November 2012 -

Panic Bars and Exit Devices

Panic bars and exit devices are of great importance as they are regarded as crucial safety and security devices. Panic bars are perfectly designed to allow easy and safe exit or evacuation in the event of fire or any other similar hazard. It is nothing but a door component that is designed to allow safe, fast and free exit from a doorway. They are commonly found on the exit doors of theaters, schools, hotels or large arena complexes. Panic bars and exit devices are hence considered as important safety requirements of largely occupied buildings.

Need for these devices and how they operate:

The main purpose of this device is to facilitate safe and quick escape with least effort and without prior knowledge of operating the device. Hence this device is a crucial safety requirement where there is a large gathering of people and the possibility of crowd crush is more. These devices are metal bars placed horizontally on the doors that open outwards. To ensure that optimal safety and security measures are maintained these panic bars should be placed on the doors without fail. This door hardware allows the room to be locked from outside. However they ensure exit from the inner side in case of emergency. When the door is pushed the bar unlatches the door making emergency exit possible. The specialty of this device is that it can be opened by anyone without prior knowledge of the device. However they should be installed properly to ensure that they function perfectly well during times of emergency. Another important aspect of this device is that it can be easily operated by a handicapped or a disabled person too.

Features of panic bars and exit devices:

These devices are built and constructed in such a way that they guarantee utmost life safety and security features. They are durable, tough and sturdy and ensures maintenance free service for many years. Besides being tough a slight pressure on the door can detach the bar permitting immediate free exit. The interior parts are made of high quality rust proof material to avoid corrosion. Moreover they are simple and easy to install and requires very minimal door preparatory work. Another added feature of this panic bar is the ability to ‘dog down’. This feature facilitates the door to be put in an unlocked mode by actually depressing the device and retracting the lock. This permits the door to be opened by either pulling or pushing the door without touching the panic bar.

Where panic bars are used:

Panic bars are requested by law to be fitted on all fire and emergency exits. The crash bar or panic bar that is fitted on a fire proof door should be capable of resisting high temperatures and must be able to open freely every time the door closes. However panic bars that are fitted on non-fire rated doors must be facilitated with a dog down key so that when it is in an unlocked mode it can be pulled or pushed on the door and not on the panic device.These devices are also found in schools, large restaurants, decorative fence gates, large outdoor venues, theaters, retail complexes, government buildings and sports stadiums.
Types of panic bars and exit devices:

  1. The rim type is devised and built in such a way that they can be perfectly installed on the inside surface of any door. They are the perfect choice for relatively small buildings. They are simple to fit and affordable too.
  2. The mortise type is best suited for medium sized buildings like schools and hospitals. Though constructed in a simple manner they are durable and sturdy in nature.
  3. The surface and concealed exit devices are an ideal choice for large sized buildings where safety measures are of major concern.

All the above three types of panic bars and exit devices are available with alarms (Detex) fitted to them for added security, which eliminates possibility of theft and unauthorized entry.

Panic bars and exit devices are essential door components in emergency situations. Get them installed professionally and make sure that they comply with the federal rules and regulations. Ensure that they are maintained properly so that they function correctly in times of crisis.