Meeting ADA Standards

A single section, ADA 4.13.1 through 4.13.12 (Doors), deals with locksmith-related hardware.


Reposition the O-ring to zero. With the latch retracted, start the door moving away from the jamb and immediately place the rubber tip onto the edge of the swing side of the door. Push against the door until it is at four inches. Read the scale. A maximum of 30 pounds force can be exerted to open the door to this position.

Reposition the O-ring to zero. Start the door moving towards the open position from the four inch position using your hands. Once the door is moving place the rubber tip of the DPG against the edge of the swing side of the door. Use the DPG to push against the door until it is at 70 degrees open. Read the scale. A maximum of 5 pounds force can be exerted to open an interior door to this position. A maximum of 15 pounds force can be exerted to open a non-fire rated opening door to this position. Make adjustments or repairs as necessary.

To purchase a DPG, contact your local locksmith distributor or type in “door pressure gauge” in any online search engine.

If you are installing a threshold, the edge can be no higher than ¼” above the finished floor, or if the threshold edge is beveled, it can be no higher than ¾” above the finished floor.

There are exceptions. Many private clubs, religious organizations or properties designated as historically significant under State or local law may not be bound by Title III as an entity. This is limited to the sanctuary or if a private club, where non-members may not enter. These facilities must comply with the provisions of Title III of the ADA to the extent feasible. For example, public spaces in the religious organizations or private clubs must follow ADA.

The ADA is under the local building and fire codes, it is under state law (minimum standards). Local codes can be more stringent. The Local Authority Having Jurisdiction (LAHJ) is responsible to enforce the ADA.

To determine your LAHJ, call the local fire protection office, fire chief, fire marshal or city government and ask who the fire protection official is for the jurisdiction. In larger jurisdictions, there may be a specific person or organization for the ADA issues.

LAHJs have almost unilateral decision making power. They decide whether the door hardware conforms to their interpretation of the fire codes, life safety codes, state and local building codes, and interpretations of the ADA. Their mission is to insure life safety and accessibility for all.

The information provided does not cover the Architectural Barriers Act (ABA) for federally funded facilities.

For information about the ADA, including the ADAAA and the revised 2010 ADA regulations, visit the Department’s Web Site, www.ADA.gov. For answers to specific questions, call the ADA Information Line at 800-514-0301.

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