What is a Push Bar Door? Perks of Exit Devices and Panic Bars on Commercial Doors

What is a Push Bar Door? Perks of Exit Devices and Panic Bars on Commercial Doors

Many businesses and public buildings feature doors with push bar mechanisms. They go by many names, such as exit devices, crash bars, panic bar doors, or panic devices because of how they work and how they’re used. 

For the sake of this blog post, we’ll be referring to them by their most common name: panic bars.

This blog post will look into how doors with panic bars work, why they’re a popular choice among businesses, some of their perks, and a few businesses they are well suited for. So, if you’re curious about getting doors with panic bars installed on your business property, keep reading!

What is a Door with a Panic Bar?

Commercial doors with panic bars are usually large doors made of lightweight metal. Instead of a handle or knob being used to operate the door, these doors have a metal bar across them. When the bar is pushed, the door opens, much like turning a door knob or handle.

Panic bars are typically only found in commercial or business establishments, as they are not typically intended for residential use. They can come as a single or double-door setup, depending on the size of the doorway and the traffic needs of the area. They can be equipped with a variety of configurations for security and functional needs, such as maglocks or electric strikes.

Contrary to what you might think, panic bars are exit devices that can be added to many different types of doors, like hollow metal doors or glass-aluminum doors. That’s why we refer to panic bars as their own thing – This refers to the exit device, not the door itself!

How Do Panic Bar Doors Work?

These exit devices can be installed on the exterior or interior of a building and can be installed to swing toward the exit of the building. They are most commonly equipped with a closer so that when the door is not in use, it remains closed and automatically closes after being opened. 

The panic bar itself unlatches and allows the door to open when pressure is applied to the bar. The bar is connected to a latch mechanism that holds the door closed when not in use. With pressure on the bar, the latch mechanism releases, and the door opens in the direction of the push. 

Why Are Panic Bar Doors Popular for Businesses?

Panic bars have quite a few perks when it comes to using them in businesses:

  1. Easy to use: these devices are easy for customers, employees, and visitors to operate. They don’t require much pressure to open up and are particularly helpful for some with disabilities. They make it easy for people to enter or exit a building without assistance. They are also good for situations where someone using the door may not be able to use their hands, such as carrying objects or pulling something behind them.
  2. Fire-code and regulation-compliant: In many commercial applications, doors with panic bars are actually required for certain entry and exit points. Usually, they are found in high-traffic areas or at emergency exits because they are so easy to use. They allow for quick evacuation in the event of an emergency.
  3. Low maintenance: Usually installed on doors made of metal and being made of metal themselves, panic bars are made to withstand wear and tear. They tend to have a longer lifespan than other hardware, making them a cost-effective option in many cases.
  4. Safe: Panic bars can not only help keep things out of your business, but they also allow for easy and fast emergency evacuation. Because they operate with a push bar, these allow for large flows of people to exit at a time. They also won’t block an exit when they encounter a lot of force. Plus, they’re some of the safest emergency exit doors out there.

Businesses That Can Benefit from Panic Bars

High-traffic buildings and areas that need good security are often well-suited for these exit devices. Here are a few examples of businesses that panic bar devices are well-suited for:

  1. Retail stores: Stores and shopping malls typically have aluminum-glass storefront doors, but these can also feature panic bar hardware. These doors make it easy for people to enter or exit when they are carrying merchandise. They can also be installed at emergency exits, as they easily open and accommodate large flows of people at a time.
  2. Healthcare facilities and hospitals: Panic bars are required by law in healthcare facilities in certain areas. They make moving throughout the building, entering, and exiting easier for people. This is especially important as so much happens in healthcare facilities, a faulty or poorly functioning door is the last thing you’d want to worry about.
  3. Offices: Office buildings, especially those with multiple floors, can benefit from panic bar exit devices because of their fire-safety features.
  4. Schools: Doors with panic bars are actually required in certain locations in educational facilities, and for good reason. They primarily operate as emergency exits. However, they are also great for making sure high-traffic areas and entryways are secure and easy to maintain.
  5. Public buildings: Public spaces like libraries, post offices, government facilities, and more can benefit from these devices. This is because they are likely to have a lot of foot traffic and visitors. The busier or more crowded a building, the better off the building may be with these easy-to-use and safe doors. 


If your business hosts a lot of foot traffic or needs updated safety measures, panic bars may be a great fit for you. They are designed to comply with building regulations and fire codes, are easy to maintain, are cost-effective, and can be modified with different configurations to suit your security and durability needs. There’s a reason you’ll find panic bar exit devices in so many different buildings. They’re some of the most commercial-friendly devices out there!

If you’re looking to get panic bars or other exit devices installed at your business, make sure you work with professionals (like us!). That way you know you’re getting proper installation. A qualified installer can help you select the perfect hardware and modifications for your needs and ensure your doors and hardware are built to last!

So, let Commercial Door in Norman, Tulsa, and Oklahoma City help you choose the perfect panic bars for your business! Reach out to us on our contact page and get started with a free estimate. You can also take a look at our list of services here. Or, you can always give us a call at (405) 321-DOOR (3667). We also offer our customers 24/7 emergency repairs whenever you need them!

If you need doors installed or repaired, call Commercial Door first!