We have all come into contact with emergency fire exits at some point, whether it has been in a school or a commercial space, but many people don’t realise that there are different types of these doors that come with different mechanisms. Emergency bolts along with push pads and latches that are to be placed on a final exit door within a commercial building must not be for public use. For those who are inside the building, they must be taught how to use this particular exit device.
There are many fire safety products to choose from in this area from panic bolts to secure latches and understanding how and why they provide fire protection will be imperative. Essentially, these types of locks protect sensitive doors against unauthorised use and try to build in a level of security that doesn’t compromise the safety of the building or its inhabitants. It is important to understand that these locks, pads and latches differ from the emergency exit doors that members of the public might use as a matter of course. Those fire safety products are typically push bars that are specifically designed for public areas. Fire protection for a commercial area that must include security protection as well, is a different application resulting in a different design and usage.
For some designs of panic bolts a glass tube is broken in an emergency which releases the door. Knowing how to do this requires some familiarisation with the product and it should only be used by authorised personnel. The broken tube can, however, be replaced after use. Latches often offer fire safety with a fire rating, meaning that it can be combined with similarly rated fire doors. Only some of these latches can be deployed on either left or right hand opening doors.
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