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Exit Devices

Building codes are very specific when it comes to exit devices. They cover every aspect from how to install exit devices/crash bars, what type, how far the activator must extend across the door, what doors must be outfitted with them, what doors must have fire-rated devices, and the list goes on. While it can seem complicated, suppliers such as VonDuprin have made it simple for commercial customers by creating exit devices that are flexible and variable and meet national standards. One feature to consider when choosing an exit device/crash bar is the need for a dogging feature. Essentially, the dogging feature allows the locking nature of the crash bar to be over-ridden and the door left unlocked, or able to function as a regular locking door.

The nature of an exit device is such that it allows the door to which it is applied to remain locked at all times. However, anyone on the interior side of the door can open the door easily and quickly simply by pressing on the crossbar, crash bar or touch pad, depending on the type of device it has. This increases a commercial building’s level of security but still allows those on the inside of the building to escape quickly during an emergency, such as a building fire.

Many exit devices come with a dogging feature. The feature is activated by using a hex wrench or even an ordinary key. When the mechanism is dogged, the crash bar is inactivated and the door works just like an regular push-pin style door. A dogging feature is useful during periods of time when it might be inconvenient for a door that is normally locked from the exterior to remain locked. One example of this is when an outside group is renting space in a commercial building and must be able to enter and exit frequently and freely but building owners do not wish to loan out keys to the building in the interest of long-term security.

In this type of situation, the dogging feature can be activated. Renters/users can come and go out of that one door freely (usually with the expectation that they visually monitor who is entering the building.) No other doors need be used, and no keys have to be distributed. Once the renters have left the building, the dogging feature can be deactivated and the door remains locked again. Not every door needs to have an exit device with a dogging feature, especially if building owners are worried about compromising building security due to tampering with dogging devices or accidentally forgetting to deactivate a dogging feature. Von Duprin exit devices are manufactured with and without dogging features, so choices are flexible.

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