If you own a business, odds are you have at least one or two personnel doors in your office or establishment. They are a type of commercial door but – typically – rather than serving the public’s needs, personnel doors are used most often by the employees who live and work in the building during normal business hours.
Examples of Personnel Doors
These doors are built much differently than the ones you use in your home for several reasons.
They are more heavily used. Doors that are used internally by employees experience more rigorous wear and tear than a bedroom or bathroom door. Consider the hundreds of times a day the door leading from a doctor’s or dentist’s office to the waiting room is opened and shut, for example. This level of use requires heavier-duty hinges and hardware than a residential or small office door might require.
There are building codes to consider. For health and safety reasons, personnel doors can have very specific design requirements. For example, depending on the building design and use a door may be required by law to have:
• An automatic closer.
• A fire rating for 30, 60 or 90 minutes (or more).
• Special sealing or insulation to keep chemicals or toxins confined.
• Other specialized features that increase the health and safety for both employees, customers and/or other building occupants.
• Panic hardware that allows a door to be pushed open rather than requiring a harder-to-use handle.
These specialized versions of commercial doors may also require specialized security features preventing them from break-ins, vandalism or broken glass.
Door designs may be more varied. To accommodate larger or more unique design dimensions, a personnel door may not fit the standard commercial or residential door dimensions, requiring special sizing and parts accommodation.
Examples of personnel doors include doors that:
• Include extra-large double-door systems
• Provide style and security to an exterior entrance/exit
• Offer corrosion resistance particular to their environment and daily exposures.
How to Choose the Right Personnel Door For Your Business
Choosing the right personnel door for your business can be tricky. Here are a few questions to consider:
What is required by code? The first step is to bring your building plans to your local building department to have them reviewed. Working with an experienced commercial architect and a licensed commercial door supplier can also benefit you as they are typically familiar with the commercial door codes in your area. This can ensure you install doors with the legally required fire rating, egress considerations, panic hardware and so on so you don’t have to replace anything you just installed as the result of a code violation.
Is the door visible to the public? Consider the huge glass revolving doors popular for big swanky banks and law firms. Even if these buildings are largely used by employees, rather than the public, these doors are still highly visible to passersby and can make a positive impression of the company. In this case, in order to add curb appeal, style is important.
Will it be exposed to the outdoors? Personnel doors that are exposed to the exterior of the building will experience more dramatic temperature and humidity fluctuations, as well as serious weather depending on your geographic location. Even things like wind direction and sun exposure should be considered to ensure your door is designed to handle its environment.
What style is your commercial design? Personnel doors come in a wide range of materials and styles. Most doors are made from commercial wood, hollow metal, fiberglass, aluminum, glass, herculite glass and even bullet- and blast-proof materials. However, fabrication has come a long way so most of these “tougher” door types can be customized to blend with your business’s interior design.
For professional assistance designing, repairing or replacing personnel doors for your business, give us a call at R&S Erection. 1-925-671-7606. You can also contact us online to schedule an onsite consultation.