The basics of door hardware specifications

There are several types of panic hardware.


Touchpad panic hardware is mounted on the inside of the door and features an enclosed mechanism case with a touchpad to allow egress.


Crossbar panic hardware may be used for doors with large glass lites or where there is an esthetic preference for the crossbar style. Available for both wide and narrow stile doors, they are ideal for environments demanding a traditional look that is durable enough to withstand rugged applications.


Recessed panic hardware is embedded into the door to maintain a low profile with sloped end caps to deflect objects away from the door. This hardware is close to being totally flush with the door when depressed.

Rods versus cables

Vertical rod panic hardware has historically been manufactured with rods and latches to secure the door at the top and bottom. Recently introduced exit devices use a concealed vertical cable instead of rods. Concealed vertical cable panic devices are more esthetic and easier to install and maintain than traditional vertical rod devices.

Control the door

Controlling the door is the job of a door closer. The function of a door closer is not just to close the door, but also control the door in both the opening and closing cycles to prevent damage and injury caused by abuse, wind, or other factors.

Choosing a door closer involves the consideration of a variety of criteria. In addition to the closer’s performance in fire situations, other factors may include resistance to opening forces, control over the rate of closing, safety, durability, risk of vandalism, and esthetics. Many codes and standards contain requirements for door closers, so it is important to reference all accessibility, fire, and life-safety requirements before specifying.

There are five basic types of door closers.

Surface-mounted closers

These closers mount at the top of the door and frame—either parallel arm mount (push side), regular arm mount (pull side), or top jamb mount (push side).

Floor closers

These closers mount in the floor, and the door is typically hung on pivots. Floor closers must be carefully co-ordinated with the floor construction and finish flooring for proper installation.

Concealed closers

Concealed closers are mounted in the frame head, or in the top rail of the door, when esthetics are a concern.

High-security closers

High-security closers feature a vandal-resistant design for use where closers may be exposed to abuse or vandalism.

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