Do You Have A ‘Demon’ Door?
Whether a school, care home, nursery, home or shop, most premises have one or more ‘demon doors’ – these are doors with a greater likelihood for accidents, particularly ones involving trapped fingers. These tend to be located in high traffic, and therefore high-risk, areas. That’s why we recommend you do an assessment of door safety, especially if you are charged with the well-being of children, the elderly, or anyone at increased risk of getting their fingers trapped. Awareness of the risk areas is the first step to reducing on-site injuries.
The Layout and Frequency of Use
The level of risk is mainly related to the location of the door and the amount of traffic that passes through that area, and will vary depending on the type of premises. Think about which doors are most in use. For example, it may be the main entrance to your premises or reception area, an entrance to a corridor or classroom, or the doors to the canteen or toilets. Fire exits, in the event of a fire drill or an emergency, will get very busy. In fact, any and all of these areas could be high-risk. You should also take into consideration the level of any supervision provided around certain door areas.
The Characteristics of High Risk Doors
The key thing to look for is the size of the gap in the door – large gaps are classed as high risk and are most commonly found on UPVC doors, which tend to be current standard on entrances and exits. So when you take into consideration the amount of foot traffic these doors will see, combined with the size of the gap, the risk of trapped fingers or other such injury increases exponentially.
As noted, UPVC doors have wide gaps, because they can open up to 180 degrees and some doors even wider. But other doors can also pose an elevated level of risk. Metal and aluminium doors can be demons, whether because of the material, the weight, or the level of tension on the hinges. Bi-folding doors, often used for wheelchair access can pose the danger of trapped fingers. Doors with parliament hinges, like some French doors pose a risk especially if there are children running out to play, or elderly care home patients going out to sit in the garden.
Are there rising hinge doors on your premises? As the name suggests, these hinges are designed to allow the door to move up or down to allow clearance for carpeting. They are also commonly used in toilet cubicles in schools and nurseries which very young children use. These hinge types allow the door to close on their own to give the children privacy, yet making sure they cannot lock themselves in the toilet. Other door and hinge types to consider during your door safety risk assessment are swing pivot doors; two way hinged doors, outdoor play houses and sheds.
A thorough assessment of the doors at your premises will help you identify potential danger zones. From there, you can take preventative measures to help reduce the likelihood of trapped fingers and other injuries caused by demon doors.
If you’d like more information on door safety, please visit our website or phone us on 0161 413 0766.