

Whereas ANSI/BHMA A156.10 applies to full power automatic door systems, a related standard, ANSI/BHMA A156.19, American National Standard for Power Assist and Low Energy Power Operated Doors, provides similar information for low energy operator systems.

In addition to the ANSI A156.10 and A156.19 standards, an understanding and awareness of the following standards and codes is important for automatic doors and all access systems:

  • ANSI 117.1, For Buildings and Facilities- Providing Accessibility and Usability For Physically Handicapped People;
  • Appropriate local building codes, such as the International Building Code;
  • Local fire codes;
  • NFPA 101, National Fire Protection Association’s Life Safety Code; and
  • Americans with Disabilities Act.

Types of Automatic Doors

There are three major types of automatic doors: swinging, sliding and folding.

Automatic Sliding Doors:

Automatic sliding doors provide effective two-way traffic. Sliding doors are equipped with a feature that allows the sliding door to swing when pushed out in emergencies. This feature, known as “breakout” or “breakaway”, qualifies them to be used in locations that require emergency egress capability. Sliding doors are offered in various configurations, including traditional biparting, single slide and telescoping models. These doors require an adequate amount of slide room in which the door can move. Sliding doors should always include appropriate sensors or control mats and safety signage.


Automatic Swinging Doors:

Typically, when a swinging door is automated, two doors are used. One door swings inward and the other door swings outward. This enables two-way traffic. Two-way traffic through a single automatic swinging door is not normally recommended. The exception is a low-energy swing operator that has different characteristics than a fully automatic door. It is crucial that these types of doors are well marked to indicate the direction of travel.

Safety zones for swinging doors are covered in Section 8.1.2 of ANSI A156.10. Different requirements are in place for different systems. Requirements depend on what combination of sensors and control mats is used. There are two types of sensors for automatic swinging doors, overhead mount and door mount. Each has different characteristics and enables different pattern sizes and performance. Swinging doors should always include guide rails, sensors or control mats and safety signage.


Automatic Folding Doors:

A folding door requires minimal space to install, yet provides plenty of clear door space. This makes this type of door a preferred choice when space is at a premium. These doors should have an emergency swing feature if the door is being used as an egress location.

Automatic folding doors have two or more separate panels. The first panel swings and the second panel slides in a guide, enabling it to slide as both panels swing into a “V” shape, which is the fold. Automatic folding doors may include either a single folding door that swings in or out or a pair of doors that simultaneously fold in or out. Similar to swinging doors, folding doors should always include guide rails, sensors or control mats, and safety signage.

No matter the type of door, the automatic door system should be designed in such a way that traffic approaches the door in full view and users walk directly toward the door. Pedestrians must have excellent visibility of the door and its markings and must be able to clearly observe the direction of door travel. Avoid positioning vending machines, waste containers, pay telephones or anything else that has potential to distract users within four feet of the moving door.

The nature of the application is the most important factor in determining the type of automatic door that will be installed. Not all types of automatic doors are suitable for every application. You must take into account the desired traffic flow, typical types of users, available space, and aesthetic requirements or preferences.


A Long Record of Convenient, Secure Access

With over 50 billion safe automatic door openings and closings every year in the United States alone, automatic doors boast an exceptional performance record. Automatic doors are manufactured with sophisticated technologies that are selected by manufacturers to provide efficient performance from each component of the door system. In addition, automatic doors and their sensing systems come with many built-in features that allow for added customization for specific applications.

Performance is enhanced when AAADM recommendations for proper installation and annual inspections, both performed by an AAADM-certified inspector, are followed.


Automatic Doors – What you need to know about specifying and standards


Many of our clients get frazzled when our customer service reps bring up the dreaded question – “What is the handing of your door?”  The “handing” of a door refers to the direction that the door swings.  It’s important to understand the correct handing of an opening when ordering locks, exit devices, frames, doors or other “handed” hardware.  Even in our own office, there are multiple “methods” used between the old-school staff in our Service, Glass & Glazing and Contract Hardware groups.  In short – it is not and does not have to be a complicated thing.  The downloadable reference chart below can be used as an aid in communicating proper door handing when ordering product or service.


First off – The hand of a door is determined from the “secure” side of the door. The secure side is the side from which you unlock and enter (the “key side”).


Determine if the door is to be opened by pushing away from you or pulling towards you.  Which side are the hinges on as you are viewing the door?

If the hinges are on your Left side, and the door is pushing away from you, it is a Left Hand (LH) Swing.

If the hinges are on your Right side, and the door is pushing away from you it is a Right Hand (RH) Swing.


If the hinges are on your Left side and the door is pulling towards you, it is a Left Hand Reverse (LHR) Swing.

If the hinges are on your Right side and the door is pulling towards you, it is a Right hand Reverse (RHR) Swing.

Doors which swing out (Outswinging doors) are reverse bevel doors.


Double doors typically have an Active Leaf and and Inactive Leaf.

The Active leaf is the leaf upon which the locking hardware is installed and is used most often.

The Inactive leaf is the leaf which typically stays closed with flush bolts or surface bolts and is opened when a larger opening is needed.

It is certainly common to also have two Active leafs in the case of a pair of doors with each leaf having a panic device or push/pulls.  These doors would be handed either LH/RH or LHR/RHR.


If the door on the left side is to be active, and the door is pushing away from you, it is a LH Active Opening (LHA).

If the door on the right side is to be active, and the door is pushing away from you, it is a RH Active Opening (RHA).

If the door on the Left side is to be active, and the door is pulling towards you, it is a LHR Active Opening (LHRA).

If the door on the Right side is to be active, and the door is pulling towards you, it is a RHR Active Opening (RHRA).


Some a pair of double doors have leafs which swing in opposite directions. This is called a Double Egress opening.  The handing will be LHR/LHR or RHR/RHR.  Typically both door leaves are active.


Door leafs with exit / panic devices installed are ALWAYS handed as a reverse bevel door (LHR or RHR).


Again- door handing does not have to be a complicated matter.  Use the above information and the downloadable chart below to demystify the process.


 Dash Door – Door Handing Chart

For Immediate Release
High res images available upon request


Dash Door Launches New Website
New site offers customers ease of use and promotes multiple company services

MIAMI, Fla. (October 17, 2012) – Dash Door & Closer Service, Inc., a leading Florida-based commercial door distributor and contractor specializing in automatic doors, glazing and related services, launches their newly developed website,, designed for the South Florida building maintenance and new construction industries. The new site offers rich graphics and ease of viewing of both products and projects, highlighting the company’s six divisions: service/maintenance, automatic doors, glass & glazing, specialty services, access control & electronics and contract door & hardware.

“We wanted to create a site that is not only visually appealing, but one that tells our story and provides a wealth of resources,” says Steven Sanko, COO of Dash Door. “The site does a great job in categorizing our six divisions of services, offering a single-source solution for our clients.”


For additional information visit, email or call 305-477-1164.


About Dash Door – Founded in 1955, Dash Door is an independent automatic door distributor, service center and contractor offering a single-source solution for interior and exterior glazing systems and doors. Dash Door is the largest automatic and manual commercial door service center in South Florida offering an extensive line of products and services for doors, hardware and glazing solutions with Miami-Dade and Florida Building Code approvals for hurricane-impact requirements.


Dash Door is located in Miami, Florida. For additional information on Dash Door’s products and services, visit or call 305-477-1164.


Some months ago, one of our oldest clients had visited our office in order to pickup a glass sample he had requested for a new project.  He sat down at our conference room table – our proposed website mock-up materials were unintentionally left strewn in full view.  He began to peruse while I was being paged by our receptionist.  As soon as I entered the room I received a barrage of questions from him:

“Have you guys been bought?”  “Dash Door is a 57 year old company with a loyal client base – do you REALLY need a new website?  I mean if it ain’t broke – don’t fix it.” …and the funniest question of the bunch…”Isn’t your new logo just an updated version of the Green Lantern’s ring?”

This client has always been a straight-shooter.  I had to take his questions as good and honest – even the bit about Green Lantern (no we didn’t rip it off – his ring isn’t the incredibly witty morphing of the Dash Door “Double D’s” and an automatic bi-part sliding door).  I knew then that we would need to do some explaining when the time came to launch the new website.

Today we are ready to do just that – some explaining – as we proudly re-launch WWW.DASHDOOR.COM – the newly polished and updated Dash Door & Closer Service, Inc. website.

No – Dash Door has not been purchased.  We are the same family owned enterprise we have always been – though we have grown in our processes as well as services and product offerings.  Yes – we really did need a new well as a new logo to exemplify the changes and growth we have undergone.  Many of our clients know that Dash Door is a company with a rich history.  A history where change hasn’t been feared and the embrace of technology has fostered a culture of continued development and leadership in our respective fields.  The distinction we hold as both the largest and oldest automatic door supplier and manual door service center in South Florida has attracted what we are not afraid to call an “unnatural collection” of talent.  It has been made clear by the countless times we have heard “I didn’t know you did that” from our own clients that we have grown in our scope of services, job capacities and expertise.  It was time to educate our longtime existing as well as potential new clients as to what Dash Door has grown to become.  Our new website does just that.

We invite you to explore our service and product offerings.  We believe you will find that there is no similar collection of expertise under one roof in the South Florida market.  Subscribe to our newsletter “The Dash Door Difference”, and check our blog topics often – we are committed to sharing with you the lessons we have learned to help you in your own endeavors.  Products will be continuously added  to our Products and Accessories page to help our clients identify what they may need as well as download relevant information quickly.  Our intent is to provide social media updates that will alert you to product additions and news items which impact you and your business.

Why have Dash Door customer service representatives been asking you so many questions about your wants, your needs, your likes, your dislikes in the past few months?…so that we can effectively communicate information that truly helps you.  We will not be providing shameless marketing information that is destined to be deleted.  That has never been our style.

We love what we do – and we want to share what we have learned to help our clients as well as others in the industry.  We haven’t fixed something that was broken – we have laid out what makes us better.

Dash Door is proud to reinforce our commitment to service and begin another stage in the company’s history.  We look fondly on the many long-term client relationships we have cultivated, and look forward to the new ones to come as we continue to prove how the Dash Door Difference can be leveraged on each and every job you entrust us to perform.

Dash Door & Closer Service, Inc. has employed the Dor-O-Matic Hydraulic Door System on numerous custom installations where hydraulic power was necessary to swing or slide HEAVY door or wall panels.

This video is an example of the power of hydraulic automatic operators to swing a heavy door (or wall in this case). This swinging glass wall type is located at Miami International Airport. Applications for this system include: Hospitals – heavy lead-lined doors – Vaults – Swinging large panel glass partitions

Dash Door can design and implement a hydraulic power system for your custom installation. Support in preparation of your door or partition panel to accept the system is also provided via CAD drawings as required. We will work with your door / panel manufacturer or a Dash Door partner manufacturer if requested to ensure all components are coordinated and balanced.

Early History

Dor-O-Matic was founded in 1951, and distinguished itself quickly as a quality manufacturer of innovative and reliable products.  In 1953, Dor-O-Matic (DOM) invented the hydraulically operated automatic door operator for pedestrian traffic doors.

Dash Door maintained a close relationship with Dor-O-Matic since our founding and was recognized as a top nationwide distributor and service center for the line.  Soon after Ingersoll Rand acquired Dor-O-Matic in 1997, the automatic door division was closed.

Dash Door Acquires Dor-O-Matic Hydraulic Door Line

Dash Door had at that time provided service to many clients, including Disney World and Miami-International Airport, who had come to rely on the power and reliability of the product line.  In order to service these clients, Dash Door acquired from Dor-O-Matic the full line of of the Dor-O-Matic Hydraulic Door System and maintained a full-time staff trained and dedicated to maintaining this equipment for clients nationwide.  This acquisition included all products and factory equipment required to maintain and service existing product, as well as install new equipment where existing infrastructure called for its use.

Advancing The Technology

Since acquiring the line,  Dash Door has furthered the technology by incorporating access control / logic programming in line with the door operators and activation hardware.  A patent is pending for our development and work to date in this area.

A new proprietary hydraulic power unit has also been designed and incorporated into new installations and replacement applications.  Todays modern hydraulic fittings, gages and pressure switches are used to provide updated control and reliability.

The re-purposing of this line for heavy doors, lead-lined doors and moveable glass partitions has also been a solution to swinging or sliding panel weights that require the power only a closed hydraulic system can provide.


Dash Door is THE resource continuing to service, maintain, rebuild, and utilize the famed Dor-O-Matic Hydraulic Door System for clients nationwide.

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