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Did you know that panic hardware is required for any doors that serve 3 use groups? This also considers any occupancy capacity that can hold 50 people or more. Installing panic door hardware is a great way to improve the security of any property and it’s even necessary in some cases.

We’re going to talk about the top reasons you’re going to want to consider installing panic door hardware. We’ll also explore the benefits of the hardware, explain how it’s installed, and how the hardware itself actually works. Keep reading to learn how to enhance your property’s level of security.

What Exactly Is Panic Door Hardware and What Is Its Purpose?

As its name suggests, panic door hardware is a type of door hardware that’s designed to help people exit a building in the event of an emergency. In most cases, panic door hardware is installed on doors that lead to an exit or an area where people can evacuate if needed.

There are two main types of panic door hardware that most people may think of which are panic bars and electrified panic bars. A panic bar is a type of door component designed for quick exiting and that’s its main purpose. They can also help with separating areas to help control heat, fire, and even smoke in the case of a fire breaking out in a building.

Why Should You Install Panic Door Hardware?

Knowing why you should install this type of hardware can help you determine when to use it. Here are some of the most important reasons:

It Can Save Lives

In the event of a fire or other emergency, panic door hardware can help people evacuate a building in a quick and safe way. As we mentioned, it can also help to compartmentalize the threat in case of an emergency.

The Need to Meet Building Codes and Regulations

In many places, panic door hardware is often required by law in commercial and public buildings. This is often part of most fire codes for public buildings.

Low Cost

It’s a cost-effective way to improve security. This is especially true when compared to how much you save by reducing potential incidents.

Easy to Install

While it can be easy to install, in most cases, having a professional do the installation would be the best option. A professional is usually the best approach for installation to ensure that everything is correct. This type of installation can present unique things to consider such as width constraints and the type of door.

Low Maintenance

Once the hardware gets installed, it requires very little maintenance. There won’t be much to do except inspect it yearly or as needed.


Panic door hardware is often designed to withstand a lot of wear and tear. This means it will last for many years with proper care and inspection.

Increases Resale Value

If you ever decide to sell your property, panic door hardware can increase its resale value. This would be like an addition or upgrade to the property.

Installing Panic Door Hardware

It’s not impossible to install panic door hardware yourself. However, if you’re not confident in your ability to do it yourself, hiring a professional is recommended.

The first step is to remove the existing door hardware. This includes the doorknob, deadbolt, and any other hardware that’s mounted on the door. Once the old hardware’s removed, you can start installing the panic bar.

Most panic bars are often mounted on the inside of a door and this is where they unlock from. A locking mechanism should be present on the outside of that door as well. Once the panic bar is mounted, you can let the door fall back and click into place.

If you’re installing an electrified panic bar, the installation process is a bit more complicated. First, you’ll need to drill a hole in the door for the wires to pass through. Then you’ll need to connect the panic bar to the power source.
In most cases, this will be a type of battery pack or a plug-in transformer.

Finally, you’ll need to test the panic bar to make sure it’s working how it should. That’s all it entails for a basic install.

How Panic Door Hardware Works

Panic door hardware is mainly designed for emergency use or as a good proactive measure. When activated, it allows people to exit a building in a simple way. In most cases, panic door hardware gets activated by pushing on the panic bar itself.

This releases the latch that is holding the door closed, allowing the door to open. If you’re installing an electrified panic bar, it will also activate the power supply. This will cause the bolts or bars that are holding the door closed to retract, which allows the door to open. The concept is pretty simple overall.

Testing Your Panic Door Hardware

After you’ve installed your panic door hardware, it’s important to test it to make sure it’s working. The best way to do this is to have a fire drill or any type of drill to test out each entry and exit point. You could also just simulate this and test each one on your own.

When Is Panic Hardware Necessary?

Panic hardware should be for entry and exit points that could pose danger in certain situations. This is when it’s most necessary to use, in areas that could pose danger.

Oftentimes, you don’t need a reason to obtain this hardware but safety is one of the main benefits of using this. There are also a couple of applications you should consider when identifying the need for added security options.

Different Applications for Panic Hardware

Panic hardware is an important safety feature that can help to prevent injuries and save lives in emergencies. There are many different applications for panic hardware, but it is most often used in high-traffic areas where there is a risk of crowding or stampedes. Between 1980 and 2007, there were around 215 human stampedes.

Those stampedes resulted in at least 7,000 deaths and 14,000 injuries. While this may not happen often, it can happen at any time there is overcrowding when an emergency’s taking place. This goes to show that it can happen, and having panic hardware in place can help to prevent loss and injury in some cases.

Panic hardware is often required by building code in public places such as schools, hospitals, stadiums, and government buildings. However, this hardware can also be for use in private homes, or within multi-unit areas and businesses.

Some of the most common places to find panic hardware are fire exits, stairwells, and elevators. It’s also often used in public restrooms since there is a risk of crowding in these small spaces.

Due to these reasons, this hardware is often needed, whether you need it depends on the type of property you have. In short, any business or property that needs a safeguard should have a panic door.

What Is Panic Hardware Code Compliance?

Panic hardware code compliance is the process of making sure that panic hardware was installed how it should be and that it meets all the required safety standards for that property. This type of compliance is important because it helps to ensure that panic hardware will work how it should and when it needs to.

There are a few different things that need consideration when checking for panic hardware code compliance. First, the panic hardware must get tested after installation. The hardware must also get inspected to make sure it is still in good working condition as time passes meaning you’ll have to keep up with some general maintenance.

Overall, most codes will require this type of hardware to be mounted in a certain way. The mount should fall between 34 inches and 48 inches. This is the length it should be above the floor.

Another rule with this is that any force of at least 15 pounds that’s applied to the crossbar should allow the latch to release.

Tips for Choosing the Right Panic Door Hardware

  • Make sure the panic hardware is certified by a third-party testing laboratory
  • Look for hardware designed for the type of door you have
  • Make sure the panic hardware you choose meets all the required safety standards
  • Test the panic hardware before you install it to make sure it works properly
  • Inspect it regularly to make sure it is still in good working condition

You should also ensure that you’re choosing panic hardware that is durable and will withstand heavy and excessive use. Make sure the hardware you choose is compatible with the rest of the door hardware and choose hardware that comes with a warranty from the manufacturer. Asking for recommendations from friends or family who have installed panic hardware in their business buildings could also be helpful to you.

When Would an Electrified Panic Door Be Appropriate?

An electrified panic door would be used in any situation where an electric strike would be appropriate. This could include locations where security is a concern, such as government buildings, schools, or businesses. An electrified panic door would also be used in any situation where you want increased security measures.

Some forms of electric hardware work in a way that electricity controls the lever that locks and unlocks the door. Oftentimes, it also works in a way that electricity will lock or unlock the lever. These functions are more known as a failsafe or a fail secure.

The Top 5 FAQs About Panic Door Hardware

When it comes to panic door hardware there are often some questions that people have. Let’s take a look at some of the most common.

Can a Panic Door Be Locked?

Yes, but it is not always recommended during operational hours. Doing so could create a safety hazard in an emergency but this is what the hardware helps to prevent.

Are Panic Doors Expensive?

Depending on your operation and what all you need, panic door hardware can be pretty affordable when you compare it to potential losses from incidents that could occur without having them. Prices will fluctuate based on how many devices you need and the supplier. 

An exit device could cost around $1700. Working with 512 Locksmith will allow you to get the parts you need and the locksmithing services you might require that are the most tailored to what your property needs.

Where Is Panic Door Hardware Used Most?

Panic door hardware as we mentioned is most used in commercial settings. Some of those settings could be government facilities, office buildings, schools, hospitals, and other medical facilities. However, it’s also used in residential settings, such as apartment buildings with multiple units.

Hotels are another good example. One of the best ways to think about this is to think of panic hardware as fire exit hardware. Any facility that requires a specific fire exit, would be some of the most used applications for a panic door.

Can You Use This Hardware at a Residential Property?

Yes, you could use this hardware at home. Many panic bars come in three or four feet in length. Many of them can also be cut down to fit certain measurements.

If you have a designated panic room or section in your home, this could be an option. It would be appropriate to do so if you have a space in your home that calls for it.

How Often Should You Inspect Panic Door Hardware?

Inspection should happen at least once a year. This is the case for any type of door hardware you have in your facility and should be a regular part of maintenance.

Enhance Property Safety

Installing panic door hardware can help ensure the safety of your property and the people who live or work in it. Working with 512 Locksmith is one of the best ways to get started. By understanding how it’s used, and where it’s most effective, you can be better prepared.

Overall, it will either keep you in compliance with building codes or enhance the safety of your property. If you have any questions about panic door hardware or if you could benefit from using our 24/7 Locksmithing Services, reach out to our team today, we’re always happy to help.