Access Doors

Access doors speaks to what are access doors, types of access doors and access door installation.

They are also known as egress doors and act as components of a buildings egress system, which is the path that occupants take when exiting a building during a fire or other emergency.

Building codes require that such doorways be sufficiently wide to allow occupants to exit in a timely manner, with the width of any particular door dependent on the number of occupants served. For ease of operation most egress doors must be side hinged, they must not be too large and when equipped with closures, they must not require too much force to swing open. If excess force is required this will make it difficult for the elderly to deal with.

The International Building Code requires egress doors serving 50 or more occupants, as well as doors serving Hazardous Occupancy spaces, to swing in the direction of the egress travel so that they do not become impediments to occupants attempting to exit quickly.

Other building codes have similar requirements. Even when locked, egress doors must remain readily available to open from the side which occupants may approach the door when exiting. To ensure the simplest possible operation under emergency conditions some egress doors are required to be fitted with panic hardware, known as panic bars which are horizontal bars or similar devices installed across the face of the door that unlock and unlatch the door whenever the bar is depressed.

Doorways along building routes that must be accessible to persons with disabilities must meet requirements for minimum width, ease of operation, maximum height of sill and adequate clearance for approaching and opening the door.

There are many types of special purpose doors. Among the most common are X ray shielded doors, which contain a layer of lead foil. Also there are electric field shielding doors, with an internal layer of metal mesh that is electrically grounded through the hinges and heavily insulated cold storage doors and bank vault doors.

Access Door Safety

Access type doors must be carefully thought out as a part of the building fire safety considerations. The doors must be placed in positions which allow folk to be able to get to them in the minimum amount of time possible as this very well may be a life and death consideration.

The actual design of access door placement is also mandated in most areas by local fire code safety regulations.

It is hoped this information is found useful.

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