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Do I Need a Panic Bar?

Do I Need a Panic Bar?

If you own or manage a commercial building, you may be wondering if you need to install panic bars on your doors. Panic bars, also known as crash bars or exit devices, are designed to allow occupants to quickly and easily exit a building in the event of an emergency. In this article, we'll discuss the occupancy requirement for having a panic bar and the benefits of installing one.

Occupancy Requirement for Panic Bars

The International Building Code (IBC) mandates that panic hardware must be installed on all doors that are part of an exit route in buildings with an occupant load of 50 people or more. An exit route is defined as a continuous and unobstructed path of exit travel from any point within a building to a public way, which consists of three parts: the exit access, the exit, and the exit discharge. The occupant load is calculated based on the use and occupancy of the building, and it includes employees, residents, and visitors.

It's important to note that even if your building does not meet the occupancy requirement for panic bars, installing them can still be beneficial. Panic bars can improve building safety, increase security, and provide ease of access for occupants.

Benefits of Installing Panic Bars

Installing panic bars on your building's doors can provide numerous benefits, including:

  • Increased Safety: Panic bars provide a safe and easy means of exiting a building in the event of an emergency. They allow occupants to quickly and easily exit the building without fumbling with door knobs or locks, which can be especially important in situations where time is of the essence.
  • Code Compliance: As we mentioned earlier, panic bars are required by the IBC for buildings with an occupant load of 50 people or more. By installing panic bars, you can ensure that your building is up to code and avoid potential fines or penalties.
  • Convenience: Panic bars can make it easier for occupants to enter and exit your building. They can be especially useful for people with disabilities, who may have difficulty opening heavy doors or doors with traditional locks.
  • Security: Panic bars can help increase building security by preventing unauthorized access. They can also be used to control the flow of people in and out of your building, which can be especially important for high-traffic areas.


Whether you are required to install panic bars or not, they are a smart investment for any commercial building. Panic bars can improve building safety, increase security, and provide convenience for occupants. If you're unsure whether you need panic bars for your building or need help choosing the right type, contact Automatic Door and Hardware today. Our knowledgeable staff can help you choose the right panic bar for your needs and provide expert installation advice.

Commercial door panic bars and exit device hardware are available at www.autodoorandhardware.com.

Disclaimer: The material in this article has no regard to the specific installation, building code requirements, law requirements, authority having jurisdiction, local or state requirements, or any particular needs of any viewer. This article is presented solely for informational and entertainment purposes and is not to be construed as a recommendation or solicitation. Nor should any of its content be taken as advice. Automatic Door and Hardware is not an installation advisor. The views expressed in this article are completely speculative opinions and do not guarantee any specific result. Commercial doors, hardware, and automatic door parts should only be worked on by trained, qualified, and licensed professionals; failure to do so can result in danger. Any opinions expressed in this article are subject to change without notice. Automatic Door and Hardware is not under any obligation to update or keep current the information contained herein. Automatic Door and Hardware may have an interest in the securities and commodities of any entities referred to in this material. Automatic Door and Hardware accepts no liability whatsoever for any loss or damage of any kind arising out of the use of all or any part of this material. Automatic Door and Hardware recommends that you consult with a licensed and qualified professional before making any modifications or repairs to commercial doors, automatic doors, or hardware components of those doors. The content covered in this article is NOT to be considered as advice. I’m NOT an adviser. These are only my own personal and speculative opinions, ideas, theories, hypotheses, charts, technical analysis, insights, and curated news publications. The technical analysis in this article is completely speculative and does NOT guarantee any specific result. The technical analysis in this article has NO proven rate of accuracy. Do NOT repair or modify your doors and/or hardware based upon the analysis presented in this article. Always do your own research and only use trained and licensed professionals for any repairs or modifications. I will NOT be held liable for any of your personal repairs or modifications or any losses/damages that you may incur if you do repair or modify your doors and/or hardware. Information provided through this article is provided to you as is without any express representations or warranties of any kind, and we make no representation or warranty that this article (or any information provided in response to your inquiry), will be accurate, complete, or error-free. You agree that you must evaluate all information and responses, and that you bear all risks associated with, the use of this article, including any reliance on the accuracy, completeness, or usefulness of any information or materials made available through this article. This article is purely for entertainment purposes only!

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