About two decades ago, the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) became law in the US. How does the ADA apply to self-storage? Simply put, private businesses offering services to the public cannot discriminate against people with disabilities. The ADA requires that places of public accommodation remove architectural barriers that limit access to or use of the public place. This includes all private businesses that offer goods and services to the public, including self-storage facilities.
Read on for some insights from the experts at Boxwell!
Physical handicaps can make using a storage facility difficult. In order to be compliant with the ADA, self-storage facilities have to consider their wheelchair accessibility. Within the ADA rules, there needs to be a certain number of units considered disability accessible. Out of the first 200 units at a facility, 5 percent must be compliant, and out of the remaining units, 2 percent must be compliant.
In addition to having a certain number of ADA compliant units, self-storage facility must have a variety of sizes so that tenants with disabilities can choose between units — just like everyone else. Of course, if a facility only offers one size, that would be an exception to the rule.
Doors, Pulls and Ropes
Roll up doors are a great option for a self-storage facility to adhere to the ADA rules. Just keep in mind, however, that the door will also have to have some modifications to be fully compliant. to be ADA compliant:
- A pull must be installed on the door somewhere between 15’ and 48’ above ground level. The pull must have a loop at the end big enough to fit a fist for someone in a wheelchair to be able to pull the door upward.
- A nylon rope must be installed on the bottom bar which hangs 15″ – 48″ inches when door is open. This must also have a loop large enough for a fist.
- Doors must be tensioned for easy opening and closing. Note: Janus doors already meet this requirement.