Exit Devices / Panic Devices
Panic hardware is an Exit Device which is tested for use on a door that is required to have panic hardware. Because of this, Exit Devices are quite often referred to as panic devices...when they are, in fact, panic hardware. Exit Devices, if they are not fire rated, have a "dogging" feature. This allows the latch to be held in the retracted position to create a push/pull function..allowing people to exit and enter freely as if there was no lock on the door. This "dogging" is done by pushing the exit device bar down, causing the latch to retract, then tightening a screw in the bar that will keep it held down...and the latch retracted...until the screw is loosened.
Fire Exit Hardware is an Exit Device tested for both panic and fire conditions and is required to be used on fire rated doors where panic hardware is required. Since fire doors require the door to latch (so it stays closed during a fire), fire exit hardware can not have the dogging feature.
There are four types of exit devices. They are rim, surface vertical rod, concealed vertical rod, and mortise. Each type of device has many different outside "trim" options. The trim is what goes on the outside of the door so you can get in from the outside...IF this is the type of application you require. Some doors with exit devices are "exit only"...meaning the door is used as an exit only and there is no way to get into the door from the outside. Some common trim options are shown at the bottom of this page.
Rim Exit Device: This type is used on single doors or pairs of doors that have a vertical mullion (see our Pairs of Doors page to see a mullion) in between the doors. The strike plate is surface mounted on the frame (or mullion). It can also be used on the active door of a pair with a double door strike mounted on the inactive door.
Surface Vertical Rod (SVR) Exit Device: This is mostly used on pairs of doors but can be used on single doors for extra security. There are top and bottom rods that go from the device to the top of the frame and to the floor. When you push the device, the rods retract releasing the rod ends from their locked position. The rods are surface mounted to the face of the door so they are exposed and can be seen from the inside of the door.
Concealed Vertical Rod (CVR) Exit Device: This is the same as the surface vertical rod except the rods are inside the door so they are concealed. This is used for appearance and/or when there are applications where the surface vertical rods could get damaged...where people are pushing carts or other objects through the door. These devices require a good deal of prep work to the doors so they tend to be expensive as a package. They also can be difficult to install correctly if you are not familiar with this type of device installation.
Mortise Exit Device: This consists of a mortise lock body exactly like the mortise lock shown on our Lever Locksets page. The mortise lock body mounts into the edge of the door and the face of the door is drilled for holes in the proper locations for mounting the device and any outside trim that is required. These holes will vary depending on the function of the device. These are heavy duty devices and usually used where they will get a lot of use or where high security is needed. The strike for this device is mounted in the rabbet of the frame just like a standard lock.
Outside Trim Options for Panic Devices
Here are some of the standard options for outside trim for doors with exit devices...if you need to be able to get into the door from the outside. As mentioned above, some doors are "exit only" and are used for exiting only in an emergency. No outside trim is on these doors as it is not intended to be used to get in through this door from the outside.