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To meet American Disabilities Act (ADA) building codes in public buildings, organizations may have to install an automatic handicap door opener. These are the electro-mechanical devices where you hit the push button on the wall and the door automatically opens. The problem with these is that they may cost several thousand dollars for the equipment and installation.

automatic door openerBefore you implement this system, you will need to check with authorities to see whether this solution satisfies their expectations. It may depend on the individual who interprets the codes, or your building type requirements.

Instead of using a handicap door opener, you may be able to use a wireless callbox and a base station intercom. The callbox can be battery powered so the installation just requires installing batteries and mounting the callbox to a pole or wall. Inside you use a base station intercom or handheld radio to receive calls wirelessly.

We worked with the City of Roanoke, Virginia to implement this wireless intercom solution at some of their doors instead of a handicap door opener. They had a door that already had an automatic opener, but it died and was going to cost $7K to replace it. With our wireless intercom solution they spent less than $1K.

To make this work you will need someone who is near the door who can receive calls and can go assist handicap people with entry to the building. There are fixed base station intercoms as well as handhelds so personnel can be mobile and still receive calls. City of Roanoke installed the intercom on a sign that says, "For handicap entry, please press the intercom call button below and an employee health staff member will assist you." The City uses this only in areas where they have limited handicap patronage since it otherwise could require too much time from the person assigned to manage the door.

You can check out our intercom kits below or give us a call at 888-298-9489 to discuss your needs.