March 13, 2015
What to Know About Commercial Door Exit Alarms & Panic Bars
If you own or are responsible for a public building or business, you’re likely well aware of the codes regarding emergency egress and ingress. Panic bars must be in compliance with these laws in order to protect the life and safety of business owners, employees, customers and visitors.
In addition, the legal and moral ramifications of not complying can be staggering. Public buildings will not pass inspection if their panic pars and commercial door exit alarms are not up to par.
What is a panic bar?
An important part of the exit alarm code you must abide by is the panic bar. Panic bars are the push bars that are installed on your exit doors. These push bars are designed to allow for quick exiting from the building.
OSHA requires a continuous and unobstructed path of exit to a place of safety.
Panic bars are installed on doors that open to the outside, and are available in several styles. Most come equipped with alarms to prevent people exiting while stealing or avoiding to pay a tab. They can be constructed both horizontally or vertically, but operate the same way: when you push on the panic exit bar, the door opens.
When and how to install a panic bar
Panic bars are required on almost all emergency and fire exits in Miami. The use of panic hardware is regulated by local building codes, as well as the National Fire Protection Association. The NFPA requires these bars to be installed in:
- Rooms that hold more than 50 people
- Stairwell exits
- Doors used to exit a building
- Any area containing flammable materials
The push pad of the panic bar must be at least half the width of the door. Generally, the center of the push pad should be 41″ above the floor, which is a standard height (although that may vary from schools and daycares). When you install the panic bar, make sure that the push pad is tested for functionality.
Comply with code and help improve the safety of your South Florida building
Panic hardware and exit alarms are an important part of keeping your building and occupants safe during an emergency situation. They are crucial for any building that is largely occupied. A wonderful feature of these exit alarms is that they are extremely easy to use, which is great since most people lose their train of thought when disaster strikes.
However, it’s important that your exit door alarms are installed properly, so we recommend you turn to a professional for help. This professional installer can also ensure that your panic bars and exit devices abide by all federal regulations.
You should also regularly maintain your panic hardware to ensure it’s always functioning properly. Panic hardware that functions properly can save a life. If you’d like to learn more about available commercial door exit alarms, panic bars and other hardware, visit Amazing Doors & Hardware of South Florida online today.