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 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 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.