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Home > Door Hardware > Panic Bar Exit Devices > Panic Bar Exit Device Help Center > What is the Difference Between Panic Bar and Exit Device?

What is the Difference Between Panic Bar and Exit Device?

What is the Difference Between Panic Bar and Exit Device?

When it comes to commercial doors and hardware, there are many terms that are often used interchangeably. Two of these terms are panic bar and exit device. While they may seem like the same thing, there are actually some key differences between the two.

Panic Bars

A panic bar, also known as a crash bar or push bar, is a type of door hardware that is designed to allow for easy and quick exit in the event of an emergency. It consists of a horizontal bar that is mounted to the inside of a door, which, when pushed, causes the latch or bolt to release and the door to open.

One of the main benefits of a panic bar is that it can be easily activated with just a slight amount of pressure. This makes it ideal for use in areas where there may be a large number of people, such as schools, hospitals, and office buildings. Panic bars are also commonly used on fire escape doors and other emergency exits.

Exit Devices

An exit device, on the other hand, is a more general term that refers to any type of door hardware that is designed to provide easy and safe exit from a building. While a panic bar is a type of exit device, there are other types of exit devices as well.

For example, an exit device may include a lever or knob that can be turned to release the latch or bolt and open the door. Some exit devices may also be equipped with a key lock to allow for controlled access from the outside.

Differences Between Panic Bars and Exit Devices

While both panic bars and exit devices are designed to provide easy exit from a building, there are some key differences between the two. These include:

  • Activation Method: Panic bars are typically activated by pushing a horizontal bar, while other types of exit devices may require turning a knob or lever.
  • Use: Panic bars are primarily used on emergency exits and fire escape doors, while other types of exit devices may be used on a wider range of doors.
  • Compliance: Panic bars must meet specific requirements for force and clearance under building codes and regulations, while other types of exit devices may not have the same requirements.

Choosing the Right Hardware for Your Building

When it comes to choosing the right hardware for your commercial doors, it is important to consider the specific needs of your building and its occupants. Panic bars are a good choice for emergency exits and areas with high traffic flow, while other types of exit devices may be better suited for other types of doors and uses.

At Automatic Door and Hardware, we offer a wide range of commercial doors and hardware to meet the needs of any building. Our expert team can help you choose the right hardware for your specific needs and provide professional installation and maintenance services to ensure your doors are always working properly.


In conclusion, both panic bars and exit devices play a crucial role in ensuring the safety of people in emergency situations. While panic bars are the more traditional and simpler option, exit devices offer more versatility in terms of function and design. The key difference between the two lies in the way they are activated, with panic bars requiring a simple push and exit devices featuring various options for activation such as touch bars, levers, and knobs. It is important for building owners and managers to carefully consider their options and consult with experts in the field to ensure that they select the appropriate devices for their specific needs. Ultimately, the goal is to provide safe and easy egress for building occupants in emergency situations.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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