A Comprehensive Guide to Panic Hardware

Have you ever thought about what stands between safety and possible chaos in busy places, like the shopping mall, for instance? When it comes to building safety and emergency preparedness, panic hardware stands as an indispensable component. Also called “exit device,” this hero of the hour keeps many places safe by ensuring a smooth way out in an emergency. Many businesses do not consider them the most important part of their security system. Yet, knowing what they do is important for anyone who wants to stay safe during an emergency.  

This in-depth guide by Universal Best Locksmith will shed light on the world of panic hardware. There are many important reasons to have them on commercial doors, and there are many types to choose from. If ensuring the safety and security of your commercial space is on your priority list, this is one read you should not miss. Dive in and empower yourself by learning more about this silent guard of lives and properties.

Why Panic Hardware Is Important for Building Safety?

It is hard to stress enough how important panic door hardware is for keeping buildings safe. You probably do not pay much attention to such a thing, but it is useful in life-and-death situations. A panic device saves the day when time is of the essence, and people must leave fast, whether in an office, a mall, or a theater. At the same time, it keeps safety standards high and lowers the chance of stampedes or blockages at exits. To save lives, property owners and managers must know and understand how important panic hardware is.

The Different Types of Panic Hardware

Different types of panic hardware

Rim Panic Device

Think of a door you have pushed to exit. There is usually a rim panic device placed on the inside of the door. When pressed, it spans almost the entire door width and releases the latch at the top edge. It is easy to spot a rim panic device because it usually has a horizontal bar you push to activate.

Mortise Panic Device

This type of panic device is incorporated into the mortise lock on a door. If you push this device’s bar, it connects directly with the mortise lock’s key, which opens the door.

Vertical Rod Panic Device

Think of a door with rods going up, down, and across from a center push bar. When you push this bar, the rods retract from the top frame and floor, which opens the door. These are quite common on double doors.

Concealed Vertical Rod Panic Device

Like the vertical rod device, this one hides the rods inside the door. It gives the door a cleaner look because the rods are invisible. But it works the same way as the other types. When you push the center bar, it pulls back from the top frame and floor.

Cable Panic Device

Instead of standard mechanical connections, this uses cables to engage the latching mechanism. After pressing the bar, the cables pull the latch open. People often choose this type because it looks better and works more smoothly than others.

Crossbar Panic Device

Picture a door with a slender bar across the top, usually about halfway up. When you push this bar, the latch opens. It is less noticeable than the full-width bars of rim devices. That makes it a popular choice in places that care about looks without sacrificing safety.

There are different panic hardware designs available to fit specific doors and environments. While their appearances and mechanisms might vary, they all serve the same vital purpose: ensuring safe, quick exits during emergencies.

A Glimpse Into the Panic Hardware Installation

A locksmith installing a panic hardware

Installing panic hardware is a crucial step in ensuring a door is prepared for emergencies. Here is a breakdown of the process to give you a clear understanding:

Choose the Right Panic Door Hardware

Before anything else, select the best panic hardware for your door type and security needs. Remember, there are different devices for different door sizes and functionalities.

Gather Your Tools

Assemble tools like a drill, screwdriver, tape measure, pencil, and the mounting hardware that comes with your panic hardware package.

Measure and Mark

Using the tape measure, determine the ideal height for the device (usually about 40 inches from the floor). Mark the drilling points according to the manufacturer’s template provided.

Drill Pilot Holes

Once you have marked your points, drill small pilot holes. It will ensure that screws go in straight and secure.

Attach the Device

Place the panic hardware over the pilot holes. With a screwdriver or drill, fasten the device securely onto the door. Make sure it is level and aligned properly.

Install Strike Plate

On the door frame, install the strike plate (the metal plate the door latch will engage with). It is where the door will “catch” and stay closed when not in use.

Test the Mechanism

Once everything is securely in place, push the panic bar or device, and the door should open smoothly. When closed, the latch should fit into the strike plate. This step ensures the installation is successful.

Make Adjustments if Necessary

Make any necessary changes if the door is not latching or the bar is not releasing as it should. It could entail realigning the device or tightening/loosening certain parts.

Safety Check

Ensure there are no obstructions that might hinder the function of the panic hardware. Clear any nearby obstacles, and ensure the path of egress is unblocked.

Final Test

Once installed, open and close the door a few times to see if it works properly and reliably.

By following these steps, you can be sure that the door does not just have panic hardware fitted. You know it also works well and is safe—a door ready to provide swift exits in an emergency.

Commercial Locksmith Near Me

Do you know if your building is truly prepared for emergencies? Ensuring safety is paramount, and having the right panic hardware is a critical part of that. But it is not just about having panic hardware; it is about ensuring its proper installation. If you are a business owner in North Hollywood, CA, do not leave things to chance. Trust the experts at Universal Best Locksmith. With our top-tier commercial locksmith services, we guarantee the impeccable fitting and functioning of your panic bar hardware. Elevate your building’s safety today and give your occupants the peace of mind they deserve. Call us to request a quote.