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.

Securefast fire door hardware

One of Safelincs’ suppliers with top quality marks is Securefast, a supplier of exit door related hardware such as panic bars (touch bars) and panic bolts.

Securefast launched recently a new Touch Bar and Electrical Touch Bar range which we would like to present.

The 600 Series Touch Bar Range is quick and easy to assemble to any type of door, has a grip cross bar for ease of closing the door and concealed connecting rods which achieve an aesthetically pleasing appearance. The range has been tested for 1,500,000 cycles (7.5 times the requirement of EN1125:2008). It also successfully exceeded 240 hours in a salt spray test after which it was  still able to meet the requirements of EN1125:2008. This makes the range suitable for areas with a high humidity.

The single and two point Pullman catches have an anti-thrust device incorporated to prevent them from being forced back.

A number of Outside Access Devices are available to complement the touch bar:

– a lever-operated unit incorporating Key Retention which uses a Euro Profile 40mm Single Cylinder

– A fixed-knob outside access device and

– a mechanical digital lock for key-less operation

The 600 Series Touch Bar range also offers a number of ‘keep’ options for uPVC and Steel Doors:

– an Electrical Release tested to EN1125:2008 for use with the Touch Bar Latch

– Hold Back device and Micro Switching for integrating with an Access Control or Alarm Systems.


The company are continuing to offer new developments to their ranges and will soon have the Touch Bar in a Satin Chrome finish to service level 2 available.

Securefast 900 Series traditional style Panic and Emergency Exit Hardware, launched almost 2 years ago is now complete as a range including a push bar and push pad Mortice Actuator and is available with or without an Anti-thrust. Sets of Packing Pieces for offsetting the hardware on steel doors ensures perfect alignment of the Panic Bolt and Latch. The Packers and a surface mounted keep are included with Bolts and Latch units.

The Securefast 900 series offers many advantages over its competitors, such as a Universal Keep supplied with all Latch Units, that can be surface mounted (ideal for Steel frames) or morticed into the frame and is universal for both single and double rebated door applications. The range also offers a hold back option (Dogging Device), which is concealed under the operating arm and is available on the combinations of push bar, push pad, Latch and Bolt units.

The 900 series like the 600 series has been Corrosion Resistant tested for 240 Salt Spray Hours and is therefore classified as Very High Resistance.

Securefast plc are well known in the market for their Colson brands of Access Control and Electrical Locking devices and are now moving more towards offering mechanical hardware products with links to Access Control. The AEM800 unit offers a Touch Bar used in conjunction with electro magnets. The product will be tested to the new European Standard for Electrical Panic Hardware, when available later in the year. Securefast will then be able to supply the complete package of locking device, with Power Supply Unit, Break-glass and Power Transfer.