ADA Tools & Equipment – Guide to the Americans with Disabilities Act


First, we’ll explore the pressure gauge. The best way to measure door opening force is by using a door force gauge, also called a door pressure gauge. Typically, we unlatch the door first and then press the gauge against the door. However, some doors may have an automatic opening mechanism and you can push using that mechanism. Push until the door opens all the way typically at a 90 degree angle. The readout on the gauge shows you the force required to open the door. Always read the gauge at the “O” ring. Typically, on the inside as noted between the arrows here. Some gauges have hooks to help you pull the door open. Also, when you’re measuring the door force do not jerk open the door, gradually push it, so that the door opens at the 90 degree angle. Most interior doors should require no more than 5 lbs. of force to open. Exterior doors do vary somewhat, depending on the conditions in your state. We also use measuring wheels when doing ADA inspcetions. We have a larger wheel, as seen here that we use for exterior spaces. Here’s a quick demonstration of how to use the tool. This tool also comes with its own kickstand, used while you’re taking other measurements. We also use a smaller measuring wheel. Mostly for interior spaces when measuring the width of Bathrooms, Hallways, and other such spaces. Here’s a quick demonstration of how to set and properly use your smaller measuring wheel. Now we’re going to take a look at exterior spaces. This is showing the measurement of an access aisle using the larger measuring wheel. and then we also look at an actual ADA compliant space using the measuring wheel. And here we show an interior scene using the smaller measuring wheel showing how it can get between objects located near the bottom of a wall. Now, we’re going to take a look at some digital levels. These are SMARTTOOL digital levels We have a larger one, used for measuring accessible spaces, access aisles, and larger areas. The smaller SMARTTOOL is used for measuring curb cuts, smaller ramps, and other protruding objects. Now, we see a demonstration of how the digital level is actually used in an accessible space. Typically, when doing an ADA inspection, we take several measurements including cross slopes and running slopes within a space and an access aisle. to get proper measurements for any reporting needs the business may have. Here we’re going to see a quick demonstration of how we calibrate our SMARTTOOLs. We always take a measurement from one angle, calibrate it, and then take another measurement at a perpendicular angle and then calibrate it a second time. Now, we move on to measuring tape. Typically, we carry about 3 different kinds of measuring tape. One of our measuring tapes actually has the ADA codes specifically written on it for easy access. Other inspectors, also carry a standard measuring tape with them. We’ve also found it handy to have a small measuring tape with a level in case you’re doing quick bathroom access checks or any other checks that may require a full tool set. Here, we see the measuring tape being used inside a bathroom to get proper measurements, and we also see how the smaller measuring tape can be used to measure in tiny nooks and crannys that may otherwise be inaccessible to smaller measuring tapes. Typically, when doing quick ADA inspections in an area where someone has complained about access issues we use the smaller measuring tape as it is less noticeable to the public. This should be the main tools you’ll use when doing an ADA inspection. There are other tools, such as sound gauges, light gauges, and other such tools which measure specific angles However, we’ve found these are the main tools to use when doing an ADA inspection to ensure full compliance for any business that you’re inspecting.

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