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Panic Hardware is designed to allow smooth egress from buildings. We have created a quick guide to hopefully, help you select the correct device. Their are basically 4 types of devices, Rim, Surface Vertical Rod, Concealed Vertical Rod, and Mortise. Among the 4 types we have Panic Hardware and Fire Rated Panic Hardware. We also have Standard Stile and Narrow Stile, which has to do with the amount of room on the frame of the door to mount the hardware.
Rim Panic Hardware is the most popular and will usually work on any single door application. A Rim Device has a latch bolt that sticks out of the end the panic device, and latches on the surface of the door frame (Rim). All of the hardware is surface mounted and would only require a bored hole if you want a key cylinder or some kind of outside pull plate or lever. The pros for this style are easy installation, very little hardware exposed to damage, and no adjustment required once it is installed. We can not think of any cons for this type of device. Shown left is the Falcon 2090 Rim Panic Hardware Active Housing.
Surface Vertical Rod Panic Hardware has rods that run on the surface of the door and activate latches at the top and bottom of the door. The top latch usually has a surface mounted strike on the door jamb, and the bottom usually have a surface mounted or recessed strike. These devices are ideal for double doors when no center post is present. The pros for this device are the wide variety of price points and manufactures. The cons are they tend to be a little temperamental, especially if you are in cold climates. They may need to be adjusted more frequently due ot the gound heaving. Due to the amount of hardware exposed, they are more easily damaged. A wheel chair or hand cart could easy bend a vertical rod, which will cause them to go out of adjustment. Shown right is an image of the Von Duprin 2227 Panic Hardware.
Concealed Vertical Rod Panic Hardware has rods that run on the interior of the door. We usually find these on Aluminum Framed Store Front Doors, but they can be used on any door. This style of panic is not recommended unless you are replacing the same model and manufactured device that you already have in your door. It is very labor intensive to convert a door that is not prepped for a concealed rod, so it might be less expense to replace the entire door than to put all the time and labor into an existing door. Pictured left is the Falcon 1990 Concealed Vertical Rod Panic Hardware.
Mortise Panic Hardware are devices that have a 1" thick by 4" deep x 6" high lock body in the door. This is another example of a door that has been designed for use with a specific mortise body. Mortise bodies come in all sizes and shapes, so a Corbin Russwin body is not always the same size as a Von Durpin body. Unless you have a wood door, you should not change manufactures. To the right is the Von Duprin 7500 Mortise Body, that is used on the 9975 and 8875 Mortise Panic Hardware.
With all of these devices we have two types of Ratings. One is Panic Hardware, which is what we find on exterior doors and some interior doors, and Fire Rated Panic Hardware. On Panic Hardware you can "Dog" the doors open with an allen wrench, key cylinder or with the outside trim. Fire Rated Panic Hardware is designed to contain a fire for 3 hours. We usually find a metal label riveted on the device, and the doors positively latch every time the door closes, you can not "Dog" these doors open. The devices on our website are Panic Hardware, please call or email for Fire Rated Panic Hardware pricing.
We have two types of doors, Narrow Stile and Standard. A Narrow Stile door is a glass door with a narrow aluminum frame, also known as Store Front Doors. The frame is usually about 2-3 inches wide on the sides of the glass. Some popular manufactures of this style are Kawneer, US Aluminum, Amarlite, Vista Wall, Aldora, and Pitco. These doors are usually constructed around the devices. They usually use Jackson, Dor-o-matic or Falcon devices. We usually find these at convenience stores and strip malls.
On a standard door we can use both types of devices, but it is usually less expensive to order a standard device.