Standards and Advice for commercial doors with panic bars and exit devices


1. (BS EN1125) Panic Exit Devices:
This applies to doors at exits in public buildings such as shops where the public are unlikely to be familiar with the door and its general operation. These should therefore be fitted with panic devices operated by a horizontal bar.

(BS EN 179) Emergency Exit Devices:
This applies to doors to be used in emergency situations where people are familiar with the exit and the hardware fitted. A lever handle operated escape mortice locks or push/pull exit devices can be used.

2. Panic bars are fitted at a standard height – between 900mm and 1100mm in accordance with BS EN 1125:1997. This height should be taken into consideration when specifying midrail heights. Where it is known that the majority of the occupants of the premises will be young children, you may wish to reduce the height of the bar and the midrail.

3. Door push/pull handles are not fitted to the inside of doors with panic bars.

4. Doors with exit devices can only be single action opening out.

6. External access. This is the facility to gain entry into the building with a key from the door with a panic exit device. Doors will be fitted with a cylinder on the outside together with a standard pad handle, to enable the door to be pulled open.

7. Double doors will as standard have a panic bar on each leaf. If external access is specified this will be to the lead leaf.

8. Doors with rebated meeting stiles will have a latch type panic bar to the lead leaf and a concealed vertical rod panic bar to the slave leaf.

9. It is not possible to have an additional hook lock with a concealed vertical rod device. An Adams Rite MS2200 hook lock can be fitted to exit devices which are latch operated but this may not be acceptable to Fire Officers or other building inspection bodies.

10. Consideration should be given to the type of door closer required. Doors having exit devices may be required to latch shut every time therefore, a non hold open closer may be preferable to ensure that the door closes and does not inadvertently hold open upon exit.

11. Consideration should be given to doors fitted with any type of exit device which are also required to be main entrance doors. Whilst most exit devices have a dogging (latch/rod hold-back) facility whereby the latch or rods can be permanently retracted for unrestricted entry and exit during the day, exit devices are designed for push to exit operation. They are not designed to pull the doors shut. They should not be used in high traffic areas where they are likely to be used to pull the doors shut on a regular basis.


  1. ken maughan says

    Can you provide panic bars with brass finish as a client of mine has existing bars in brass and requires another 15 plus to match??

    • says

      Hello. yes Brass Panic bars are available. please do not hesitate to contact us if you require further information or prices.

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