Panic bars, also known as crash bars or exit devices, are a common feature of commercial buildings. They provide a quick and easy way for people to exit a building in case of an emergency, such as a fire or other hazardous situation. But what about situations where the doors need to be locked for security reasons? Can panic bars be locked?
Regulations on Locking Panic Bars
The answer to whether or not panic bars can be locked is not a simple one. The truth is that there are regulations in place that govern the use of panic bars and dictate when and how they can be locked.
In general, panic bars must be able to be opened from the inside without the use of a key or special knowledge. This is to ensure that people can quickly and easily exit the building in an emergency. However, there are certain situations where it may be necessary to lock the doors for security purposes. For example, a retail store may need to lock the doors outside of business hours to prevent theft or vandalism.
In these cases, it is possible to install a panic bar with a lock. However, there are strict regulations that govern the use of locking panic bars. According to the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA), the use of locking panic bars is only permitted under the following conditions:
- The lock must be located on the egress side of the door (i.e., the side facing the direction of exit).
- The lock must not require the use of a key or any special knowledge to open from the inside.
- The lock must not require more than one operation to release the latch.
- The door must still be able to be opened from the outside without the use of a key or special knowledge.
- The locking device must be labeled with a sign that reads "This door to remain unlocked during business hours" or similar wording.
It is important to note that these regulations apply specifically to locking panic bars. There are other types of exit devices, such as electric strikes or magnetic locks, that are designed to be locked and unlocked using a key or special knowledge. These devices are subject to their own regulations and must be installed and maintained properly to ensure safety and compliance.
Choosing the Right Panic Bar
If you are considering installing panic bars in your building, it is important to choose the right type for your needs. If you anticipate needing to lock the doors for security reasons, it is crucial to select a panic bar that is designed for this purpose and meets all applicable regulations.
At Automatic Door and Hardware, we offer a wide range of panic bars and other exit devices to meet the needs of any commercial building. Our products are designed and manufactured to the highest standards of quality and safety, and we
Commercial door panic bars and exit device hardware are available at www.autodoorandhardware.com.