Considerable attention must be given to the types of exit devices that one is going to install in a business or even a residence. Most automatic exit devices are found in business establishments as opposed to residential use. The use of automatic exit devices are not usually called for in a residence, as a modern door would be sufficient.
Single and Double Doors
Single doors are the easiest doors to install and secure. When a pair of doors are used, they prove to be much more complex and might not prove to be as secure as a single door. Doors that are generally used on the exterior of the building are usually of the “balanced door” design which is built to withstand high wind loads, when opening and closing them. This prevents high wind damage to the automatic device.
Fire-Rated Exit Doors
These are special doors that must be used in all commercial buildings. The doors must have a “dogging” mechanism that is automatic and not manual in nature. These doors are usually activated by some alarm system or smoke detector. These doors provide an active manner of escape in the case of a fire in the building. The doors are never to be chained locked. Fire-rated exit doors are governed by the laws of most states.
Non-Fire Rated Doors
These doors are generally activated by a panic bar system and will have a manual “dogging” system that will hold the automatic door open when desired, but when the automatic feature is engaged the doors will open and close by themselves when activated by an approaching individual or some treadle device which makes them an automatic door. Both sides of the door will need to be activated by the same device and open at the same moment. There are doors that open independently of each other and these will usually be found in commercial buildings.