Panic Doors

Panic Bars

Panic bar door hardware covers a wide array of choices and can be confusing to determine which type is best for your application. We can help you find the right panic bar for the door you are trying to secure!

The following questions need to be answered in order to determine exactly what type of panic bar you need:

  • Is it a single or a double door?
  • What is the door made of? ( ie. wood, steel, hollow metal).
  • Is it an aluminum door with glass in it?
  • Is there any glass in the door?
  • What size is the door? The most common size door is 3 feet wide by 7 feet high. This is commonly referred to as a 3-0 x 7-0 door.
  • Where does the door open to?
  • Is it a labeled fire door? Typically a door that leads to the outside of a building is not labeled. If the door opens to an alley of some sort close to another building, the door may be a fire rated door, also known as a labeled door. If the door leads to an inside hallway or corridor it would require a fire rated device.

The final determination as to if you need a fire rated or non-fire rated panic bar is determined by your local fire marshal and building inspectors.

A fire rated exit device cannot be locked open at any time. It must always positively latch every time the door closes. The latch mechanism must also withstand higher temperatures that would occur during a fire and still remain latched. In order for a panic device to meet these standards it must be tested by Underwriters Laboratory in order to receive the UL listing.

A non-fire rated panic bar has what is known as a dog down feature. This allows the door to be put into an unlocked mode by depressing the device and retracting the latch. This is accomplished by inserting a special key (also known as a dog down key) and turning the key to secure the bar in an unlocked position. This allows the door to open by either pulling or pushing on the door without touching the panic bar. When the door needs to locked again, use the dog down key to release the bar and the door would then latch. When the bar is in this position, it would then be necessary to use a key on the outside of the door, or operate the bar on the inside.

Single doors use what is called a rim device which latches against the door frame approximately 40 inches up from the bottom of the door.

Single door applications can also be controlled from a remote location or card access system.
Double doors most often use what is called vertical rod exit bar. This provides latching at the top and bottom of the door. This allows each of the doors to work independently. When using a vertical rod device, either surface mounted vertical rods or concealed rods are available. If it is a new installation and the doors are not yet prepped, concealed rods can be used. If it is an existing door, surface mounted rods are more easily installed.

Wood and steel doors both use the same type of surface mounted lock hardware.

Gold Panic Bar

Aluminum doors with glass have different types of hardware and the specifications vary based on the width of the metal around the edge of the door. This is also known as the stile of the door.

Once you have determined what type of device you are going to install, some type of outside trim should be chosen to put on the door. A blank plate trim may be used if you only need to cover the existing holes in the door.

If access from the outside is needed, a pull with a cylinder to retract the latch can be used or a lever trim that can be locked or unlocked with a cylinder may be used.

The easiest way to purchase the correct panic hardware for the application is to talk with us. We are here to help you choose the right brand, the right grade and type of panic bar. It is always best to answer your questions by phone.