Over the last few weeks I have spent a lot of time in airports, and I saw several family restroom applications “in the wild.”  In the Minneapolis airport I was very excited to find family restroom doors equipped with automatic operators and an electrified locking system for privacy (I wrote about this type of system a few years back).

From the outside it is evident whether the restroom is in use or not:


On the inside, there are instructions on the wall – including braille, for locking and unlocking/opening the door.  The electric strike prevents access from the outside when the “push to lock” button is pushed, and allows the automatic operator to open the door when the “push to exit” button is pushed.  The door can also be opened manually for egress by turning the lever, and in that case, the system will reset to unlocked with the lights returning to green.


Here’s a short video of the system in action:

The same type of system is used on the airport’s lactation rooms (I wrote about lactation rooms here and here):

And while passing through the DFW airport, I saw this family restroom with an indicator lock.  This is a good reminder that beginning with the 2021 edition of the International Building Code (IBC), indicators will be required by code for family and assisted use toilet and bathing rooms (more on that change here).


If you see an interesting application in the wild, send it along!  The photo submission page is on the Tools menu above^.

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