Are Automatic Doors A Convenience or Personal Injury Hazard?

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Every day people head out to buy groceries, gifts and supplies from a variety of different stores. And by now we are used to the convenience of automatic doors getting us in and out of these places with ease. What many people don’t realize is that a malfunction with a door or its sensors can lead to serious personal injury.

The majority of automatic doors are activated by sensors either above the entrance or on the ground before you walk in. This is designed to trigger the door when to open, how long to stay open and when to close. When these sensors are not working correctly, it alters the amount of time you have to walk through. Having a door close too soon can lead to anything from bruises to lacerations to broken bones depending on how hard the door closes and what part of your body gets caught in the process.

The American Association of Automatic Door Manufacturers says constant maintenance including daily inspections of automatic doors by property owners can help keep customers safe and free from personal injury. It may be something as easily fixed as cleaning the sensor, adjusting the timing of the door or removing an obstruction from the door’s path. If it is something more serious, the doors should be turned off and left open so patrons are not at risk for injury.

If you are entering a store, be aware of the automatic doors and how they operate. Do not stop in the doorway whether you are walking alone, with children or pushing a shopping cart. Be extra careful if there are two sets of automatic doors close together since their timing sensors may be set to different speeds and you could get caught in between. If you notice a problem with an automatic door, notify a manager at the location as soon as possible. If you are injured by an automatic door, be sure to inform management immediately and have them fill out an incident report.

It is easy to ignore the danger that could occur by simply walking in and out of a store. Owners must make sure that their equipment is functioning properly to ensure the safety of their customers. If you have been injured by an automatic door, contact an experienced attorney at Finz & Finz, P.C., to hold store owners accountable for their negligence, especially if they ignored problems that were previously reported or could have been identified with a daily inspection.