Why Push Bars Aren’t Just for Public Buildings: Safety First in Your Workplace

by | Mar 22, 2024

Have you ever stopped to consider the kind of door handle you use at work every day? Most likely, it’s a simple knob or handle. But for some commercial building exits, a different type of handle is crucial: the push bar. Also known as panic bars, push bars are more than just a convenient way to open a door. They play a vital role in ensuring the safety of everyone in your workplace during an emergency.

According to the US Fire Administration over the past 10 years, the trend for nonresidential building fires and losses from 2012 to 2021 shows a 20% increase in fires and a 70% increase in fire-related deaths. Fire safety should be a top priority for any business owner or manager.

Maybe you rank as one of the most compliant employers and you take proactive steps to minimize fire hazards, have fire drills, and place fire extinguishers strategically. But, have you considered the importance of easy egress in an emergency?

Here’s why push bars are essential for your workplace, not just public buildings.

Painful History Lessons – Life Before Proper Exit Devices

Code requirements dictate that safe and easy egress must always be possible in any building area or room where many people may be gathered. The doors in these areas must always swing out in the direction of people exiting the building in case of emergency. And, they must always be free to operate from the inside of the area, yet they may be locked to prevent access from the outside.

But this was not always the case.

These history-making tragedies were only a fraction of the cases that represented the loss of life due to fire in the first half of the 20th century. Often people were crushed to death in the panic trying to escape, in part because there were not enough doors, doors were locked, or doors opened inward (which resulted in them being blocked by the surge of people trying to escape).

As a result, the first exit device was developed in 1911, and the first building codes that required improved safety measures came into existence by 1913. The requirement for safe egress from buildings remains a fundamental concept of today’s codes.

Where Are Exit Devices Required? Compliance with Fire Safety Regulations

Local building codes govern where exit devices must be used. But the rules that identify what types of buildings must use exit devices come from the International Building Code® – a model code developed by the International Code Council®.

The Building Code is then made into law at the state and local level for the safety of all who enter your building. That being said, crash bars (panic devices, push bars, touch bars, or whatever you call this type of bar) are required for all public buildings or buildings where people congregate.

Most importantly, push bars are mandated by fire safety codes on specific exit doors. Having the proper push bars installed ensures your workplace adheres to regulations and protects your employees and visitors.

Universal Usability for Everyone

Unlike knobs or handles, push bars can be operated easily by people of all ages and abilities. This is especially crucial in workplaces with diverse personnel. Someone carrying items, an individual with limited mobility, or someone in a state of panic can all exit efficiently with a push bar.

Add to that the complexity of wheelchairs, strollers, or disabled individuals and it becomes pretty clear how a simple and rapid escape can save lives. A simple push with minimal force triggers the release mechanism, allowing a smooth and rapid flow of people out of the building and thereby saving lives.

Clear Emergency Designation

Push bars often have a bright coloring or signage that instantly signals an exit during an emergency. This universal symbol makes them easily recognizable, even for visitors unfamiliar with the building layout. In those critical seconds, clear visual cues can save valuable time.

Beyond Emergencies: Push Bars Offer Everyday Convenience

Push bars offer a benefit beyond emergencies. In high-traffic areas, they allow for effortless entry and exit, especially when carrying objects. This promotes a smoother workflow and reduces congestion, particularly in areas like stock rooms or break rooms.

Investing in push bars for your workplace is a smart decision. They prioritize safety, comply with regulations, and offer additional convenience. Remember, a quick and orderly evacuation can make all the difference in an emergency. So, don’t wait – ensure your workplace has the push bars it needs to keep everyone safe.

Install, Maintain, or Repair Push Bars With Lock Professionals Located in the Phoenix, Chandler, Gilbert, Mesa, Scottsdale, Tempe, Queen Creek Area and East Valley Wide

In addition to making your building safer and more secure for your employees, your customers, your visitors, and you, push bars are also affordable. A commercial locksmith can maintain and fix your push bars as well as provide a cost-effective installation and solution that fits your needs and provides a safe environment. There are also a variety of sizes and styles of push bars to choose from. So, they match your facility’s budget, specific measurements, and unique requirements for vertical or horizontal bar design.

Lock Docs is an authorized locksmith dealer for the leading commercial providers of push bars and services all makes and models. And although we can service all makes and models of Push Bars, the brands we recommend and install most are as follows:

  • Marks USA Push Bars
  • Von Duprin Push Bars
  • Cal Royal Push Bars
  • Arrow Push Bars
If you’re interested in improving your commercial security via a push bar or other security device, call us at 480-399-9972 to get started today!

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