Exit devices, also known as panic bars or push bars, are horizontal bars on commercial doors that allow for easy unlocking and exit from a building. You’ve probably used or seen one, as they are standard in many buildings today. There are several different types of exit devices and alarms as they can serve multiple purposes and be used for various types of buildings. In this post we’ll reiterate the importance of exit devices by going over their various different uses and applications.
Comply with Codes and Laws
Typically, any building in which 50 or more people may gather or assemble is required to have exit devices, per legal and building codes. This is what makes exit devices so important.
One of the chief reasons that exit devices are required by law is because they equip a building for emergencies. Exit devices make it so that a door can be used without much thought — just push and go. This is particularly important in emergency situations in which a large group of people may be panicking and rushing to get out of a building. Since exit devices are required to be at least half the width of the door, pushing against the door by a single person or group of people will cause the door to open.
One particular emergency that exit devices are catered to is a fire. Not only does an exit device make it easy to get out of a building quickly, but fire rated exit devices will also work to seal off and separate areas of a building to prevent a fire from spreading. Since these doors only open from the inside, re-entry into a building is also sealed off. In fire situations, this helps prevent backdraft caused by the introduction of oxygen into the fire, which can happen if a door is opened or a window is broken.
Exit devices can be used to direct the outgoing traffic for a building. For example, maybe your employees continually go out the back door because it’s closer to their cars, but the building your company rents requires front entry and exit only. This is a way to make sure your employees help your company to stay within your building’s compliance.
Who or what’s exiting a building is sometimes just as (or even more) important than who or what’s entering it. Exit devices that include an alarm system are a great way to prevent theft—whether via shoplifters or employee theft, shoplifting, or people leaving the building who shouldn’t be, such as in childcare centers, nursing homes, or Alzheimer’s centers. By attaching an alarm to an exit device, you will be alerted anytime someone attempts to leave the building through an unauthorized or unmonitored exit.
Keep People Safe
Another scenario for unwanted exits is that of care centers such as daycares, nursing homes, or Alzheimer’s centers. By attaching an alarm to an exit device, you will be alerted anytime someone attempts to leave the building through an unauthorized or unmonitored exit.
Exit devices also have some more simple uses, such as creating large openings. This is useful for buildings that have high capacity traffic such as concert halls, or that see a lot of large items coming through, such as hospital beds or heavy duty equipment.
While there are many considerations when choosing an exit device for your building, the good news is that they’re an affordable way to add an extra layer of security and safety while complying with building codes and regulations.