In yesterday’s post I shared some photos and videos of the entrance door of a hotel, where we had been having our BHMA meeting.  As a group of us returned from dinner, we walked through the pair of doors, which opened automatically as we approached.  As someone commented yesterday, the doors did not have automatic door signage, but in addition, it seemed that the doors were opening automatically when a sensor detected our presence.

The reason this is important is because doors with low energy automatic operators must be actuated by a knowing act in compliance with BHMA A156.19 – the standard that addresses power assist and low energy power operated doors.  If a door with a low energy operator is actuated by a sensor instead of a knowing act, the door must comply with a different standard – BHMA A156.10.  This standard addresses power operated pedestrian doors, and would require the doors to be equipped with additional safety features – like safety sensors and guide rails.

After going back outside to look for a sensor and not finding one, I checked with Hayden at the desk.  He showed us the wireless switch that the front desk agents use to open the door when they see guests approaching.  So…is this considered a knowing act, even though the people using the door are not actuating the switch?

YES!  The BHMA standard defines a knowing act this way: Any conscious action with the expected result of opening a door. This includes but is not limited to: wall or jamb-mounted contact or non-contact switches such as push plates; the action of manual opening (pushing or pulling) a door; and controlled access devices such as keypads, card readers, wireless transmitters and keyswitches. 

So the wireless transmitter at the front desk IS considered a knowing act, and the low energy operators are not required to comply with BHMA A156.10 which would mandate guide rails, safety sensors, etc.  As long as the doors comply with BHMA A156.19, they’re all set!

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