New standards for accessible public washrooms
Many modern building codes have increased the number of accessibility requirements that need to be met for public washrooms. These new standards make our public places usable for a greater number of people.
Accessible washroom standards have been around for many years. Some of the common features include requirements for easy to operate doors and locks. In washroom designs that require powered door operators, integrated control systems have been designed to allow the door, electric lock and powered door operator to work together. When properly designed and implemented, an accessible washroom locking system is easy and intuitive to use for everyone.
When a person enters the washroom and allows the door to close fully, they can push a button labeled “Push to Lock” which will secure the door from the outside and disengage the outside door operator switch. To exit the washroom and reset the system, the user need only open the door mechanically, or by using the inside door operator switch.
Illuminated indicators inside and outside the washroom can be incorporated into the system design to alert the occupant and others that the door is locked and the washroom is occupied. This helps reduce attempts to open the door when the washroom is in use.
During an emergency, staff members can override the system by entering with a mechanical key.