PRM toilets: everything you need to know about disabled toilet standards
An installation is considered accessible to people with reduced mobility (PRM) when they, especially those using wheelchairs, have the opportunity to enter the facility, move around within it, exit, and benefit from all the services offered to the public for which the installation was designed.
Many of our professional clients (hotels, restaurants, etc.) inquire about the various criteria to be respected in order to have accessible PRM toilets (disabled) that comply with various PRM standards (including standard NF P 99-611 on sanitary facilities for people with reduced mobility). We have therefore decided to explain everything in detail in this article!
PRM standards and disabled toilets, legal context
Under the Equality of Rights and Opportunities Act of February 2005, as well as various subsequent decrees and orders, all public-receiving institutions (ERP) are required to provide goods and services accessible to everyone. The provision of accessible toilets is a fundamental and crucial element. Their design and management deserve special attention.
In force since 1992, standard NF P 99-611 concerning the equipment of sanitary facilities for people with reduced mobility aims to make toilets accessible to those using wheelchairs or experiencing mobility issues. This standard details various rules/standards of layout, accessibility, and equipment to be respected, which we will explain to you without further delay!
PRM toilets: in what situations should standards be respected?
It's simple: any establishment receiving the public (hotel, restaurant, bar, offices, tourist service establishments, shopping center, etc.) must be equipped with at least one PRM toilet. In the case where the establishment has 11 toilets or more, it must arrange an additional PRM toilet for every 10 toilets. For example, if you have 30 toilets, you must have at least 3 facilities for people with reduced mobility.
Disabled toilets: standards to be respected
Rules of layout
Number and accessibility
Your PRM toilets must be accessible, meaning a wheelchair must be able to reach them without difficulty. This goes without saying, but there is no point in installing a PRM toilet at the top of a staircase without an elevator.
If your establishment has multiple floors, at least one PRM toilet must be accessible per floor. If your toilets are separated by gender for able-bodied individuals, you must have one PRM toilet per gender per floor!
You must clearly indicate that the toilets are accessible for PRM. Anyone, whether sitting or standing, should be able to see and read information about a PRM toilet (the ideal height is 1.5 m above the floor). This information must be readable within one meter and translated into braille. The font size must be equal to or greater than 4.50 mm.
Toilet access door
The access door of a PRM toilet must open outward to allow individuals with wheelchairs to easily close the door once inside. The width of the passage to enter the toilets must be a minimum of 85 cm (the width of a wheelchair being 75 cm).
The door handle must be positioned at 105 cm from the floor, and the lock button at 90 cm.
The force required to open the door must be less than or equal to 50 newtons.
It may be good to protect the bottom of the doors with a metal plate to prevent any damage that could occur during a maneuver. It often happens that wheelchair footrests hit the bottom of the doors.
A PRM toilet cabin must obviously be more spacious than others. It must measure at least 150 cm x 210 cm. The occupant must have a diameter of 150 cm between the door and the bowl, allowing for a comfortable maneuvering area.
They must also have a lateral free space (left or right) next to the bowl of at least 80 cm x 130 cm, so that the person can easily move from the wheelchair to the bowl, and vice versa.
In the case of a PRM toilet, the bowl must be optimized for accessibility. Its height (including the seat) must be between 45 cm and 50 cm. To allow a person with a wheelchair to get as close as possible to the bowl, it must be at least 40 cm away from the rear wall.
Several solutions are available to have a toilet bowl suitable for people with reduced mobility:
- Opt for a wall-hung toilet instead of a floor-standing toilet; you can install it at the right height!
- Place a concrete slab of sufficient thickness and then install a regular toilet on top.
- Opt for a traditional raised toilet (for example, Trone offers all models compliant with PRM standards).
- Finally, the last solution, which we consider the least recommended for aesthetic, comfort, and resistance reasons, is to use a toilet seat riser.
A PRM toilet must have an easily accessible and simple-to-use flush mechanism.
Materials and safety
To minimize the risk of injury, the materials used should not have roughness or corners. Avoid angles where the user could get injured.
Beyond the layout rules, certain essential equipment for PRM toilets must be installed. Below is a list of elements that must be found in toilets for people with reduced mobility.
General rule of equipment accessibility
All equipment inside PRM toilets must be easily accessible, not obstruct the circulation, and be located at a height below 1.30 m.
PRM toilets must have a support bar located next to the bowl on a side wall at a height of 70 cm / 80 cm. The distance between the support bar and the bowl must be between 40 cm and 45 cm.
This lateral support bar will allow toilet users to get up more easily. Transfers from bowl to wheelchair and wheelchair to bowl will also be simpler.
Toilet paper dispenser
For accessibility reasons, the toilet paper dispenser must be located at a height between 90 cm and 130 cm.
Sink and faucet
It is important to carefully study the placement of the sink, which must be usable both sitting and standing. It must be located at a height ranging from 70 cm to 85 cm. Its width should be 60 cm, and its depth should be 30 cm. It is imperative that its lower part remains empty to allow leg passage when the person is in a wheelchair.
Regarding the faucet, it must be easily operable (without wrist rotation). Ideally, install an infrared electronic control.
In the case of a non-tiltable mirror, it should not be placed too high. Its lower part should be at 1.05 m from the floor.
Soap dispenser and hand dryer
Soap dispenser and hand dryer must be installed at a height between 90 and 130 cm and more than 40 cm from a corner. A soap dispenser with infrared detection is ideal.
The trash can must be fixed to the wall, and its upper part must be at a height between 50 and 75 cm. We recommend installing a trash can with a lid that opens easily with a slight pressure against the bin.
A coat hook must be fixed between 1 m and 1.20 m from the floor.
Possibilities of derogations from PRM accessibility rules
In the case of an existing construction, it is possible to obtain a derogation from accessibility rules. Three types of derogations can be considered depending on three different reasons:
A derogation for heritage preservation, in the case where the building is classified or located in a classified area (architectural and historical heritage);
A derogation for manifest disproportion in the case where accessibility works are likely to have excessive and detrimental consequences on the activity of an establishment;
A technical derogation that can be obtained due to technical impossibility of carrying out works due to architectural or environmental constraints.
Note: It is impossible to obtain a derogation from accessibility rules for people with reduced mobility in new ERP (during the creation of a building).
Sanction for non-compliance.
If you are an ERP and you are not compliant with accessibility standards for people with reduced mobility, you risk a fine of 4,500 euros or the closure of your establishment if you are responsible for the execution of the works.