In the early 1900s, a series of disasters led to loss of life for hundreds of persons trapped inside buildings with no easy way out. This caused authorities to enforce implementation of exit devices on public doors.

What are exit devices?

They go by different names; exit device, panic device, push bar or a crash bar. These devices are installed on the surface of a door. They provide easy access out of a room for persons inside a public or commercial building, while keeping the doors locked for persons outside.

How do they look like?

Different manufactures design their exit devices differently. The most common designs include the cross bar design and the touch bar design. The cross bar design has a bar that extends from the latches while the touch bar comes with a push-pad installed above the surface of the door itself. Despite their differences in designs, they all work the same.

How do they work?

When a person walks  through the door into a commercial building, the latch on the door lock automatically shuts the door, restricting access from outside to anyone without a key. To get out of the building, a person simply needs to push the exit device to release the latch, then the door swings open.

Types of exit devices

There are four basic types of exit devices; rim, mortise, surface vertical rods, and concealed exit devices. Rim exit devices are mounted on the surface of the interior side of the door. They could either have a cross or touch bar design which both work by a simple push to release the latch. Contractors recommend them on single doors.

Mortise exit devices are similar to rim ones, except for the fact that in this design, the latch is mounted inside the locking mechanism of the door. Surface vertical rods are designed for double doors. The vertical structure allows for double doors to be open and shut independently.

Concealed exit devices are just vertical rods but with two latches, one at the top and one at the bottom of the door. Both latches are released by a single push of the touch or cross bar. A Winnipeg commercial locksmith is able to audit your doors and recommend the right type of exit device to use.

Why are exit devices so important?

  •        Safety

A hazard inside your commercial building may cause panic. Exit devices come in handy by providing a hands-free solution to opening the doors. The term “crash bar” puts the idea into perspective. Even if a person crashes into the door during the panic exit, the impact on the touch or cross bar releases the latch, swinging the door open almost immediately.

  •        Saves life

The simple push to open mechanism used in exit devices greatly reduces the chances of a stampede by providing fast and easy access even in a chaotic situation. In the end, lives are saved.

  •        Easy access

Exit devices provide easy access out of an emergency situation. Anyone, including kids and persons with limited mobility such as those using wheelchairs can easily reach the bar and push open the door.

  •        The law

As a business owner, you have the responsibility of ensuring safety for your employees as well as customers. Exit devices save you and your business from lawsuits in the event of an emergency situation.

Exit devices are not only a necessity, but also a wise investment for your business as far as safety is concerned.