Panic bar door hardware covers a wide array of choices and can be confusing to determine which type is best for your application. We can help you find the right panic bar for the door you are trying to secure.
The following questions need to be answered in order to determine exactly what type of panic bar you need:
A fire rated exit device cannot be locked open at any time. It must always positively latch every time the door closes. The latch mechanism must also withstand higher temperatures that would occur during a fire and still remain latched. In order for a panic device to meet these standards it must be tested by Underwriters Laboratory in order to receive the UL listing.
A non-fire rated panic bar has what is known as a dog down feature. This allows the door to be put into an unlocked mode by depressing the device and retracting the latch. This is accomplished by inserting a special key (also known as a dog down key) and turning the key to secure the bar in an unlocked position. This allows the door to open by either pulling or pushing on the door without touching the panic bar. When the door needs to locked again, use the dog down key to release the bar and the door would then latch. When the bar is in this position, it would then be necessary to use a key on the outside of the door, or operate the bar on the inside.
If access from the outside is needed, a pull with a cylinder to retract the latch can be used or a lever trim that can be locked or unlocked with a cylinder may be used.
All final code requirements are determined by your local building inspectors and fire marshal. The guidelines listed here are generalities; the final determination as to applicable codes is by the governing bodies in your location.