a maintenance engineer with a checklist for automatic door maintenance

Automatic Door Maintenance

Did you know that you have a legal requirement to ensure the safe operation of automatic doors? This handy guide will help you to understand your requirements, and give you a checklist for automatic door safety checks.

Table of Contents

What Do I Need to Know About Automatic Door Maintenance?

As a business owner, you have an obligation to your customers / visitors and your staff to ensure their safety whilst on the premises.

This begins the moment they enter your property: with your automatic door access.

Whilst it is very easy to leave any problems related to your automatic doors until there is an obvious fault, the old saying that, “prevention is cheaper than the cure,” rings true.

Not only will regular maintenance be more cost effective than wholesale repairs of automatic doors and their components, you will also be protecting yourself from any legal action associated with poorly-maintained equipment.

What are my legal obligations for automatic door maintenance?

The use of automatic doors are regulated by a range of European and British legislation.

The Supply of Machinery Safety Regulations (2008) states that automatic doors must be operated safely. Whilst not giving any specific guidance, the minimum requirement is that they are maintained in accordance with the manufacturer’s instructions.

The accepted standard is BS EN 16005, which is a harmonised standard considered the minimum requirement for the safety of employees and users on your premises. It is not a legal document, however, many bodies and organisations consider it to be the best practice for ensuring automatic door safety, and it has been referenced in court cases involving automatic door accidents.

So while the law does not explicitly require automatic doors to be serviced, you would be seen as failing in your legal duty should an automatic door cause an accident due to poor maintenance and could face prosecution.

Can I Maintain Automatic Doors Myself?

You or a caretaker should be conducting weekly safety checks on all powered doors. It is important that whoever conducts the maintenance receives proper training in the operation of automatic doors and the correct procedure for emergency situations.

These checks do not replace the need for servicing conducted by a qualified technician. Formal servicing must be conducted by a maintenance engineer who is qualified to BS EN 16005 standard (or BS 7036 if the doors were installed before April 2013).

Weekly Checks to Carry out on Automatic Doors

The building’s occupier or caretaker is required to undertake a safety check on a weekly basis. This includes checks on both the door, and the surrounding environment.

Firstly, do not assume that a door is working safely and correctly. The goal of the safety check is to find out whether there are any faults present, so that they can be rectified quickly. Keep an open mind and believe that any aspect of your powered door may develop a fault at any stage of its life.

Sliding Doors

For automatic sliding doors, conduct the following safety checks:

  • Check that there are no obstructions in and around the door, such as magazine racks, merchandise displays, or other hazards such as wet floor signs, in the vicinity of the door
  • The door entrance area should have no trip or slip hazards, such as carpets and entrance mats
  • Check door panels for broken or damaged glass
  • Doors should have signage at the recommended viewing height, which can be found in the BS EN 7036 and BS EN 16005 guidance
  • Check that barriers and screens around the doors are fitted securely
  • Test all manual and remote activation switches and sensors, as well as emergency stop buttons if fitted
  • The door should open without delay, and slide open smoothly without any impact upon stopping. It should close in a similar manner. (Complete this check on both sides, if the door has two-way activation)
  • Conduct a test using a box the size of a small child, 700 x 300 x 200mm. BS EN 16005 compliant test boxes are available to purchase. Place the test box in the door’s plane of movement, and check that the door remains open. You should also check that the door slows when the box is placed in the door’s plane of movement.
  • Record the results of the checks, and ensure that these logs are kept for at least one year.

Swing (Hinged) Doors

For swing, or hinged, automatic doors, conduct the following safety checks:

  • Check that there are no obstructions in and around the door, such as magazine racks, merchandise displays, or other hazards such as wet floor signs, in the vicinity of the door
  • The door entrance area should have no trip or slip hazards, such as carpets and entrance mats
  • Check door panels for broken or damaged glass
  • Doors should have signage at the recommended viewing height, which can be found in the BS EN 7036 and BS EN 16005 guidance
  • Check that barriers and screens around the doors are fitted securely
  • Test all manual and remote activation switches and sensors, as well as emergency stop buttons if fitted
  • The door should open without delay, and swing smoothly without any impact upon stopping. It should close in a similar manner within 1-5 seconds. (Complete this check on both sides, if the door has two-way activation)
  • Conduct a test using a box the size of a small child, 700 x 300 x 200mm. BS EN 16005 compliant test boxes are available to purchase. Place the test box in the fastest moving part of the door, and check that the door does not make contact with the box. You should also check the opening direction, and verify that the door does not make contact with the box.
    • Note: Some low-energy automatic swing doors do not have safety devices. These doors move at low speed, with little power.
  • Record the results of the checks, and ensure that these logs are kept for at least one year.

If any fault is discovered during these checks, then the door must be deactivated and made safe.

The guidance given here should not be taken as an exhaustive safety checklist. Always refer to the manufacturer’s instructions for more specific advice related to your automatic doors.

Required Servicing for Automatic Doors

In addition to weekly safety checks, automatic doors must be serviced by a qualified technician at a minimum of once per year. However, some companies prefer more regular servicing for peace-of-mind, and may opt for a bi-annual servicing schedule which is recommended by the British Standard.

These checks will ensure that all electrical and mechanical components remain in working order. Where faults or wear and tear is found, they will be replaced or repaired. No operating system is safe from damage over time.

Servicing will keep your automatic doors operating reliably, and keep your company compliant with the law.

What If I Don’t Maintain and Service Automatic Doors?

If you choose to not conduct the recommended weekly safety checks, as well as keeping an up-to-date servicing schedule, then you risk some serious consequences for both your business and your visitors.

Firstly, should your automatic door become unusable, you will limit the ability of customers and visitors to access your premises. Not only will this create a negative impression of your business, it could mean that customers go to your competitors instead, causing damage to your profit margins.

More seriously, a faulty door could present a health and safety risk to your employees and visitors. Along with the legal expenses associated with a prosecution, your business could suffer from reputational damage that is very difficult to recover.

The easiest way to avoid this is by implementing a proper maintenance schedule for automatic doors, to avoid any damages.

How can DT Services Ltd Help Me?

With suitably qualified door engineers, and over 20 years’ of experience, DT Services offers our customers manufacture, installation and maintenance of automatic doors.

What’s more, customers on our service and maintenance plan receive regular checks to ensure the safe operation of automatic doors and get access to preferential rates for any work carried out.

You can get in touch with us at this page to start the ball rolling, and make sure your automatic doors remain compliant with UK law.