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Preventive Maintenance for Automatic Doors

Automatic doors openers are a staple in modern buildings, providing convenience and accessibility for businesses and tenants. Yet, like any other mechanical system, they require regular upkeep to function optimally. Preventive maintenance is a crucial practice that building managers, facility maintenance staff, and business owners should not overlook. Here’s are a few great examples why.

Ensuring Security and Safety

Maintaining the security of building occupants begins with ensuring that automatic doors function correctly. Sudden door malfunctions can pose significant safety and security risks, potentially allowing unauthorized access or trapping individuals inside. Regular preventive maintenance helps to:

  • Check and calibrate sensors and safety mechanisms.

  • Ensure the door opens and closes smoothly.

  • Identify and resolve potential issues before they become major problems.

The Paula J. Shetter Case

In Pennsylvania Paula J. Shetter suffered severe injuries because a door malfunctioned, resulting in a partial amputation of her fingers. The door issue had been reported but was not addressed promptly, leading to a lawsuit against Valley Properties, Inc. (The property owner) Proper preventive maintenance could have prevented this accident and the subsequent legal and financial repercussions.

Automatic door with broken arm

Avoiding Injuries

Safety is paramount, and automatic doors can be hazardous when not maintained correctly. Regular check-ups can prevent injuries by ensuring that all components function as intended. This includes:

  • Inspecting the door's alignment.

  • Lubricating moving parts.

  • Testing the emergency release mechanisms.

  • Ensuring AAADM checkup list is performed daily and inspected twice a year

The Target Case

In another incident, an 81-year-old woman suffered severe brain injuries when an automatic door at a Target store in Rosemont, Illinois, malfunctioned. The door knocked her to the ground, leading to a subdural hematoma and subsequent cognitive deficits. Target paid $7 million in damages, highlighting the critical need for regular maintenance to prevent such life-altering injuries.

It is imperative to note that certain Automatic doors are categorized as low-energy, whereas others fall under the classification of high-energy. The safety procedures for high-energy doors significantly differ from those applicable to low-energy automatic doors, necessitating distinct measures to be adhered to. These measures encompass the utilization of safety sensors, implementation of guard-rails, and compliance with relevant codes and standards.

Reducing Emergency Repair Costs

Emergency repairs for automatic doors can be costly and disruptive. By investing in preventive maintenance, businesses can:

  • Mitigate the risk of sudden breakdowns.

  • Save on the high costs associated with emergency services.

  • Ensure minimal disruption to daily operations.

Preventive maintenance allows for planned, controlled repairs rather than urgent, often more expensive fixes. This proactive approach ensures financial savings and operational efficiency.

A proper installation of automatic door operator above store-front door

Extending the Lifespan of Automatic Doors

Automatic doors are a significant investment in a building's infrastructure. Regular maintenance helps extend their lifespan by:

  • Preventing the wear and tear of components.

  • Keeping the door operating efficiently.

  • Avoiding early replacements.

By extending the lifespan of automatic doors, businesses can preserve their infrastructure investment and ensure a higher return on investment.


Preventive maintenance for automatic doors is not just about keeping your doors functioning—it's about ensuring the safety and security of building occupants, avoiding costly emergency repairs, and extending the lifespan of your investment.

Ignoring regular maintenance can lead to severe consequences, as seen in the examples above. Don’t wait for a malfunction to take action. Prioritize preventive maintenance today.

If you want to learn more about how to implement a robust preventive maintenance schedule for your automatic doors, contact our team of experts today and ensure peace of mind for you and your building occupants and visitors.

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