Exit devices are not something new in the market but have been used in various applications in both industrial and business outlet environments. For owners of buildings, businesses and large outlets, there is no shortcut to exit devices. It is a legal requirement to bring your building up to code and failure to conform to the regulations may warrant closure or expensive fines. After the fateful loss of 600 lives in the 1904 fire that burned down Iroquois Theatre, a review of all door locks was made. Since then, it is required of businesses to integrate safe doors that restrict entry while allowing easy engress in case of fires or other emergencies like bomb threats. There are several different types of exit devices in the market and finding one should not be a daunting task. However, not all depict desirable quality and their users vary from door to door. Here is a brief description of the popular exit devices and their uses:
Legally enforced devices
As aforementioned, it is a legal requirement to integrate sufficient exit signs and devices in your building as a way of reducing risks in the event of an emergency. The type of exit device you choose will depend on your establishment’s size, number of people accessing the building everyday and other minor aspects that dictate the standards to be used. The three main exit devices used in modern buildings include the following;
This lock is mounted on the door’s pocket-like section and mainly comprises a mortise that lacks on the deadbolt. A slight press on the push bar immediately rotates the tail shaft (spindle) thus releasing a latch that allows the door to swing open. Mortise locks are quite easy to use and have been around for a long time. Their application is mostly evident in buildings visited by not more than 200 people at any given time. They are found in hallway doors and corridors that lead outdoors.
Vertical rods have only been around for a while and as new introductions to the market, they feature new mechanisms that increase efficiency and ease of use. A typical vertical rod exit device uses bolt mechanism; where the deadbolt latch extends to the door’s strike when the door is locked. This reduces the distance separating the strike and bolt. Vertical rods are used in doors that open into office rooms and private conference rooms.
This is the most popular exit device you will come across in the modern market. It is vastly used by locksmiths and the mechanism used is borrowed from early 20th century rim locks that existed in the East and Midwest. Rim locks use a surface mounted strike and a latch which extends on the strike when the door is locked. A simple press releases the latch opening the door in a swing.
Exit device uses and construction
In order to understand exit devices and their uses, it is first important to note how they work. This is also important when looking for the ideal devices for your building and the proper standard required by the law. Exit devices should feature a latching mechanism and activated door unlatching method that is used to swing the door open in the engress direction during emergency. Opening the door should be as simple as pressing the activation bar which immediately releases the latch. The code of standard limits the force used to press the activation bar to below 15 pounds. This ensures anyone locked in (even children) can still open the door. Fire doors should always remain latched but never locked. Such doors should also be able to self-latch once opened to prevent the spread of fire to adjacent rooms. Exit devices are primarily used to keep the door latched (not locked). This means the door can be swung open at anytime with minimal force and it can also shut back in place.
It is important to keenly review exit devices before spending your money. If possible, consult professional locksmiths who can recommend ideal systems for your building and outlets. Aspects of brand reputation, quality guarantees, use and efficiency are all important to review when looking for exit devices. As a general advice, you should purchase from credible licensed distributors who can guarantee original genuine quality from the manufacturer and have professionals like Diamondback Lock And Key install them.