What height should I fit pull handles and lever handles and what size should they be?

We are often asked by our customers what height they should fit lever handles and pull handles. This isn’t a fire compliance issue but is crucial to accessibility. The subject is covered in the important BS8300 standard – ‘design of an accessible and inclusive built environment’.

Pull handles

The bottom fixing of the pull handle should be fixed between 700mm and 1000mm above the finished floor level. The top fixing of the pull handle should be fixed no lower than 1300mm above the finished floor level.

This means that the minimum fixing centres of your pull handles should be 300mm (1300mm minimum top fixing – 1000mm maximum bottom fixing). The Standard also stipulates that vertical pull handles should have a section diameter of between 19mm and 35mm.

Our GAC122 D-pull handle is 300mm centres and 19mm diameter, hence this is the smallest pull handle that complies with the DDA standard. There are also smaller sizes available as standard (225mm and 150mm centres), however given the details outlined above, it’s obvious that these sizes cannot comply with DDA.

There is also guidance for pull handles mounted to doors with narrow styles – the handle should be cranked away from the leading edge of the door to achieve a minimum offset of 50mm from the door edge.

Lever handles

Again referring to BS8300, lever handles should be fitted between 800mm and 1050mm from the finished floor level. 900mm is the preferred height. Care needs to be taken on glazed doors that the glazing beads don’t interfere with the clearance behind the handle.

There are a range of size recommendations for lever handles under BS8300;

Lever section should be minimum 19mm diameter. Minimum backset from the door edge should be 54mm. The hand grip zone should be a minimum of 95mm, and there should be a minimum of 45mm clearance from the door face to the back of the handle.

Finally, the design should be such that the whole hand can hold the lever, hands don’t slide off and clothes don’t catch on it. You should also be able to operate it one handed without needing to grasp or twist.

Door knobs are not favoured for this reason – they can be very difficult to use by people with limited dexterity.

The typical ‘DDA handle’ which is most used is our FST110 which is a round bar design with a return on the end of it. However it’s important to note that the above specifications don’t preclude other designs being used as well.

The BS 8300 Standard covers a range of other considerations, including LRV, lock thumbturns, door clearances etc. We hope to explore these further in other posts soon!

Please do get in touch if we can help you further with DDA requirements. We are trade only suppliers to commercial and refurbishment contractors, fire door manufacturers and installers, facilities management and maintenance companies.

Review of this page due November 2022. Please note that advice given is advisory only and to the best of our knowledge at time of writing. We cannot be held responsible for loss or damage incurred as a result of actions taken based on this article.

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