Panic Bars: What to Know

What Are Panic Bars?

A panic bar also called a crash bar is to ensure a door opens upon pushing the bar. A panic bar can be critical in the event of an emergency, and there are codes to ensure that commercial buildings have them installed.

Where Panic Bars are Required?

Whether you're required or not, it is a smart idea to have panic bars installed in any commercial dwelling where people need a quick way to get out of a door in an emergency situation. Perfect examples are a fire or an expected gas leak.

Here is an informative review, found on, to help you have a better understanding of the codes that determine what buildings and what doors must have one. As the article points out, the United States follows the International Building Code (IBC). This is a guideline "tool to preserve public health and safety that provides safeguards from hazards associated with the built environment."

Know the Basics

As the article points out at the end, and as mentioned above, you don't have to be required to install panic bars. You may want to install them "for convenience, security, or durability."

Occupancy Determination

The IBC has a classification system for all types of buildings. As you can see, there are specific rules that apply for the different occupant loads as well as what is the requirement regarding high hazard occupancy? Egress doors seem to be a confusing topic, and each governing municipality may have their unique requirements.

Electrical Equipment Determination

Not only does occupancy determine the use of panic bars, but also electrical equipment. As of 2014, there are panic bar requirements regarding areas where electrical equipment is housed within "25 feet" of an existing door.

Position, Force and Other Restrictions

Current codes regulate the positioning and length of the panic bars. Where some places require "a force of 15 pounds to the touch-pad or cross-bar must release the latch," there are some codes that now "require door hardware to operate with 5 pounds of force."

Other requirements and restrictions may apply where panic bars are installed on doors that are deemed as fire exits. Areas that have high threats of tornadoes and hurricanes may require testing.

Precision Safe & Lock, LLC: Installs and Repairs Panic Bars

We are a full-service locksmith, and we are well-versed in panic bar requirements and the regulations that govern them. Whatever your locksmith needs may be, the team at Precision Safe & Lock, LLC is here with the best commercial and residential solutions for the Winter Haven and Central Florida areas. Don't hesitate to call us at 863-293-4098. We're always happy to serve our neighbors.

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