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Daily Safety Checks

While Hold Harmless clauses may appear in many automatic door PM / service contracts, it should be noted that the automatic door professional is not typically on site 24/7 to address deficiencies as they appear. Tampering with equipment by on-site engineering or pedestrians is not and cannot be the responsibility of a door professional contracted to provide quarterly inspections, for example. Daily safety checks are the responsibility of the automatic door end-user. Instructions on how to conduct standard safety inspections are provided by your AAADM provider at door installation in the form of a sticker on your door (typically on door frame / jamb) and a user manual. If you do not have instructions on how to conduct safety inspections, you may contact your AAADM service provider for information.

IT IS IMPORTANT that any facility be knowledgeable on how to conduct such automatic door inspections and make it a standard practice to conduct them prior to the start of business EVERY DAY.


In order to aid facility managers and end-users in their daily safety checks, Dash Door has recently made available reissued versions of the 2009 AAADM educational videos. These videos provide clear instruction on how to conduct daily safety inspections on standard automatic door types.

Previous posts pertaining to this topic include:

The Importance of Door Safety Checks

Automatic Door Maintenance

 Automatic Door Preventative Maintenance / Risk Management

Facility-wide surveys conducted by an AAADM certified qualified firm should be the starting point in initiating a long-term preventative maintenance (PM) / risk management program.  Negotiation of an automatic door PM program with your automatic door professional entails the assessment of the existing equipment in relation to ANSI and ADA code requirements as well as AAADM standard of practice recommendations.  Before regular PM inspections and serve may be conducted, existing automatic door openings must be brought up to standards as a “baseline” starting point for your contract.

A facility cannot expect the door service professional to hit the starting block at a  400 door facility with 200 doors not meeting code requirements and AAADM recommendations.  Repairs required to bring these openings to standard would undoubtedly occur within the first term of the first year of inspection cycles.  These one-time costs always “muddy the waters” by showing what appears to be standard maintenance costs in a budget that was intended for the same.  The PM budgets for following years are overestimated and some facilities leave funds on the tables when they realize that the PM budget for year two was overestimated because of year one’s one-time costs.


It is suggested that initial PM surveys be broken out as a separate proposal / purchase order prior to the formal commencement of the PM / inspection contract.


This gives your automatic door professional the opportunity to survey the site and log the condition / equipment type at EACH OPENING.  Hold Harmless clauses in standard facility contracts would appear to indicate that the service professional has had an opportunity to visit, assess and make repair recommendations for each opening proposed under a forthcoming PM / service contract.  Allowing your door professional to address any deficiencies found prior to the execution of a PM contract provides a starting point for both the door professional and the facility seeking a contract Hold Harmless clause.


When requesting a facility-wide existing condition survey, be sure to ask your automatic door professional for the following in order to facilitate future communication :


Qualified Surveys

  • Maintenance surveys are conducted by AAADM certified personnel
  • Final review of conditions made by Special Services Group for code compliance
  • Option to provide Preventative Maintenance Service during recurring surveys scheduled each year (includes equipment adjustment and wear item replacement)


Organized Summary

  • Point by point inspection checklists from both a maintenance and risk management perspective are utilized and summarized in a final report.
  • Recommendations are made based on level of importance with respect to code compliance and day-to-day maintenance of wear items
  • Both written report and sortable summary MS Excel spreadsheet / database table can be provided so that you may view the results in any way you choose (sorted by entrance numbers, issue type, etc)
  • Compliant entrances provided with final report noting compliance and inspection by door professional as the certifying party for your record


Facility Managers are encouraged by Risk Management professionals to utilize the services of qualified and certified entrance solution providers in order to mitigate the associated litigation risks and costs associated with using “leaner” or no such services.

The record 8100 Series Electro-Mechanical Swing Door Operator is engineered to automate swing doors for locations featuring high traffic, such as hospitals, supermarkets and airports. Eliminating noisy distractions, the 8100 Series also provides a smooth and quiet operation.

Selecting the Right Automatic Door

by Steve Sanko on 9/30/2013

Automatic doors are quite common in commercial facilities since they provide invaluable convenience to people working in and visiting the premises. However, selecting the right automatic door is crucial for reaping the benefits of these doors. The responsibility of getting the appropriate, functional and safe automatic door for any facility is shared by its owner, layout designer and the door supplier.

There are three different types of automatic doors you will find readily available:

Sliding Doors

Swinging Doors

Folding Doors

Apart from these three standard designs available on the market, some manufacturers also provide customized designs depending on the functional and design needs of the facility. Specialized features are also provided by some manufacturers such as the ability of the door to open completely in emergency situations.

The most crucial part of selecting the right automatic door is the choosing the right local distributor/ installation contractor. Your local distributor must have the experience to understand your needs and specifications for the desired product and configuration. You can ask your distributor to provide you with a compliance proof that shows that building codes and manufacturing standards set by recognized authorities have been adhered to.

When it comes to selecting the design of the automatic doors, the decision should be based on the type of facility, its layout and the nature of traffic expected in the proposed install location. In most cases where the door is intended for two-way traffic, a sliding automatic door is considered to be an ideal choice since it requires less space to operate. In case of one-way traffic, automatic swinging doors are a suitable option. However, these doors require large clear spaces to be installed so that the swinging paths can move conveniently.

Keeping all these factors in mind, you can help steer your local distributor in selecting the right automatic door for your facility. Your local distributor is a manufacturer representative trained to navigate building codes and standards of practice. Use their knowledge and experience to your benefit.

Automatic Door Maintenance

by Steve Sanko on 8/12/2013

If you have automatic doors installed at your building, whether commercial or residential, it is important that you plan their maintenance carefully in order to keep them functional for a long time. If you don’t take measures to maintain your automatic doors, they can end up damaged before they have reached their full design service life.  Depending upon factors such as the amount of traffic and the age of doors, you can select anything from a basic to an all-inclusive full maintenance program type that your local door service company has to offer.

Basic Maintenance

Under a basic maintenance program, AAADM (American Association of Automatic Door Manufacturers) certified professionals are sent to the site to inspect the automatic doors at specified time intervals. During these inspections, technicians check the different components of the door thoroughly, making sure that they are in accordance with the manufacturer standards. Opening and closing speeds, door sensors, glass, guide rails, pivots, belts, gears and lubricants are checked, tuned or replaced depending on their condition. The cost of these maintenance services vary depending on the component adjustment and/or replacement that must be carried performed.  Time and material cost structures are the most common for this type of maintenance program.

Full Service Maintenance

Under a full maintenance program, your doors will be inspected and routine preventative maintenance repairs performed after a predetermined time period with the costs remaining exactly the same for each repair. These types of maintenance visits are usually structured on a yearly basis while prices include all material and labor costs that will incur during the maintenance procedure. If you like to create a clear budget for all your expenses beforehand, signing up for a full-service automatic door maintenance program can be very beneficial for your organization, especially since it provides you with a pre-determined fixed cost outlay for door repairs each year.

Depending on what best suits your budget, you can select either of these maintenance program types for your automatic doors. However, make sure you keep track of the expenses incurred on every door separately so that you may make better buying decisions after historical data is considered.  There is a time in the service life of every door where the return on investment of a new door will outweigh the costs of continued and more frequent maintenance required to keep a failing door operational.

Please feel free to contact Dash Door to discuss the above basic service programs, or a custom hybrid program to fit your budget and specific facility needs.

It is often times difficult to get a “500 mile high” view of trends in the automatic door community.  It is a community of regional distribution channels and considerations.  In 2004, AAADM (The American Association of Automatic Door Manufacturer’s – conducted an influential study / survey which helped to fill in the blanks in terms of driving trends and consumer attitudes as they pertain to automatic doors in various building types.


The following white paper is offered as a resource to facility managers and building owners, to serve a baseline guide of consumer expectations of automatic entrance availability in your facility.


Research: White Paper: Automatic Door Trends Through the Eyes of Consumers and Key Buyers/Specifiers

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


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