Why Do These Public Restrooms Have Hospital Latches?

Posted:  Jun 20, 2016
CBA Group's sales territory extends from Oregon, Washington, parts of British Columbia, and Alaska. On a recent business trip, we spotted this set up on a public restroom. Can anyone spot the sort of "off beat" hardware on these doors?

If you read the title, you would have guessed correctly - these public restrooms feature hospital push/pull latches.  These types of door hardware are usually seen in hospitals and clinics.  They're a simple push or pull motion, with a large handle to make it easier to use for people with reaching, grasping, manipulation, or physical disabilities. 

So what are they doing on this public bathroom?  Well, this photo was taken while on a trip to Alaska. The extreme cold weather of our northernmost sales territory poses special challenges for door hardware, but this particular application focuses on another Alaska-specific problem - the wildlife!

Bears are very determined creatures, and quite clever to boot.  They have figured out how to work standard levers that you often see on public buildings (including restrooms).  In order to avoid a "fun" surprise while in the bathroom, these facilities in a public park feature hospital push/pull hardware, which the local wildlife haven't figured out how to operate yet. 

There are also quite a few buildings with knobs instead of levers, to combat this very same problem.  Alaska certainly presents some interesting challenges for door hardware!

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