Commercial Applications for Alarmed Exit Devices
Exit devices have come a long way since inventor Carl Prinzler teamed up with Henry DuPont and Vonnegut Hardware to create and distribute the world's first exit device for commercial doors in 1908. The alarmed exit device is one such modern innovation.
Exit devices have come a long way since inventor Carl Prinzler teamed up with Henry DuPont and Vonnegut Hardware to create and distribute the world's first exit device for commercial doors in 1908. Design improvements and modern technology have allowed commercial hardware companies to create products that address changing business security needs while still keeping human safety a top priority. The alarmed exit device is one such modern innovation.
The primary function of an exit device is to allow business and commercial property owners to limit access to a building from the outside while allowing people indoors to leave the building quickly and easily in an emergency. Exit devices, when applied to doors, keep doors locked on one side (the outside, in the case of exterior doors.) The opposite side (inside) is outfitted with a crash bar or panic bar. Applying a small amount of force to the bar releases the locking mechanism, making a quick departure possible.
Adding an alarm component to a standard crash bar gives an extra measure of security. Alarmed exit devices will emit a buzzing, beeping or ringing sound when the crash bar is activated. Alarmed exit devices are typically installed on doors that are not intended to be used for regular public traffic. Rather, they are applied to emergency/fire exits as required by law. Employees and patrons are prohibited from using these doors to exit the property, except in the event of an emergency (i.e. fire, robbery, threat, etc.)
Alarmed exit devices make suitable security solutions for businesses such as:
1) Restaurants. Restaurants typically designate only one or two sets of doors for public use. Other doors may include staff-only entrances, vendor/shipping entrances, kitchen and emergency/fire exits. By applying alarmed exit devices to these doors, owners/managers are immediately aware that the door has been used.
2) Retail establishments. Grocery, clothing, department and other types of stores can control theft (i.e. snatch-and-runs) as well as unauthorized employee use (i.e. employees allowing non-staff into restricted areas) by using alarmed exit devices.
3) Care Homes. Care homes can monitor door usage with alarmed exit devices, preventing vulnerable residents from being able to wander out of the building unnoticed. Alarmed exit devices may be applied to all non-public doors (emergency/fire exits, shipping entrances, kitchen doors, etc.) Sometimes they are even applied to public doors. In these cases, the general public may be asked to press an alarm de-activation button before using the exit device to exit the building. Doing so by-passes the alarm system and allows the door to be opened without sounding the alarm.
4) Schools/Daycare centers. Children can be safely contained inside the building, and teachers/caregivers will know immediately if a child tries to exit an alarmed door. Staff and children will still be able to make a fast exit in an emergency situation.
Alarmed exit devices are an ideal solution for business and commercial property owners. By installing them on non-public entrances, owners can rest assured that their properties and inventories as well as patrons and staff will be safe and protected.
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ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Jenny Schweyer is a freelance writer from the Pacific Northwest.
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