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Panic Devices or Fire Devices? Which One Should You Invest In?

Any building or infrastructure is guided by certain standards that are set by the local government. This is to ensure the quality of the building, as well as the safety of the people who will be using the building. Without a clear and effective safety plan for emergencies, employees and residents of such structures will be in danger of the inability to exit easily whenever there is a calamity, a disaster, or any unfortunate event that may take place.
Remember the 9/11 terrorist attacks? That was a very horrible sight of people running for their lives, some even jumping out of the building due to panic. Almost 3000 people died during the attack, and millions were affected afterwards. That particular event shook the whole world and paved the way for another series of attacks in retaliation to the terrorists’ inhumanity. There is no way we can control such things from happening again, or anything similar, that is. In reality, the only thing we can do is prepare for the worst, and equip ourselves with the best and most trusted devices that will give us better chances of surviving such unwanted occurrences.
And while almost everyone is concerned about their safety, building managers are sometimes confused as to which safety devices they should invest in—panic devices or fire devices? There are plenty of equipment that can be used to protect residents and dwellers of infrastructures, big and small, private and commercial. However, not everything that is advertised is actually good, durable, and good for long term use. Moreover, they may not always be good for your finances. One of the most confusing decisions that you will have to make is whether you should install panic devices or fire devices for emergencies. BurbankLocksmith.org tells you the differences.

What are panic devices?

panic devicePanic devices are required to be installed on doors that provide easy egress to people in places where high volume of traffic is normally expected. These places include schools, assembly areas, and dangerous habitations. Panic devices are a type of hardware that involves a hand bar with a size that is at least half of the door width. Otherwise, the panic device will not pass standards set by the UL 305, known as the Panic Hardware test standard.
Panic devices are now available in different models, but technically work using the same mechanism—allowing for easy opening of the door by applying force on the crossbar or touchpad. The same code requires a maximum of 15 pounds in force to be able to open the door.
The main difference that sets panic devices apart from fire doors is the dogging feature, which can be mechanical or electrical, depending on the type of the device. This feature enables you to hold the latch in a retracted position, so that people can continuously enter and exit the premises without constantly pushing the touchpad. As a result, your device is spared from quick wear and tear.

What are Fire Devices?

fire exitFire devices, also known as fire exit hardware, are used for fire doors under particular standards set by the UL 10C – Positive Pressure Fire Tests of Door Assemblies. Fire devices are to be installed with both panic and fire labels.
They do not have the mechanical dogging feature, since fire doors are supposed to lock automatically whenever the door closes. This is to make sure that, in the event of pressurized air from fire, the door will be closed and will prevent it from spreading to the other side. Fire devices, however, can be retracted using electric latch dogging systems that are linked to the fire alarm system. Others use hold-open door closers to keep them open when needed.
Most often than not, fire devices are not installed on the exterior egress ways of a premise, since they are often locked and secured from outside intruders.
Which one to choose?
Panic and fire devices are equally important and serve different purposes. While the best way to ensure safety is to install both on strategic doors, one can also choose one over the other at a sooner time, when the budget does not allow for both. Panic devices should be chosen, at this point in time, since they are focused on providing easy exit ways for people in the premises. Saving the entire building from fire using fire devices can come thereafter.

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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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All You Need To Know About Panic Bars

panic bar side door viewA panic bar is a device installed in doors which aids in unlocking the door in case of an emergency. It is also referred as crash bars, exit device, panic device or a push bar. This device consist a spring-loaded metal bar fixed to the inside of an outward-opening doors horizontally. The device has a lever that when it is under pressure the door unlatches allowing people to evacuate a building as fast as possible. Panic doors are part of safety regulations in any building in fact it is a legal requirement especially in buildings were there are many occupants.

We teamed with the push bar professionals over at arvadalocksmith.net to create this comprehensive article on panic bar devices.

There is some history behind the invention of panic bars. The Victoria hall disaster in Sunderland, England in the year 1883 where 180children lost their lives because the door could not open from the inside. This lead to the enforcement of minimum safety standards of a building by the British government. The requirement was that there must be a minimum number of doors opening outward and those could be easily opened from the inside, installed in all venues. It is sad that these requirement were not globally implement which lead to a tragedy in 1903, Iroquois theater fire in Chicago where many people lost their lives. This tragedy would have been prevented if only the iron gates would have opened from the inside.

Ever since, most countries have adopted building regulations that require a minimum number of emergence exists in any public building. This bars have been proven to save lives during building evacuations by preventing incidences of human stampedes. Panic bars fast-acting operation mechanism is efficient in allowing people to go through emergency exits without any speed reduction, this reduces the incidence of people suddenly clogging at the exits. The human traffic at the exits lead to stampedes because the people behind are not aware that the crowd in from have come across a door thus causing injuries. Panic bars are installed on doors required for emergence exists. This doors could be found in hazardous areas or where there are many occupants using that door.

Panic bars are safety measures in any building this is because they allow exits in case of an emergency regardless of the type of lock system. Some of these doors have an emergency alarm built in, in some the alarms sounds once the door is open when in other cases once the alarm sounds the door will open automatically. These are common in the fire doors. The best brands of panic bars should have the following features;

OSHA-logoOSHA requirements; the department Of Labor and Occupational-Safety and Healthy Administration requires a business premise to be equipped with emergency exits with panic-bars. All the panic doors must met all their requirements and most of all it should open from the inside with out the use of a key. Ensure that the hardware is accredited and certified by the American National Standards-Institute, this works as an insurance that the panic door have met all the requirements. Most certified companies are proud to let you know by displaying it in their packaging.

• Security system; it is good to know which security features come with the door. The doors security features should be ready to install and can work with which ever security system you have. Basically there are two types, where in one the alarm sound triggers the door to automatically open while in the other one the alarm sounds when the door is opened. It is advisable to choose one that works best for you and ask a professional to do the installation.

• The type of bars that is available; generally they are available in two styles, long bars or smaller lever-styled-handles. The handles are mostly used on the exterior but so far the bars are more popular. Make sure you get the correct measurements so as to know the size you want because panic bars come in different lengths and sizes.

• Ease of installation; can the door be self-installed or do you require a professional to do it? For those does that you do not want to connect to a security system you can install the bars yourself but if you want to tie the door with an alarm you will need a professional.

Lastly, all the doors should be clearly labeled as emergence exits to avoid false alarms.

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Exit Device 101: Narrow Stile

Narrow stile exit devices play a very important in modern properties. They are designed for use in narrow stile applications that include glass doors and aluminum frames. They come with a varying specifications depending on the manufacturer and the needs of a buyer. Currently, these devices are being used in various places such as public buildings, stores and resort hotels among other applications where narrow stile glass doors and aluminum framing are used. With many brands and models available in the current market, choosing the right device for you can be a challenging task. Nevertheless, this can be easy when you know what to consider to make the right choice.

When you go shopping for your narrow stile exit devices, consider durability of the device that you are going to purchase. The best devices should be manufactured in a way that ensures that they deliver maximum performance while lasting longer. They should be manufactured using quality materials and superior technology so that they can meet the needs of the buyer in a special way. Therefore, consider devices that have been tested by consumers before buying. In most cases, consumers write reviews about the products they buy. The best device should have positive reviews from buyers. Therefore, read reviews that consumers have written after buying different brands and models of exit devices before choosing the one to purchase.

You should also consider the design of the exit device that you purchase. A good device should have a compact configuration and attractive look. It should be designed in a way that ensures it deliver both aesthetic and functional value. In addition, it should fit in your application without complications. Whether you want to use it on aluminum or glass doors for schools, industrial plants, health care facilities and public institutions, it should fit without giving you complications. Nevertheless, make sure that the narrow stile exit devices that you buy are coated with the right materials to protect them from outdoor corrosion. Fird rated bars must also be factored in your purchasing decision if you have an exit device on an interior door. Consult with a local locksmith company to find out more.

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Installing, Repairing, and Replacing Exit Devices and Panic Bars with an Alarm

Door exit devices with alarm are designed and installed in commercial and other institutions to ensure safe exit during an emergency. They are designed in a way that ensures easy and quick motion. They usually have an loud siren or a monitoring device or even a combination of the two. They come with either a bar or a push paddle. Lock systems from many companies offer crash bar or push paddle hardware fitted with an alarm that sounds when the door is opened.

New Exit Device Installation

Currently, there are many door exit devices with alarm that can be installed in your residential or commercial property. A good locksmith will guide you on the specifications of the best device or hardware to use on your door. Therefore, look for a locksmith who is interested in ensuring safety of your property so that they can install the right device on your doors. They should also help in saving lives in the event of fire outbreak in a property. Basically, the best device should restrict access while at the same time providing egress. They have been used for many years in different applications. Modern devices have greatly evolved to include rail style that uses a mounted push pad.

There are three major door exit device hardware styles. These are the mortise lock, vertical rod and the rim. Majority of these devices can be installed on aluminum, hollow metal and wooden doors. They also come with different manufacturing elements depending on the company. It is important that you learn about different brands and models of these devices so that you can choose the right one for your doors. This can be a challenging task, contact East Valley Lock and Key a locksmith who you can trust to help with the planning and setup of your new hardware. Let us know what you looking for and we can guide you through the process. This way, you will get door exit devices with alarm that suit the needs of your property and guarantee it meets the proper fire codes and regulations in the Greater Phoenix Metro. We service the following cities Ahwatukee, Anthem, Apache Junction, Avondale, Black Canyon City, Buckeye, Cave Creek, Chandler, Fountain Hills, Gilbert, Glendale, Gold Canyon, Goodyear, Higley, Laveen, Litchfield Park, Maricopa, Mesa, North Phoenix, Paradise Valley, Peoria, Phoenix, Queen Creek, Scottsdale, San Tan Valley, Sun City, Sun City West, Sun Lakes, Surprise, Tempe, Tolleson, Wickenburg.

Common Exit Device Brands

  • Arrow
  • Cal Royal
  • Falcon
  • Corbin Ruswin
  • Detex
  • ANSI
  • Adams Rite
  • Jackson
  • Detex
  • Dorma
  • Monarch
  • Sargent
  • First Choice

Exit Device and Panic Bar Repair

Old exit devices that have not been properly maintained can have alarm problems, battery wiring separation, circuit board malfunctions or the alarm has stopped working completely. East Valley Lock and Key has a range of services to repair these issues, generally same day service is also available.

AZ Zip Codes Where our Coupon is Applicable

85001, 85002, 85003, 85004, 85005, 85006, 85007, 85008, 85009, 85010, 85011, 85012, 85013, 85014, 85015, 85016, 85017, 85018, 85019, 85020, 85021, 85022, 85023, 85024 85026, 85027, 85028, 85029, 85030, 85031, 85032, 85033, 85034, 85035, 85036, 85037, 85038, 85039, 85040, 85041, 85042, 85043, 85044, 85045, 85046, 85048, 85050, 85051, 85053, 85054, 85085, 85086, 85086, 85087, 85116, 85117, 85118, 85119, 85120, 85121, 85127, 85138, 85139, 85140, 85142, 85143, 85178, 85201, 85202, 85203, 85204, 85205, 85206, 85207, 85208, 85209, 85210, 85211, 85212, 85213, 85214, 85215, 85216, 85217, 85218, 85219, 85220, 85224, 85225, 85226, 85227, 85233, 85234, 85236, 85238, 85239, 85240, 85242, 85242, 85243, 85244, 85246, 85248, 85249, 85250, 85251, 85252, 85253, 85253, 85254, 85255, 85256, 85257, 85258, 85259, 85260, 85261, 85262, 85263, 85264, 85266, 85267, 85268, 85269, 85271, 85278, 85280, 85281, 85282, 85283, 85284, 85285, 85286, 85287, 85290, 85295, 85296, 85297, 85298, 85299, 85301, 85302, 85303, 85304, 85305, 85306, 85307, 85308, 85310, 85311, 85312, 85318, 85323, 85324, 85326, 85327, 85331, 85335, 85338, 85339, 85340, 85345, 85351, 85353, 85363, 85372, 85374, 85375, 85376, 85377, 85378, 85379, 85380, 85381, 85382, 85383, 85385, 85387, 85388, 85392, 85395, 85396, 85396, 85397, 85398

Types of Exit Devices we Service:

Push paddles, Touch Bars, Crash Bars, Delayed Egress, Automatic Door Closers, Rim Style Exit Devices, Mortise, Surface Vertical Rod, Concealed Vertical Rod, Mid Panel, UL Fire Rated for Interior Doors, and Narrow Stile for Glass Doors.

Visit EastValleyLockandKey.com for more information.

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Exit Device 101: Rim Style

Security has always been an issue for people entering a building or any kind of establishment. Even though buildings are generally safe, there are times that your safety as well as the property’s safety can be put into danger. Fortunately, exit devices are now made available to protect you when entering unsecured public buildings.

An exit device (crash/panic bars) is basically a hardware intended for door use, mainly to lock the door from the outside. Fundamentally, people inside the building can alternately exit without having to unlock the door.

The mechanism behind exit device is that you can free yourself from the building without having to use your hands. This device could be activated by applying strong body force, thus the term crash bar. Exit devices are beneficial for business and commercial building to ensure the safety and security of the employees while inside the building premises.

Rim Style Exit Devices

  • Rim style is one of the three styles available for exit devices. Panic bars that come in rim style are those that are secured on the inside exterior of the door.
  • When using a rim device, a single latch point can be observed. Using this kind of latch point, all the components are applied on a surface, thus making the application as well as the installation easier and more convenient.

Choosing Rim Style Exit Devices

  • Among the different styles available for exit devices, rim style is the most ideal for small businesses that are mostly crowded by people such as convenient stores, malls and strip malls.
  • Rim style devices are budget-friendly. Moreover, this style complies with general building codes, particularly the ANSI specifications.
  • When choosing this device, choose a product that is designed to withstand high impact abuse. Ensuring heavy commercial application guarantees that the device is durable enough for commercial or public buildings. Furthermore, choose exit devices that are designed to comply with the latest installation regulations of protective devices for commercial and public establishments.
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Panic Bar & Exit Device Coupon for Installations, Repair, and Replacements in the Phoenix Metropolitan Area

Do you Have a panic bar, crash bar or exit device that you need installed or serviced? Many buildings are not up to the most current fire code and need to be retrofitted to be fire compliant. East Valley Lock and Key offers quality exit device services to the greater Phoenix Arizona metro. They are BBB accredited and offer a 180 day service on all new hardware installations and a 90 days warranty on existing hardware repairs. They are offering a 5%-15% off coupon for Installation, Repair, replacement, retrofitting, and Diagnosis in the following AZ cities Tempe, Mesa, Chandler, Scottsdale, Queen Creek, Paradise Valley, Fountain Hills, Higley, Apache Junction, Cave Creek, Avondale, Anthem, Surprise, Sun City, Buckeye, Litchfield Park, Glendale, Maricopa, San Tan, Goodyear. They offer fee estimates on every locksmith service, call (480) 478-0157 to set up an appointment.

Exit Device Hardware Offered:

  • Delayed Egress
  • Dog Down
  • Mortise
  • Rim Style
  • Narrow Stile for Glass Doors
  • Alarm Type
  • Push Paddle
  • Concealed Vertical Rod
  • Automatic Door Closers
  • Fire Rated hardware is also available
  • and More!

Exit Device Brands

  • Arrow
  • Cal Royal
  • Corbin Ruswin
  • Detex
  • ANSI
  • Adams Rite
  • Jackson
  • Detex
  • Dorma
  • Monarch
  • Sargent
  • First Choice

 

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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.

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