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Emergency & Panic devices

Emergency exit devices are essential for any commercial or public space, but you might be wondering what the installation process involves. How can you know what kind of panic bar system is right for your doors, what brands are most reliable, and how your locksmith will go about installing and testing your system?

Advanced Lock and key Serving the greater Akron and Cleveland area and can help you with all your emergency devices needs for your business.

It’s not everyday that you install an emergency exit system in your space. Luckily, Advanced lock and key in Akron and Cleveland knows exactly how to keep your setting and everyone in it safe. This article will give you a better understanding of what goes into a reliable emergency system so that you know what to expect when you call your locksmith.

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What is the difference between a panic bar and a fire exit device?

When it comes to emergency exit devices, some are designed only to allow for people to leave a space quickly and efficiently. These are called panic bars.

Fire exit doors allow people to open the door quickly in the case of an emergency, as well, but they also comply with fire safety regulations.

Which one is right for you will depend on the regulations for your space. Your locksmith can help you better understand your local legal codes so that you can decide whether you need a panic door or fire door.

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What does a panic bar do?

Panic bars are spring-loaded devices on doors that allow occupants to quickly leave a room or building without having to turn a handle or unlock the door. Typically, these kinds of locks can be activated so that the door is locked from the outside but can be opened from the inside. Or, they can be unlocked from both sides of the door.

Panic bar hardware can be installed on interior doors; whereas emergency exit doors must provide a safe exit to the exterior of the building.

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What does an emergency exit device do?

Like a panic bar, the emergency exit device on a fire door allows someone to open the door quickly with only a gentle push. But they tend to differ from panic bars in that they are connected to an alarm system. They are also mounted onto doors that meet emergency exit requirements.

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What are some of the requirements for panic bars and emergency exit devices?

There are some special requirements that exit devices need to meet in order to comply with fire safety and emergency preparedness regulations, such as:

  • A touchpad or crash bar that is strategically placed so that the door swings open easily.
  • A mounting height that meets accommodation requirements, typically between 34 and 48 inches from the panic bar to the bottom of the door.
  • A release pressure of less than 15 pounds of force.
  • No other locking capabilities on the door that would prevent the door from being pushed open in an emergency.
  • Doors that are emergency exits must have proper labeling with instructions on how to open the door and whether an alarm will sound.


These are general requirements for emergency exit devices in businesses, but it’s important that you familiarize yourself with your local regulations so that your safety system is up-to-code for your area.

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Choosing the right emergency exit device

While every step in installing a panic bar system is important for a building’s safety, choosing a dependable, trusted device will ensure that you’re starting off on the right foot. At the very least, you’ll need to choose a panic bar and emergency system that complies with the building and fire codes in your area. But, you can make your space even safer by choosing brands that exceed these codes.

Here are a few of the best brands for emergency exit devices:

  • Detex is one of the most well-recognized names in emergency exit hardware and they offer both basic panic bars as well as more sophisticated hardware for fire doors.
  • Taco makes a range of different kinds of locks, and their panic bar and emergency exit doors are some of the most popular.
  • Yale is another well-recognized brand that offers a range of exit devices, including panic bars and fire safety exit devices.


If you’re not sure of the best emergency exit devices on the market, your locksmith can recommend one that fits your needs and your budget.

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What kind of door do you need to install an emergency exit device?

Another difference between panic doors and emergency exit doors is that panic doors don’t necessarily have to meet fire safety standards. Panic bars, in other words, can be installed on aluminum or wood doors.

Emergency exits that are fire doors, on the other hand, are fire-tested in a closed setting. Doors that meet fire safety regulations must be able to prevent fire and smoke from spreading into adjoining rooms and passageways. As such, you’ll likely need to purchase a new door if you’re installing a fire emergency exit device.

In both cases, doors with emergency exit hardware must be fitted to a door of a particular size. Exactly how large the door must be is determined by the maximum occupancy of the space. There must be a minimum of 32 inches of clearance when the door is open and a minimum of 80 inches of height, but again, this will depend on the occupancy limit within the space.

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What are the internal mechanisms of an emergency exit device?

If you own or work in a business setting, you want to know that your emergency exit system not only keeps people safe during an emergency, but also provides you with reliable protection when not in use.

When it comes to fire doors, the device uses a wired locking device in which the latch and deadbolt are set until the crash bar or touchpad is activated. At this time, the door will unlatch and, if the system is connected to an alarm system, trigger an additional emergency system.

Panic bars may or may not be wired to an electrical system and can be activated or deactivated with the use of an allen key.

As you start searching for emergency exit devices, you might notice that there are a few different configurations. Here are the most common types of push bars:

What is delayed egress and controlled egress?

In some settings, it’s appropriate for the safety of occupants, such as in schools or nursing facilities, for the emergency exit doors to remain locked for a short amount of time before releasing in order to prevent escape or abduction.

In delayed egress emergency devices, the door will unlock after 15 or 30 seconds. In a controlled egress emergency device, the lock may need to be manually unlocked, such as by a staff member or security personnel.

As you’ve probably guessed, not all spaces are eligible for delayed or controlled egress. You’ll need to check with your local regulations to see whether this type of unlatching system is right for your space.

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What is the installation process for a panic door or fire door?

In some cases, such as with a panic bar, you may be able to install the emergency device on your own. It can be done with measuring tape and a drill. But if you want to make sure it’s done right and when it comes to emergency exit doors, it’s best to leave it to the pros who are most familiar with the strict requirements you’ll need to meet in order to pass inspection. Here’s a rundown of how your local locksmith will install your emergency exit device:

  • Get a better understanding of the requirements of your building. It’s imperative that your locksmith installs the right emergency exit device for your building’s requirements. So they may ask you a few questions to help you choose the right equipment for your setting.
  • Install the emergency exit device according to local code. Our team of trained professionals will arrive with the expertise and tools needed to get the job done in a timely manner. Because emergency exit doors are so crucial to opening a new business or keeping your existing space up to code, we will install your hardware as quickly as possible.
  • Test the device for compliance. If you’re installing an emergency door that must be fire safety compliant, it will need to pass inspection by a professional fire inspector. Once your locksmith is finished installing the emergency device, they’ll test it so that there are no surprises on inspection day!
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What should you do if you have a problem with your emergency exit device?

Because the safety of your occupants is at risk when your emergency exit devices aren’t working properly, you’ll want to get them fixed as soon as possible. Put a call into your trusted Akron and Cleveland locksmith so that we can get your emergency exit doors working again in no time.

Why choose us ?

With over 20 years of experience, our trusted crew will assist you in any problem you may have quickly and efficiently. Our main goal is to give you service as fast as possible, and let you go back to your everyday routine. 

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