Doors can be the gateway to a new and exciting environment, like the entrance leading to heaven. Or Wal-Mart. As we prepare to cross the threshold into the real world, filled with college knowledge, we must remember the simple tasks, like opening doors. While IWU men tend to be very skilled at opening doors here, it seems this is a lost art outside of the collegiate realm. And, forgetting how to perform this crucial task can be fatal. According to the National Safety Council, 300,000 people go the emergency room each year due to door related injuries. But with these steps on how to properly open a door, you won’t be one of them.
The key to opening a door properly is awareness.
The first step is to locate the building’s entrance, the home of doors. Double check to make sure you have correctly identified the door. Does it have a handle, knob, or some sort of structure used for pulling? Are people using it to move from one environment to the next? These are common door characteristics. If there are immovable objects on the other side of the door structure, you are looking at a window, and need to try again. Although both open and close, windows should only be used for stealthy entrances.
Next, identify the type of door you’re about to enter and determine if you have the proper skills to open it. Sliding and automatic doors are recommended for beginners. If you’re feeling a bit risky, try the revolving door, and remember that timing is everything. Most people don’t realize they’ve come across a door that swings both ways until it’s too late. Luckily, most doors you’ll open are the fairly simple, one-way swing doors.
As you approach the door, look for signs posted on it, and follow them using your best judgment. “Do not enter” signs are open to interpretation. If it’s on the left-hand door at Meijer, go ahead and use it. If it’s on the cage of a vicious koala bear or on the door leading into Shatford, it’s best to leave that door shut. Also, look for push/pull signs. If you can’t find the push/pull label, remain calm. Because of fire codes, a door will need to be pulled when entering a building.
After the door has been thoroughly scrutinized, look for people around you using your neck, peripheral vision, or perhaps a reflective surface. Then, calculate how you’ll need to change your pace to do one of the following three things: open the door for someone, have the door opened for you, or avoid contact with another person at all costs.
After making your decision, continue to the door farthest to the right until it’s reached. Grab the handle with the hand you’re comfortable with. If you’re not opening the door for someone, you can use your non-dominant hand as a small exercise for strengthening it.
Now, open the door at a speed of no greater than 10 miles per hour. Make sure your face won’t interfere with the door because you’ll have to repeat this process all over.
If you are opening the door for someone, you have two options:
1) You can move with the door as you open it so that you are perpendicular to the entrance.
2) You can open the door and begin to walk inside. Hold your hand on the door and glance back to the person behind you to see their distance. If they’re about 10 meters or less from you, you can keep walking as your hand first moves across the door to the end, and then your arm extends as far as it can, while you’re still walking, until the person grabs it.
If you haven‘t crossed the threshold yet, you may now do so. Congratulations! Check for any injuries.
The above steps were for men. If you’re a woman, opening a door can be done in three simple steps. Go up to the door. Stand at the door. Wait for the door to be opened for you.
If these steps are followed correctly, you will not become another statistic in door-related accidents.