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

What’s it for?

Fitting exit hardware devices provide the users of a building with a safe means of escape without compromising the security of the building by persons without authorisation. Along with emergency and panic hardware installed internally, access locks and digi-locks can be installed on the outside to allow authorised access.

What is emergency exit equipment?

push-padsAs a rule of thumb emergency latches and bolts are used in non-public areas where escape routes are well known by the building’s occupants and the exit hardware is familiar.  Emergency exit devices are usually push pads fitted with either rim latches or shoot bolts.

What is panic hardware?

panic-barsPanic hardware, including panic bars (also called panic latches and panic bolts) are suitable for public areas. 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 open, even if people are pushed hard against the door. All products suitable for ‘panic’ situations should be certified to EN1125:2008.

What is a latch or bolt in terms of exit hardware?

Latches and bolts are two terms that are often banded around when discussing exit hardware for fire exit doors. The terms can be misconstrued but in actual fact are quite simple and we have all seen examples of them in buildings. A latch product has a rim latch that retracts when the push bar (panic hardware) or the push pad (emergency hardware) is pressed. A bolt device has vertical shoot bolts that are normally in the locked position and retract from the frame at the top and the bottom of the door when the push bar or the push pad is de-pressed. Emergency hardware suitable for installation should be certified to EN179:2008.

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.