Adding an emergency exit bar is an excellent safety feature as it bypasses door locks thereby providing you with an instant exit pathway in the event of an emergency. Panic/ emergency bars are designed to permit exit irrespective of the lock system installed in an emergency door. Commonly, these bars are installed on doors labeled “Fire Exit/Door”. Most of these bars come with an inbuilt alarm so that once the door is opened, an alarm is triggered. Depending on the type of bar you are using, there are some that are set in a way such that once the alarm is triggered, all the other emergency exits open automatically.
Whether you are shopping for an emergency exit bar for use at home or in your office, there are some shopping tips you need to consider for you to buy the best quality bars. These tips include:
Meeting the set safety requirements
Depending on where you live, there are some safety requirements for emergency exit bars put in place by the relevant authorities. Most of these requirements aim at ensuring that the bars are up to the mark as far as functionality and efficiency are concerned. For instance, in the USA, it is required that these bars can be opened by anyone from indoors without requiring a key. This is because of the reason that in most emergencies, there is usually very little time to get out to safety. The hardware in the bar should be certified and bear a mark of quality as a guarantee of the reliability of the bars.
Compatibility with security systems
Emergency exit bar hardware systems should be compatible with existing security systems in the doors that they are being installed on. These security systems include fire alarm systems and auto-lock security systems. The compatibility of bar hardware systems with other security systems is very important so that in the event of an emergency, neither of the systems fails due to one system overriding the other. An exit bar hardware that is not compatible with other security systems can cause a serious security problem in case the hardware fails to work during an emergency. You can end up remaining trapped in the house or office.
Type of bars
Emergency exit bars come in different dimensions and specifications with different features. The common types are long bar styles (common in large retailers like supermarkets and banking halls) and small lever bar styles (found in homes and small & medium sized offices). Before making any purchase of these bars, be sure to measure the size dimensions of your door so that you purchase a fitting bar.
Self installation- Can you install the bar you want to purchase on your own?
Unless you are experienced in handling emergency exit bars, then you will most likely need professional help in purchasing and installing these bars. Despite these bars not being complicated to install, you may need to hire an expert to install the bar for you especially if there are other security systems on the door. However, if there are no other systems in the door, then you can install the bars by yourself as you only require drilling in screws and reinforcing the bar to the door.
When shopping for the best emergency exit bars, it is important to ensure that you consider the cost of each type of bar. There are some bars that are very expensive while others are relatively affordable. While the best quality bars cost an upward of $300, there are other cheaper bars that cost as little as $100. When considering the cost of these bars, it is important to be very careful so that you do not settle for a low quality bar that will most likely be inefficient and unreliable.
Insurable emergency exit bars
Always ensure that the emergency exit bar you want to purchase is insurable. Such bars are a great choice in that in the event of any security breach due to the failure of the bar, you will receive compensation. However, insurance companies only insure the best quality bars as such bars are not only efficient but also their likelihood to fail is next to zero.
Tragedies such as the Colorado theater shootings and the tragedy at Sandy Hook Elementary could have been more fatal if there were no emergency exit bars installed on the doors. These bars provide a faster and more effective exit avenue for people to use in the event of an unexpected emergency such as a shooting. It is important to note that not all emergency situations require people to remain calm. Others like shootings require quick action as any delays can lead to death.