Fire Exit Hardware And Panic Bars For Doors
Commercial buildings and buildings that have large amounts of public traffic & must meet specific qualifications. This includes proper fire exit hardware and panic bars for doors. It’s essential that people can quickly and safely exit a building in the event of an emergency. The appropriate exit device for your building will vary based on your local code requirements and your own unique needs. Typically, panic hardware consists of a door-latching assembly that includes an activating device. In most cases, the activating device is just a push pad or a horizontal bar. This allows the door to unlatch when appropriate force is applied. Legally, there are specific requirements that both panic bars and fire exit hardware must meet. You should read on to learn more about these requirements.
The Hardware Requirements For Panic Bars For Doors
The maximum unlatching force for panic bar hardware cannot exceed 15 pounds. It must be possible to open the door without special knowledge or excess effort. The activating section of a device must cover at least half of a door’s width. If exit doors are balanced, it’s required for the activating device to fall into the push-pad category. It can’t extend further than half of the width of the door leaf on the latch side. The activation device needs to be mounted at a height below 48 inches and above 34 inches over the floor.
Different Devices Have Their Own Functions
It’s important to remember that panic and fire exit hardware are different varieties of exit devices. The clearest difference is that there isn’t any mechanical dogging on fire exit devices. These devices may be secured to doors using different methods, and they may have different types of internal parts.
1. Panic Bars Hardware
Panic hardware describes an exit device used on a door that isn’t designed to be used as a fire door. It allows latches to be retracted and held, which creates push-pull functionality. It’s created to give the occupants of a building a fast and easy way to exit in an emergency. Because they’re durable and simple to use, it’s common to see this hardware installed on doors even when it’s not a code requirement.
2. Fire Exit Hardware
Fire exit hardware is also panic hardware, but it’s specifically designed to be used on fire doors. It’s a requirement that these doors are clearly labeled as a fire exit. Control or serial numbers must appear on the doors, along with the words “Fire Exit Hardware” and “Listed.” These exit devices can be used in the case of a fire or in other emergency evacuation situations. This type of hardware has to feature positive latching. It cannot include any sort of mechanical dogging. Fire doors have to be both positively latched and closed in order to keep smoke and fire from spreading throughout a building. They should close automatically and self-latch after every use.