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Panic bars; their importance in commercial properties

Every business operator should know about panic bars and how they can affect your Dorchester, MA business. Like any modern business tool, they have benefits and possible drawbacks, but after reading this post, you’ll know better if they are right for your firm or not.

Panic bars aka push bars

You might know panic bars under another name; push bars. They are also known as crash bars, and exit devices; all the same thing. Here at Dorchester Locksmith we’ve heard them called all of the above at one time or another but these different names all stand for those horizontal metal bars on exit doors that you’ve seen and used hundreds of times. In fact, we bet that you’ve used them so much that you hardly notice them at all or how or why they work so well!

Panic bars have been around since the turn of the century; they were designed for people to exit buildings easier and faster. They work so well and so efficiently that many commercial buildings must have them according to building codes and review board regulations.

With panic bars you don’t have to unlock a door, turn the knob and then open the door to go through it and exit the building. You simply push the bar which simultaneously unlocks the door and opens it and leave!

Panic bars everywhere!

Now you’ll notice panic bars everywhere you go in Dorchester, MA or wherever else you may be. Notice how simple they are to use and how effortlessly the public makes use of them. They are always installed on exit doors that swing out and that are locked from the outside. Notice that there are no door knobs on the outside or inside; only the push/panic bar to handily use when leaving.

You can find (and use) panic bars in movie theaters, restaurants, shopping malls, office buildings, government buildings, car dealerships, hospitals, club houses, warehouses, storage rentals, pet stores, home improvement stores, retirement homes, fast food locations and thousands more! Some panic bars open into hallways that lead to other panic bars as in the case of mall shop back doors leading to an interior hallway and then outside.

Are panic bars a requirement?

They can be! If you are a business leasing your store or building, you probably already have one or more panic bars already. If so, leave them in! They not only work well, they are probably required by the codes and enforcement as well as the fire department. If you are building a commercial location from scratch, be sure to check with your local authorities to see if panic bars are a requirement. Even if they are not; seriously consider using them!

Panic bars work; they just do!

Sure, panic bars offer safety and convenience to those exiting the building but they also offer something else that’s important; better crowd control. If your shoppers or clients have to exit in a hurry, panic bars allow them to do that without the hassles involved in two way traffic through a door with locks and knobs and handles. Emergency drills using panic bars always show dramatic improvement in crowd flow and control. During actual fires, medical emergencies or other events that need fast evacuation panic bars have proven over and over to save lives and prevent further deaths or injuries. This is especially important when there are possible terrorist threats or armed gunmen that can trigger a literal stampede out of the premises.

Let’s talk price

It always seems to come down to money so Dorchester Locksmith wanted to include this section on costs and items to look out for. Like any other commodity, panic bar materials and prices can vary from one dealer or manufacturer to another. You can buy panic bars online and from home improvement stores, contractors, commercial locksmiths, local builders, real estate developers and even from property rehabbers. As always, check around for the best prices and don’t forget to ask about labor charges, warranties and installation fees. Don’t forget volume discounts; you may get one if you need multiple panic bars installed so don’t forget to ask about it. Try and get all price quotes and installation estimates in writing and get several for the best deals.

Taxes and insurance

If you add panic bars to your commercial location you might just qualify for a tax break. It is after all, an upgrade to your business and property and since it is built-in it qualifies as an improvement to the real estate. We are not tax experts here so be sure to check with your own tax professionals about how to do this. You might also qualify for lower insurance premiums as major carriers often offer lower rates for having panic bars installed since they are such reliable safety features. Insurance regulators understand that having panic bars installed reduces injury, death, lawsuits and insurance claims for all involved.

Sometimes they stick

Once in a while panic bars get stuck. This may be when in the locked or unlocked position, but when you are trying to close your store for the night and go home, it’s a problem that you don’t want to have. If you are into do-it-yourself solutions you might try and make your own adjustments. In fact there are many videos online that offer help in doing this. The problem is that depending on the brand and panic bar model involved the online tips may be outdated or ineffective. Besides, as a business person isn’t your time worth more than that? Every local firm needs access to 24-hour commercial locksmith service from a licensed, bonded and insured shop. You can call Dorchester Locksmith or a trusted technician that you’ve used before but we recommend dealing with professionals. You’ll get the repair done faster and have peace of mind in knowing that the job was done correctly and by trained and skilled experts. Besides, save the repair receipt and give it to your accountant later!