Does Your Business' Pedestrian Door Meet Current Safety Standards?

Pedestrian doors allow staff and visitors to enter and exit your building, and it’s important to ensure that they meet all safety and accessibility standards. Here’s some key information you should know about pedestrian doors.


What Makes A Pedestrian Door Safe and Accessible?

If you own a business, the safety and accessibility of your entrances are critical considerations. You want staff and visitors to be able to move freely without risk of getting injured.

In general, doors that require two hands to operate are not considered accessible. Every province has slightly different regulations, but some general rules can be applied.

Door Width

Doors should be wide enough to accommodate people using wheelchairs, pushing strollers, and making deliveries. The opening size should be at least 35 inches. In addition, there should be sufficient level space on either side of the door to manoeuvre a wheelchair.

Door Handles

Door hardware such as handles, pulls, latches, and locks should not require fine finger control, tight grasping, pinching, or twisting of the wrist to operate. Pedestrian door handles should require only a push-pull motion or use a lever instead of a doorknob. In addition, they should be usable from both sides and have a pronounced colour contrast to differentiate them from the door itself.


Door Closers

Several different provinces have fire codes that require automatic door closers to be on doors because they help reduce or eliminate the spread of smoke and fire within a building.

As a general rule, door closers must not have a resistance of more than:

  • 38 Newtons (8.5 lbs) for exterior hinged doors
  • 22 Newtons (4.6 lbs) for interior hinged doors
  • 22 Newtons (4.6 lbs) for sliding or folding doors

In addition, door closers must not close the door in less than three seconds.

Door Thresholds

Raised thresholds can be challenging for a variety of people with mobility limitations, including those who use wheelchairs, rollators, and scooters. Pedestrian door thresholds should be no more than three-quarters of an inch high for exterior doors and no more than half an inch high for interior doors. Alternatively, you can invest in a threshold ramp to help reduce any height difference.

Glazed Doors

As a general safety rule, all glazed doors must be made of laminated, tempered, or wired glass. For increased accessibility, glazed doors should have colour contrast strips across the glass, as well as colour contrasting door frames and door hardware. This helps increase safety and visibility for a person with a vision impairment. As such, etching on glass may not provide adequate contrast.

Automatic Doors

Automatic doors can be swinging, sliding, or folding and may have activation devices such as pushbuttons, control mats, and sensors. They should:

  • Incorporate a system that detects when an individual is present and hold the door in the open position until they clear the doorway

  • Include signage indicating it’s an automatic door

  • Require a force of no more than 66 Newtons (13.8 lbs) to stop the door movement

  • Be positioned in a way that would allow a person using a wheelchair or scooter to stop immediately adjacent to the controls


If you’re replacing the existing doors on your commercial property to meet accessibility standards, it should be noted that in situations where it’s not feasible to make all staff and public entrances accessible, at least 50% of all staff entrances and 50% of all public entrances should be accessible. In addition, any entrances that aren’t accessible should have directional signage indicating the nearest accessible entrance.

Lastly, it’s recommended that you use canopies above outdoor doors to reduce the impact of weather conditions and make them more visible to someone with cognitive impairment or someone who is unfamiliar with the facility.

If you would like further information about security and safety standards for doors, you can download the National Building Code document for your province.


Professional Installation

Pedestrian doors play an important role in ensuring the safety of staff and visitors. To ensure your pedestrian doors operate as intended and won’t injure staff or customers, make sure to have it installed and tested by a trained technician.

Commercial Pedestrian Doors in Western Canada

At Creative Door ServicesTM, we carry a wide selection of commercial pedestrian doors and parts. If you need a safe, durable, and reliable solution for your business, we have you covered. We follow strict safety protocols and are committed to providing you with top-quality services and support. If you need help retrofitting, replacing, or repairing a pedestrian door for your business, contact us today. We have locations in Kelowna, British Columbia; Vancouver, British Columbia; Calgary, Alberta; Edmonton, Alberta; Fort McMurray, Alberta; Regina, Saskatchewan; Saskatoon, Saskatchewan; and Winnipeg, Manitoba.

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