Learning the Basics of Exit Devices

An exit device is installed on the secure side of an out swinging door. These devices are designed to restrict access towards the inside while providing free egress. Exit devices were developed after several incidents of building fires in the United States that claimed hundreds of lives. Through the development of these devices, problems of being crushed against the door have significantly diminished. Such problem previously existed as people did not have the knowledge on how to open closed doors or they simply did not have the time to unlock and open the door, which resulted to accidents and injuries. The following is some useful information brought to you by the guys down at Diamondback lock and key in Chandler.

Traditional Exit Device

traditionalEarly exit devices were designed using a metal tube placed between two cases. The cases were placed on each side of the door. The first case is considered the active case. This comes with a latch bolt which would retract when the tube is pushed downward or forward. This would allow the door to swing open.

The traditional design of the exit device is continuously being offered by several manufacturers. However, with recent developments in the industry, this device has evolved over the past decade. In fact, exit devices now come with rail style mechanism that makes use of forward mounted push pad. A horizontal force applied to the pad will release the door.

The Three Types of Exit Devices

Today, there are three common types of exit devices. These are the rim, the mortise lock and the vertical rod.

Rim Exit Devices

The most common type is the rim exit device. This device is designed with a latching mechanism that is similar to rim locks. The rim locks and rim exit devices are mounted and placed on the secured side of the door. This type of exit device is considered a self contained door lock mechanism. Its latch is located at the center chassis or case. In addition, the latch of this type of exit device is surface mounted, which slides over the strike that is also mounted on the surface. This type also comes with a dead latching mechanism, which prevents that latch from being forcibly retracting. This prevents any unauthorized access.

Mortise Lock Exit Devices

mortiseThe mortise lock style on exit devices, on the other hand, is incorporated with a mortise lock without the deadbolt being mounted on its door pocket. For this style, the mortise lock is considered a part of the exit device. It is important to take note that a standard mortise lock is not designed to work as an exit device. The mechanism of this type of exit device allows the door to swing out whenever the push bar is pressed. When this happens, the spindle will rotate and retract the latch bolt, allowing the door to swing out. In addition, this device comes with an exterior trim which contains the lock cylinder. This device is often installed on the active leaf of a pair of doors.

Vertical Rod Exit Device

The vertical rod exit device is available in concealed versions. This device comes with a rod which connects the push pad to the bottom and top latches. This type of exit device can be configured as a top rod or top and bottom rod.

Installation Options

Most types of exit devices can actually be installed on wood, aluminum and hollow metal doors, provided that the stile is compatible with the device. However, there are also exit devices that are specifically created for aluminum doors that come with narrow stiles. This type of exit device comes with a narrow center chassis or case. This standard stile measures more than two inches wide while the narrow stile measures less than two inches wide.

An exit device can be installed with or without an exterior trim. There are varied trim choices to choose from. The trim types include keyed trim, pull handles, lever trim and electrified trim. In choosing the trim, it is important to take note that the stile choice will affect the dimensions of the exit device as well as the trim.

It is essential to take note of the basic information of exit devices before purchasing and installing one on your door. The choice of exit devices will depend on various factors like the type of door that you have as well as your door needs and preferences.

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