It’s that time of year once again, where schools, offices, and apartment buildings use the blank palettes provided by their doors, to hold holiday door decorating contests.  Now, before you call me Scroogette, I do love doors and holiday decorating, and I can understand the appeal.  BUT, there are a few rules to keep in mind:

  1. Decorating the egress side of the door is NOT recommended, because the door could become concealed by the holiday decorations.  Stick to the access side (the outside).
  2. Don’t cover the exit signs!  If you follow Rule 1, Rule 2 isn’t usually a problem, but as you can see in one of the tweets below, decorations that extend onto the wall can sometimes affect adjacent exit signs.
  3. The hardware must remain operable – I’ve seen panic hardware disguised as a fireplace mantle, a windowsill, or just covered completely.  Decorations on the access side are less problematic, but can still interfere with the operation of the hardware.
  4. If you’re going to attach 3-dimensional decorations to the push side of a manually-operated door, watch out for the projections into the clear opening width, and the 10-inch area at the bottom of the door where there should be nothing protruding from the face of the door.  Protrusions into the corridor width can also be an issue.
  5. If your door is a fire door, you really shouldn’t be attaching anything to it.  There are also limitations on how much paper/flammable material is allowed in a corridor (I’m talking to you – schools!).  Most multi-family buildings won’t allow anything attached to the outside of the unit entry doors from the corridors.

Here are some recent tweets showing holiday doors (and this PDF has LOTS).  What do you think?

Images:  Heather Papp, Alexander Stirling, Felicia Hiscock, Archbishop Curley HS, K Hopkins, S Bachra, M Desmond, Kelly Roman, Rachel Howe, Shane Perdew, Steele Street PS, William Stento, Mrs. D, and Mrs. Penlington via Twitter.

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