Retail spaces, healthcare facilities, government buildings and many other commercial operations see large volumes of traffic pass through each day. Some of these spaces have open floor plans, while others contain numerous hallways and corridors.
Regardless of the type, structure or layout of the building, there are a number of commonly required items you’ll find within. These include fire extinguishers and often AED devices and many other life safety equipment.
These devices exist for our safety; however they can also be the cause of many injuries depending on how they are mounted. As an example, fire extinguishers can be stored in a cabinet that is recessed into a wall (or mounted on the surface itself), or they can be surface mounted whereby they are hung on a hook.
The challenge with surface mounting anything on a wall, column, etc. is that there are laws surrounding the height with which can be mounted, and it is often dependent on how far they will protrude (stick) off the wall.
Commercial fire extinguishers are commonly around 5 ¼” inches in diameter, and hand sanitizers, AED machines, water fountains, etc. generally stick off the wall much further. Typically these objects are mounted above 27” off the ground in order to reduce the likelihood of shopping carts, gurneys, and small children from bumping into them and getting injured.
What often gets overlooked in these situations are people that are blind or have impaired or low vision. Objects mounted at 27” or below will be detected by a cane, allowing the person to move out of the way before making contact with the object. When mounted higher than 27”, they may not detect the object until they have bumped into it, which can often lead to injury.
The Department of Justice published revised regulations for Titles II and III of the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 “ADA” in the Federal Register on September 15, 2010. These regulations adopted revised, enforceable accessibility standards called the 2010 ADA Standards for Accessible Design “2010 Standards” or “Standards”.
The following summarizes these Standards as they relate to projecting objects. Section 307 covers Protruding Objects, which can be summarized in the following explainer video or text below.
According to section 307.2 Protrusion Limits, “Objects with leading edges more than 27 inches (685 mm) and not more than 80 inches (2030 mm) above the finish floor or ground shall protrude 4 inches (100 mm) maximum horizontally into the circulation path.”
There is an exception in the case of handrails, which “shall be permitted to protrude 4½ inches (115 mm) maximum.”
The reasoning behind this limit has been captured in Advisory 307.2 Protrusion Limits.
When a cane is used and the element is in the detectable range, it gives a person sufficient time to detect the element with the cane before there is body contact. Elements located on circulation paths, including operable elements, must comply with requirements for protruding objects.
Easy Comply solutions were designed with the 2010 ADA Standards for Accessible Design in mind and offer fast and affordable solutions to solving Section 307.2 Protrusion Limits. Please visit https://easycomplyusa.com to learn more.
The full 2010 ADA Standards for Accessible Design can be found at http://www.ada.gov/regs2010/2010ADAStandards/2010ADAStandards.pdf.