Are your gates ADA Compliant? Let’s find out!
Is the gate a manual gate on an accessible route?
If so, then it does comply with the 404.2 ADA Requirements.
What if your gate is on an accessible route, but is only operated by security personnel?
In that case, you are exempt from complying with codes 404.2.7, 404.2.8, 404.2.9, 404.3.2 and 404.3.4 through 404.3.7, as these ADA requirements revolve around:
- Gate hardware
- Closing speed
- Gate opening force
- Maneuvering clearance for power-assisted and automatic gates
- Gates in series
In the case that your gate is a double leaf, at least one of the active leaves must meet the width and maneuvering requirements provided by the ADA.
These width and maneuvering requirements range by gate style, size and height, but most commonly, your gate must open at a width of at least 32 inches.
Not sure if yours meets the standard? Here’s how to check:
- The opening of your gateway with swinging gates must be measured between the face of the gate and the stop
- Make sure your gate is open to 90 degrees while you’re measuring
- If the opening is greater than 24 inches deep, then there must be a clear opening of 36 inches minimum
- Projections in the clear opening width between 34 inches and 80 inches above the finish floor or ground cannot be great than 4 inches
However, there are a few exceptions to this:
- In an alteration, a projection of 5/8 inch max into the required clear width will be permitted for the latch side stop
- Gate closers and stops need to be 78 inches minimum above the finish floor or ground
The maneuvering clearance for a gate must reach the full width of the gateway and the required latch or hinge side clearance.
When it comes to maneuvering clearances, there’s a rule for that!
Swinging gates must have maneuvering clearances that follow the chart below:
Swinging gate? No problem!
Swinging gates have to meet certain regulations as well. Including:
- It must be within 10 inches of the finish floor or ground measured vertically, and should have a smooth surface on the push side that extends the full width
- Swinging gate surfaces that are less than 10 inches of the finish floor or ground measured vertically need to have a smooth surface on the push side
The exceptions to this are:
- Gates that don’t extend 10 inches of the finish floor or ground do not have to comply
- Previous existing gates without the smooth surfaces within 10 inches of the finish floor or ground are not required to have smooth surfaces
Let’s talk recessed gates:
Maneuvering clearances differ slightly when dealing with a recessed gate. Here’s how:
- The maneuvering clearance must be measured perpendicular to the face of the gate
- You cannot change the level of your floor or ground surface, unless the slope is not steeper than 1:48
For your automatic or power-assisted gate:
Don’t worry; these gates must comply with the same clear width, maneuvering clearance, threshold, and gates in series as manual gates.
- The control for your automatic gate must comply with the clear floor space requirement in the ADA Standards, and the clear floor space next to the control needs to be beyond the art of the gate swing
- In case of an emergency, your automatic gate needs to have a break out opening. This means there needs to be a clear break out opening at your swinging gate that is 32 inches minimum in emergency mode
More than one gate?
We call this a gate in series. The distance between the two series gates should be 48 inches minimum plus the width of gates swinging into the space. All operable parts on gates, including but not limited to handles, pulls, latches, and locks, should be 34 inches minimum and 48 inches maximum above the finish floor or ground.
Exceptions to this rule include:
- In the case of gates in barrier walls and fences around pools, spas, and hot tubs; the operable parts of the release of latch on self- latching devices should be at 54 inches maximum above the finish floor or ground
Don’t forget regulations regarding the speed and force of your gate!
It is important to pay attention to the closing speed of gates, and the hardware associated with them as they must follow these guidelines:
- Gate closures should be adjusted so when the gate is open at 90 degrees, it will move to a position of 12 degrees from the latch in a minimum of 5 seconds
- Gate spring hinges need to be adjusted so that when the gate is open at 70 degrees, the gate will become closed in 1.5 seconds minimum
On the other hand, you also need to make sure the opening force of your gate complies with the ADA Standards:
- Interior hinged gates should be 5 pounds (22.2 N) maximum
Installing vision lights? Here’s what you need to know:
- Vision lights next to gates that have one or more glazing panels that allow viewing through them should have the bottom of at least one glazed panel located at 43 inches maximum above the finish floor