Over the past couple of months I have witnessed businesses install digital door locks to their accessible toilet facilities, in an attempt to keep the facilities clean and safe. Whilst it is commendable for businesses to take the initiative and install these facilities, it does always make me wonder why they didn’t fit a Radar lock instead.

The issue I have noticed with digital door locks is the height of the lock and on a few occasions the length of the pin number. Some businesses that use digital door locks print the pin combination on their receipts, which is helpful. Although the accessible toilet could have a different combination and there could be issues when trying to remember the pin, and when you really need to use the toilet quickly, this is not very convenient!

The height of the digital door lock can definitely be an issue though, especially for some wheelchair users and individuals with a limited range of motion, opening the door to enter the facility may not be an issue as a member of staff may open the door, the height may become an issue though when trying to exit the facility.

The first Radar locks were introduced in 1981, to help keep accessible toilets free and clean. There are more than 10,000 Radar toilets in the United Kingdom and a Radar Key allows individuals to access these provisions. Many local authorities and commercial businesses such as retail outlets, music venues, sports stadia, bars, cafes, restaurants, cinemas, theatres and museums have adopted the Radar Key Scheme A Radar Key can usually be purchased for around £5.

For businesses that do not lock their accessible toilet facilities, there is the potential for the facilities to be misused and damaged, which could render the facility unavailable. From experience, this is a common occurrence, so it is easy to see why businesses have chosen to digital locks.

It would be advisable for businesses to compare the digital door locks and Radar locks and choose which would be more suitable. It is also important though to weigh up the pros and cons from a users perspective.

Whilst this isn’t a sales pitch..

The Accessible Guide supports businesses and individuals with any questions, queries and concerns around access, so please feel free to contact us.

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