Barn doors may be best left on barns. I currently receive about a call a month to ask if I can help with a accommodation sliding barn door injury. This is a trend that has continued since hotel designers decided that it would be a fantastic concept to set up sliding type barn doors to separate bathrooms and other areas from the hotel guest bedroom.
The 1st time I saw a door of the type installed in a newly renovated hotel, I immediately considered that this was any sort of accident waiting to happen. It absolutely was either going to create a pinch injury, a crush incident, or the door would just fall off the hanging rail and smash into someone. I was more concerned that unattended children having fun with these doors would get seriously injured.
Sure enough, within a month of seeing this kind of door installation, the calls started getting into the workplace. These calls have been ongoing for the past four years.
The peculiar aspect of these installations is that we now have too many small hardware component pieces that will become loose and ultimately fall off causing detachment in the door. Various manufacturers use differing types and qualities of materials to create the doors slide, however, most door systems are subjected to the identical problems. They loosen, collapse, fall away from their track or move from adjustment ultimately causing serious personal injuries of hotel guests since the sliding doors disconnect off their hanging hardware in one way or another.
What Goes Completely Wrong? Defectively operating accommodation barn doors have created injuries in many different ways. Hanger bars are becoming detached from your wall. Guide rollers and limiters have become disconnected. Screws have gone missing and were unchecked. Door hangers have lost their grip. Rollers have cracked and broken. Rubber stops have disappeared. The base plates and screws that keep your door from swinging away from the wall have broken or disconnected completely from your floor. Rust has affected the hardware due to moisture from your bathroom, and parts have seized. Glass doors have shattered due to stresses imparted since the door has become pushed into obstructions while they are out of alignment.
When depositions of hotel staff are taken and they are asked regarding how the barn door systems are maintained, the normal fact is “we don’t do much”. Sometimes they promise they may have boxes of replacement parts left from your original installation, and “once we notice something wrong, we go get among those spare parts”. Many hotels claim they make routine inspections with their guest rooms, but I haven’t encountered one hotel that pays the needed attention to these doors, despite a physical injury incident occurs.
In many hotels the housekeepers are responsible for cleaning and preparing the rooms for first time guests. Those housekeepers are the only search for room condition prior to a new occupancy. Housekeeping concerns are usually limited to quickly checking to see if the carpet is soiled, trash can liners are in place, your bed sheets are clean, and toiletries are in place in the bathroom. Housekeepers do not have the skill set, time in the room or training to examine loose hardware on sliding barn doors. Some managers have claimed which they inspect the rooms with some other hotel personnel on a routine scheduled cycle, however their inspections are often very far apart. Quarterly or even monthly room checks are inadequate to counteract the daily changes that occur with all the hardware on many barn style doors. We have never seen any information regarding specific barn door hardware inspections. Generally, life safety and room security are definitely the extent of the door inspections, if those issues are even evaluated.
What Kind Of Parts Have A Sliding Barn Door? Installations and hardware of those barn door systems often include as much as 30 separate components. There are bracket hangers that are affixed to the top of the some kind of a slab door. Doors can weigh over 200 pounds based on the entrance width, thickness, and height. The door hangers are attached to a roller of some type. These rollers can be made from steel, rubber, plastic or aluminum. Glass doors are hung using slots or holes that have been precut in the glass prior to tempering. Glass doors have hardware that must be gasketed with rubber or plastic to keep metal components from making connection with the glass directly. All doors using rollers are locked in place with an axel or screws. Next, the rod or bar stock that these rollers proceed has to be properly connected to the wall.
To ensure that the carrier rods or bars are safely mounted, there must be steel backing plates or wooden blocking in the appropriate location of the adjacent wall. Sometimes, a renovation from the room has not included these backing materials, as well as the hanging rods are founded into drywall alone. The brackets that mount these rods or brackets must be positively located into some formidable blocking materials, and appropriately mounted using proper screws created to keep up with the weight from the door and sliding systems. Deformation of the finished drywall surface, as a result of weight of improperly designed systems, has established looseness in the hanging tracks, and ultimately led to barn door failures.
Many barn door carriers only have a high roller and depend on a bar or part of metal to keep the doorway from lifting off the hanging track. Some more sophisticated systems could have both a high and bottom roller to limit the movement of the door when the door is inadvertently pushed up by usage. Most wooden or metal barn door hardware sets demand a slot cut into the foot of the doorway so that a flat plate, screw or t shaped piece of metal are able to keep the door from swinging diagonally from the opening when used. Glass barn doors often have L shaped floor guides to direct the travel from the sliding door. Not all the barn door system has this bottom part of hardware and some are very weak.
In addition to these basic components, there are also additional stop pieces, limiters, snubbers along with other regulating pieces that retain the door on the hanging rod or bar stock, based upon the device, manufacturer, and form of the entrance hardware. Some barn doors are basically glass sheets. These doors are often tempered or made from laminated safety glass. Moving doors made of glass can spontaneously shatter as a result of stresses imparted to the glass as early as when manufactured. Glass doors employed for these otrwje door installations are like all other glass doors. They can be afflicted with previous use, impact from vacuums or some other normal operational conditions. Sometimes holes or slots prepared in the glass that are employed to hang the doors become stressed as well as the door shatters without warning. Utilizing a sliding glass door comes along with increased probability of failure as it is a moving bit of glass. Glass is usually less resilient to stresses being a wood or a metal door and enhances the possibility of injury.