New Door Product: Unequal Door Pair, Swinging Opposite, Without Center Frame Member
Two previous blogs (8/8/12: Acrovyn Wicket Doors and 10/21/12: Double-acting continuous hinges) have discussed different solutions to patients being able to barricade themselves into their bedrooms, toilet rooms, activity rooms or other areas. If the door to these rooms needs to swing into the room because of code requirements limiting obstruction of the corridor or to avoid creating alcoves that patients could use to hide, then barricading is an issue.
Another option is to provide two doors at the entrance to the room from the corridor. One door is for normal use and the other for emergency use only. This is usually termed a “double egress” door. A more typical use of this type of door are the cross-corridor doors in smoke or fire separation partitions. In this use, both doors are the same width.
In this application, the door for normal use is the required width for access (usually 36” to 48” depending on the circumstances and code requirements) and swings into the room. The other door can be more narrow (18” to 24”) and swing out into the corridor when needed for emergency access. This will require a minimum of 5’-0” of corridor wall in the room to accommodate the width of this assembly, which can be a difficult issue in remodeling projects. This smaller door should have no exposed hardware on the room side and only a deadbolt cylinder and continuous hinge on the corridor side.
One way to do this is to provide a door frame that is specifically designed for this application and has a vertical frame member between the two doors. These are available as standard products from several manufacturers or are available by special order from any good door frame shop. These allow the use of hardware that is more typically used on these units.
If additional clear opening width is desired to move equipment into the room (or for other reasons) this can be done without a vertical frame member between the two doors. This is a little more difficult to design and requires more specialized hardware. It also may result in more noise being generated in the normal use of the door.
If space is available in the corridor wall of the room, the unequal pair of double egress doors solution is a very good way to address the potential risk of patients barricading themselves in rooms to avoid staff intervention.