Exit Hardware – The “What’s What” Guide!

What’s it for?

Exit hardware devices provide users of a building with a safe means of escape without compromising the security of the building by persons without authorisation. For doors where access is still required from the outside, access locks and digital locks (also known as OADs or Outside Access Devices) can be installed on the outside of the door to allow authorised personnel to enter using a key or fob.

What is Emergency Exit Equipment?

push-padsGenerally installed in non-public areas, emergency latches and bolts are used where escape routes are well known by the building’s occupants and the exit hardware is familiar. Because the area is familiar to the building’s occupants, these emergency exit devices usually consist of a push pad with either a rim latch, or a combination of latch and shoot bolt for additional security. Where this type of emergency hardware is used, it should be certified to EN 179.

What is Panic Hardware?

panic-barsPanic hardware, including panic bars (also called panic latches and panic bolts) are suitable for public areas where occupants are less familiar with escape routes. Panic hardware is designed to cover the full face of an escape door so that in an evacuation, with the ensuing panic, the doors will always open (even if people are pushed hard against the door). All products suitable for ‘panic’ situations should be certified to EN 1125.

What is a Latch or Bolt?

Latches and bolts are two terms that are often used when discussing exit hardware for fire exit doors. The terms can be misconstrued but are actually quite simple, and we have all seen examples of them in buildings. Many push bars (panic hardware) and push pads (emergency hardware) use a rim latch, which has a similar appearance to a standard door latch, to keep the door shut when not in use. When the push bar / pad is pushed, the rim latch retracts and allows the door to open. For additional security, some push bars / pads feature vertical shoot bolts to keep the door in a locked position when not in use, and retract from the frame at the top and the bottom of the door when the push bar or the push pad is depressed.

For more information on a range of panic bar and emergency pad devices take a look at our fire exit equipment range.

Please note: The Redlam Panic Bolt, while called a ‘Panic’ bolt by everybody in the industry, is actually only an ‘Emergency’ bolt and should therefore not be used in public spaces.

Comments

  1. Hi, could you direct me to the passage in regulations that permit emergency exit doors to be locked when a building is vacant, thanks

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *