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Panic Exit Devices

Panic Exit Devices

Panic door hardware, as the name suggests, is installed on doors for emergency situations. They are found on commercial and fire exit doors/panic doors, enabling a fast exit in a panicky situation. Other names which are commonly used to refer to this type of hardware include push bar, push pad, crash bar or panic device. With panic bar hardware installed, you can unlatch a door without having to put in a key, push the lever or twisting the knob. It is a spring-loaded crossbar or sometimes a touchpad which is installed on the interior side and fixed horizontally. As a result, anyone who is on the inside of the door can easily locate and use the push bars for doors to open the door in case of a panic exit. 

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The Obvious Benefits of Panic Hardware!

It provides the following major benefits:

  • It offers safety
  • It has a lot of variety.
  • It is pretty economical/affordable.
  • It is quite effective.
  • It reduces insurance rates.

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Into the Specifications!

Panic hardware for doors needs to have a certain type of specifications and features. Also, it is installed on specific types of buildings. Let’s have a look at all of this in detail:

  • The touchpad or spring-loaded crossbar part of the panic hardware has to take up at least half the width of the door. A door push bar or push pad is used on balanced doors as their pivot point is located nearer to the center of the door. The push bar for door is not supposed to take up more than half the width of the door. 
  • There is a certain level of height at which the panic devices must be installed. The standard height ranges from 34 inches to 48 inches from the bottom of the floor or threshold of the building. 
  • If any exit door has panic hardware installed, there cannot be any other locking devices on the same door. For example, you can’t install chains and panic devices both on the same door. The reason being that panic hardware is designed for emergency and quick exist. Whereas, chains hinder egress and make it difficult for occupants to move out quickly. 
  • On average, 15 pounds of force is required to unlatch a door with panic exit devices. 
  • Exit devices must also fulfil all requirements for disabled people. 
  • There must be both controlled egress and delayed egress exit points.
  • If installed on a fire door, the panic device must have fire hardware certification. There are special labels on such fire doors which often say “Fire Door to be Equipped with Fire Exit Hardware.”
  • Some places also require panic hardware to have passed tests for resistance against natural disasters such as tornados and hurricanes. 

What Types of Doors Use Panic Bars?

Panic bars doors can either be single or double. The door push bars are used alongside delayed egress, controlled egress and free egress doors. On average, a building requires at least two push bar exit door. You can get commercial door push bar or commercial door panic bar to go with your panic bar locks. Door panic bars play an essential role in a panic exit. As a result, an exit panic device is mandatory on doors for life safety.

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What Types of Locks Can be Utilized with Panic Hardware?

When it comes to the types of locks that support exit devices, it can be installed on both fail-secure and fail-safe locks. Touchpad and crossbar style hardware works with an extensive range of locks that includes electrified locks, traditional mortise lock and automatic locks. If it has to be used with an electromagnetic lock, the panic device does not work mechanically. Instead, it is attached to a sensor or switch which unlatches the door when required. 

There is a slight difference in operation for exit devices installed on controlled egress and delayed egress locks. On a controlled egress lock, upon activation, the panic hardware initiates an alarm immediately. Once the alarm has sounded, any personnel can unlock the door. Controlled egress locks with the hardware are most common in healthcare buildings where disabled or sensitive patients require assistance to exit from the door. On the other hand, on a delayed egress lock, the panic device initiates an alarm which goes on for 15 seconds. Once the 15 seconds are up, the door is unlatched. 

Considering the Types of Emergency Exit Bars Available

The most common type of emergency exit panels is the horizontal ones. They are most popular with business owners and are seen around a lot. However, there also exist three other types of emergency exit bars. These include: 

Vertical Rod Panic Bars

Vertical Rod Panic Bars are similar in looks to horizontal panic bars. However, the difference between the two is that these panic bars operate their unlocking and locking mechanisms at the top and bottom of the door. They are made out of stainless steel.

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Concealed Vertical Rod Panic Bars

Concealed Vertical Rod Panic Bars go best with doors made out of aluminium. Their special rod helps to accommodate the hollow body of the aluminium frame. The internal conceal on these exit devices reduce the chances of intruders. 

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Panic Bar Levers

The panic bar levers are installed on the exterior side. They enable the people outside, mainly rescuers, access to the inside. It works as a backup entry method in situations of emergency.

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It is important to note that once all exit devices are installed on the doors and locks, you must put out signs and adequate instructions for use. In this way, responders will be able to find them at the right time and act accordingly. Panic hardware is extremely beneficial for safety. It is an affordable way to get out of a bad situation. The effectiveness of panic bars is testament to its safety.

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