Von Duprin Panic Bars
January 03, 2020
Over a Million Variations Strong, Von Duprin Panic Bars are an Industry Leader
The Origin of Panic Bars
The Von Duprin panic bar has been around since 1908. The initial purpose of the panic bar was to provide a safe way for a crowd of people to get through a door safely in a duress situation. At first panic bars were only needed to be mechanical for single wood and steel doors.
Building Design Evolution
Building designs evolved to include double door applications and aluminum doors with glass. The double doors required panic bars to latch at the top and the bottom of the door so that each door could operate independently. The aluminum doors with glass had door stiles that varied in size and also provided an open area within the door for vertical rods to be concealed on the double doors. The standard size panic bar would not fit on the narrow stile aluminum doors. Von Duprin came up with a design for a smaller head panic bar that would fit on the narrow stile door. Von Duprin continued to work with the door industry and the authorities writing the building codes. They designed panic bars to accommodate specific needs with the goal of making buildings safe to exit under duress and provide security and accessibility.
Electronic Card Access
In the 1980s, card access was starting to replace mechanical keys for access to buildings. This meant the locks had to be modified in some way to electronically unlock the door. The standard rim device on non-fire rated doors could use an electric strike. The interior doors on the building that are fire rated and need to be connected to a fire alarm system often need to remain unlocked in a duress scenario and still remain positively latched. For this application an electric strike does not meet that specification. Von Duprin has two solutions, one is an electrified lever for the exterior of the door and the second choice is electrified latch retraction.
Card access has continued to evolve to include monitoring if the door is being opened in an authorized way as opposed to being forced open. Von Duprin has two switches to monitor and communicate with the card access system and alarm system. The RX switch is a request to exit switch which monitors that the push pad is being used to open the door. The LX switch is the latch bolt monitor to work in conjunction with the door position switch to determine if the door is properly closed and latched.
Panic Bar Comparison
All of these variations within the panic bar are needed to function correctly. The question was how to compare the value of the various panic bars from other manufacturers. Underwriters Laboratory performs tests on panic bars to verify ratings and standards, which then allows someone to compare the value, performance, durability and longevity of panic bars.
Von Duprin panic bars are known as the Cadillac of the industry and often test well beyond the minimum requirements of the UL listings.
Von Duprin continues to work with municipalities and industries to meet specific needs based upon special situations. Examples include protecting access to a pool area, pneumatically controlled devices for explosion rated areas and weather-related applications for places like Florida where hurricane rated devices are needed.
Panic Bar Versatility: Over a Million Variations
Panic bars need to have the versatility to be able to function on all types of doors and integrate with card access, fire alarms, computer software, power door operators and smart phones and also meet the needs based upon geographic location and local code issues.
Von Duprin continues to work closely with architects and code compliance authorities to provide UL listed hardware to meet these needs.
Once someone starts looking at all of the choices and variations of the panic bars, including lever designs and finishes, it's easy to understand how a single style of panic bar can have over one million variations. What’s more, each of those panic bar variations is considered its own product.
We help architects, builders and door companies find the right panic bar to fit their needs.
Our goal is to be the easy button for panic bars to help you find the panic bar to fit your application. Give us a call 800-508-6889 or send me an email at Dave@wholesalelocks.com to find the best fit for your needs.
Posted in New By David Jabas