Panic bars; importance in commercial properties
As a local business owner it’s your job to provide security and safety for your staff and customers. Add to that protection for your inventory, guests, building and for yourself and you’ve got some responsibility on your shoulders! One smart way to accomplish this is to work with a local, full service locksmith shop like ours. Snellville Locksmith GA is a business too so we know the many security hurdles yours faces. You don’t have to live here in Snellville, GA in order to benefit from the expertise of a commercial locksmith. Find one in your area that you can work with you on a regular basis to increase security and protection for your firm. A good business locksmith shop can assist you with state of the art, cutting edge hardware that can enhance safety as well as protect. One of these hardware items is the trusty panic bar or push bar.
What exactly is a panic bar?
You’ve seen them hundreds of times even if you didn’t realize their purpose. Panic bars are those spring loaded metal bars that fit horizontally on the back doors of businesses. You push on the bar and it unlocks and opens the door at the same time. You’ll notice that these doors are for exiting only; no door knob is on the other side! This does two things; expedites traffic in a one way direction and allows for ease of use in unlocking and opening the door; just push on it. Crowd flow is very important in a commercial setting. Every year people are killed or injured when attempting to exit a building in a panic. More people die or are injured by trampling than by fire or weapons, and panic bars do a huge job of controlling the ease of exit and cutting down on these incidents. In many locations, panic bars are not just a benefit; they are required by law and/or the building codes.
So where are these panic bars?
Where aren’t they, is more like it! Panic bars, exit bars, push bars and crash bars are almost everywhere. You can find them in movie theaters, restaurants, hospitals, hotels, fast food outlets, laundromats, retail stores, offices, schools, storage facilities, fine dining, home improvement stores, medical clinics, warehouses, gas stations, convenience stores; you name it, panic bars are there! Now that you are reading this post, you’ll soon notice panic bars more than ever.
Why name them “panic” bars?
It’s a nickname because they allow fast and orderly exit during a panic situation or emergency. Of course you don’t have to be in an urgent situation in order to use them, but if someone yells “fire” in a crowded theater, the panic bar will allow much faster and orderly exit than a locked door with a knob or a turnstile. Panic bars are designed to open with little more than a gentle lean on the door. Many commercial developments now require their use in order to be up to code with local regulations.
Are they required for my business?
Maybe; you’ll have to check with your local fire department and building codes officials in order to be sure. If you rent or own your location inside a commercial development you might already have them installed on your doors. If you don’t, your property management company will let you know if the center’s owners require them now or in the future.
What about maintenance and repair?
Panic bars are like all other mechanical items; they require service once in a while and even replacement if severely damaged. The spring loaded mechanisms might break or become jammed and this can force the panic bar to stay either locked or unlocked. This can cause inconvenience as it’s hard to open or close for business if your back door is inoperable. Some commercial locations have panic bars on the front doors, as well. Examples of this include restaurants, gas stations, convenience stores and laundromats and others of similar nature. Repair is not difficult or expensive. You can call your local commercial locksmith for service or attempt to do-it-yourself repair if you feel handy. Be sure to save your owner’s manual and any warranty information and keep it handy in case of need. There are plenty of online self-help videos that explain and show step by step how to unlock or repair a stuck panic bar. Whether you use the services of a commercial locksmith or not, it’s smart to have one on stand-by, anyway. You can use your locksmith to help with rekeys, lock replacements, security upgrades, vault additions, combination changing and dozens of other commercial security uses that require expertise and skill.
Are panic bars right for your business?
Only you can tell if panic bars are a match for your local business. Talk to your commercial property manager or business partners/investors and see what they think. We also recommend getting a professional consultation with a commercial locksmith. Many shops including ours offer these on a complimentary basis so be sure to inquire about that. Also, if you decide to go ahead and add panic bars to your property, your commercial locksmith will be an excellent source for purchase, installation and future maintenance. Finding the right locksmith is a real coup; you’ll have a convenient source for professional lock and key service as well as advice on security and protection issues and access to the very latest advances in business locksmith security products and services.
Non locksmith sources
If you wish to purchase and install panic bars on your own, there are alternatives to using a locksmith. You can buy online through various locations and also locally by purchasing through home improvement and hardware stores like Home Depot, Lowe’s and True Value. These will have employees that are more helpful and knowledgeable than if you simply bought hardware at Sears or Wal-Mart. There are many videos online that show and explain how to install and maintain your panic bars. Be sure to keep receipts, maintenance history and all warranty information together for handy reference.