All The Information You Need To Know About Panic/Push bar emergency exit devices. Which One To Buy, Cost, Reviews & More.
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Push bars, also known as panic bars or emergency exit devices for doors are products that are being used in buildings, offices are other rooms doors that are required to have an escape route with a fast, easy and effective escape route in case of an emergency such as fire.
Push bars exit devise can be installed on single doors, double doors, wood doors etc.
In addition, they can be combined with an alarm feature, which is required most of the time by the fire department.
Moreover, most of them can have a key override and/or additional lever handle installed with them for easy access from the outside.
Depending on your needs, we have gathered all the information you need.
How to choose the right Push bar / Panic bar/ exit device? Things to consider before buying a Push bar.
- First, estimate what is your budget. Keep in mind that push bar is recommended to be bought from a professional locksmith which may result and higher price. Therefore, try to calculate the total price, including installation by the locksmith, which will probably be necessary.
- Second, figure out what level of security you really need for your business or required by law. Push bars and emergency exit devices vary significantly in price and quality. In this case, it would be wise to choose a reliable brand like Detex, Falcon etc.
- Third, think about the lock that goes with the push bar or handles. Most often it will be combined with a rim cylinder and a lever handle. Therefore, consider that when calculating your budget.
- Push bar and emergency exit devices are relatively complicated to install. It requires experience, and not all locksmith are capable of that. Make sure you choose a locksmith that has experience with exit devices.
- Finally, quality. Most often more expansive doesn’t mean better. In the exit push bar and exit devices products, it more often true than not.
What type of push bar are available? Can you explain the differences, pros, and cons of each type?
Choosing the right push bar and exit device for your office/ building can be a complicated task. Therefore, we gathered the information mention below from our locksmiths’ professionals, who installed many of them on different doors and business.
Most chances you will need to install one of the two exit devices mention below, as instructed by the fire department:
- Only Panic bar – no additional features or security features are required.
- Panic bar with a key and lever handle, mortise or rim cylinder to operate from both sides.s
Note: Alarm can be combined with each option above.
Push bar only:
The most common type of lever handle, mostly for office doors.
This type of push bar is installed on the inside of the door, without a key or handle from the outside and therefore the door can only be open from the inside.
In addition, this type of push bar is the most basic one, and most chances that you will need an additional key and/or handle to operate it as well. We highly recommend verifying with the inspector if this is sufficient.
What are the pros and cons of push bar only?
- No lock, No Lever handle – Cheaper and overall easier to install and maintain.
- One way operation – installing a push bar on the inside only can be a problem in case something is wrong with it. Without being able to unlock the door from the outside, you may face an unnecessary problem.
- For most business Installing only push bar is not a practical solution. Most chances you will need to adjust this setup one day, which may cause additional fees and overall cost.
- Convenience – like every other door, it would be more convenient and easier to be able to operate it from both sides.
Panic bar with a mortise or rim cylinder and a handle:
The most common type of exit device is a push bar combined with a door knob or handle to operate from the outside of the building.
This type of push bar is installed on the inside of the door, and a lock on the outside, which basically can be opened from both sides.
In addition, most chances this would be the right setup for most buildings and doors as it gives you more flexibility and options to operate.
What are the pros and cons of push bar exit device combined with a lock?
- Flexibility – easier to operate and maintain because you can open the door from both sides.
- More reliable – Because the door can be opened from both side, it is more reliable, and problems can be fixed more easily.
- Overall cost – Installing exit devices is a relatively expensive process. Therefore, any future changes can cost even more. Install panic bar with a lock from the outside is the ultimate and best solution for most businesses.
- Access control – This type of exit device with the lock can be used as an access point for employees or suppliers. In addition, most business owners install a keypad on the outside and provide different people with different codes so they can have a record of who got in and when.
- Cost – The cost of installing addition lock is higher. Not only because of the lock, which probably will be grade 1 or 2, but also the labor.
- Some business owner sees this option as an extra that is not necessary. Which may be true if you are not required by law to have a lock from the outside. Nonetheless, we highly recommend installing a lock.
- Like different setups which require a combination of locks and devices, the more locks involved the more chances something may go wrong in the future. However, if you choose the right lock, backed up by a professional locksmith, this shouldn’t be a problem.
Panic/Push Bars – Review
Detex Alarm Panic Exit Control Lock
Price: $160-$320, depends on the type of panic bar
Availability – Very common
Security – 3 out of 5
Can be installed on variety of doors – Yes
Detex panic bar is the most common panic bar in the U.S.
Detex has a huge variety of panic bars and exit devices for the door, double doors, heavy door and more.
This type of push bar comes with a built-in alarm, and you can get it as a short or long bar, with or without lock installed on the outside.
Detex is not the cheapest choice for exit devices, but it is very reliable, durable and overall is the number one choice for those who want a piece of mind in the long run.
Yale Panic bar Grade 2 Exit device
Price: $140-$200, depends on the type of panic bar
Availability – Common
Security – 3 out of 5
Can be installed on a variety of doors – Yes
Yale panic bar is also a common exit device, and it’s cheaper than most panic bars while providing a good solution.
Yale panic bar is a grade 2 exit device, that can be fitted with a variety of door. In addition, it can be combined with a lever on the outside and an alarm.
Yale products are more common for residential and commercial locks and less for exit devices which may be the reason for the cheaper price. Nonetheless, this push bar provides an excellent solution and a reasonable price.