“Suddenly I felt that I was treading upon someone lying on the stairs and I cried in horror to those behind, ‘Keep back, keep back! There’s someone down. It was no use… I passed slowly over and onwards with the mass and before long I passed over others without emotion. At last we came to a dead stop but still those behind came crowding on…” -William Codling, the whiteness of the Victoria Hall disaster.
The unveiled truth behind panic door devices
At a quick glance, it’s easy to perceive the convenience of a panic bar on an existing door, but have you ever pondered the reason for it’s existence? The title, Panic Device, is well received by owners of commercial buildings, but the term often goes unperceived. The horrific truth of it’s title stems from the mass death of 183 children between the ages of 3 and 14 in 1883, when a tragedy now known as The Victoria Hall disaster took place in England. These kids were trampled to death after a performance featuring magic tricks and waxworks, when an announcement was made about the passing out of toys to a select amount of children attending the show. The mass of children all rushed down the upper balcony to approach the stage, hoping to participate in the festivities. The crowd was compressed when the exiting door was bolted with only about 2 feet of room for entrance. This was likely done to keep the ticketing booth from becoming overcrowded. However, imagining the excitement of those children, you’ll understand the stress of being over crowded and the fear of realizing that other children were being crushed. Altogether this resulted in a state of intense panic, with no way to get out. Thankfully something good came from this horrific incident, when what is known as a “Panic Device” or “Push Bar” was invented.
Now that we’ve addressed the history behind the device, it’s clear that the importance of its presence in big commercial buildings far outways its conveniences. However, there are additional conveniences to consider when contemplating the purchase and installation of this system.
- Safety – As we’ve already discussed, safety is the first and most significant reason for installation. The panic bar allows for an easy exit during emergencies, decreases the possibility of injuries or deaths during a high stress situation, and (with an alarm added) it alerts others in the building when someone unauthorized is exiting the building.
- Cost and variation – Panic devices come in may varieties, allowing business owners to find the most secure device for their building within their budget. The importance of this kind of device is so severe, that the manufacturing of them has improved to support all potential situations where one might be needed. Some come with alarms, some are horizontal, others are vertical. Some are wide, others less so. If you are considering this type of system, it’s probably because one is needed. Prices range dramatically. Some panic bars cost over $300, while others can be found for less than $100.
- Insurance – The installation of a panic device can decrease the insurance premium, appealing greatly to business owners or property manager’s on a tight budget. It’s a win win.
Can I install this device myself or do I need a locksmith?
Professional locksmiths are trained and certified to install and disassemble panic devices properly. There are many different types of devices, and each one requires a very specific process of installation. If you are considering the installation of a panic system it would be best to call a locksmith. A locksmith should offer an assessment of your building, addressing at least three answers to these three common questions:
- Does my business or building need a panic device?
- What are my options?
- Which option is the best for my building and my budget?
After answering these three questions, a locksmith should be ready to resolve the situation by either offering installation and costs for the device, or providing advice for alternative security options. Call Locksmith Plus Inc with questions concerning panic devices, or other security needs. They are highly trained and committed to bridging the gaps in security measures.
To talk about your panic exit device options please give our locksmiths a call!