"history of the panic bar, part 2"

Welcome back to the Commercial Door Service blog! Our blog is your one-stop shop for learning about all things relating to commercial door repair and installation service. We have been serving the Houston area since 1998 with unbeatable professional services. We understand that in providing your business repair services that we are essentially becoming business partners with you. We take what we do seriously and understand that what we do directly affects your business. To learn more about us and our Top Rated Local® Commercial Door Service, visit our website.

Lately on our blog, we have taken a little break from talking about commercial door repair, to learn a little history about one of the main components of a commercial door that sets it apart from a residential door. This component is the panic bar. The panic bar is the bar that you press to exit through a commercial door. Panic bars weren’t always a part of commercial doors and were invented due to tragic circumstances.

As we discussed in our last blog, one of the first noteworthy incidents that started making people think about improving commercial door construction came in 1883, when 183 children died in Sutherland, England because they couldn’t get out due to a locked door. Another incident occured in Chicago years later when 605 people died at the Iroquois Theater because they were locked inside when a fire took the theater up in flames. Only 5 years later, another tragedy occurred: 174 people died in the Cottonwood School fire. After these events and others that we didn’t mention, finally someone thought enough was enough and invented the panic bar.

We Vow Never Again

Robert Alexander Briggs lived in Sutherland, England and is credited with the invention of the panic bar. By 1892, Briggs was awarded a UK patent for his commercial door improvement. However, he wasn’t the only one thinking about change. Carl Pinzler would have been at the Iroquois Theater the night that it caught fire, but at the last minute, had to miss the event. After learning about the tragic events, Pinzler contacted Henry H. DuPont imploring him to make commercial doors more safe. Shortly thereafter DuPont invented a version of the panic bar.

Implementation of the Panic Bar

With the previous tragedies, many were quick to implement panic bars on businesses and public buildings. With their installation, many saw not only the convenience that panic bars afforded, but also how quickly they could provide an exit during an emergency situation when it mattered most. In addition, the panic bar also created better circumstances that lessen the likelihood of occupants being injured from trampling.

The Modern Panic Bar

It is still very unfortunate that it took tragedy for safety improvements to commercial doors and building code alterations to occur. However, if such events would never of happened, it may have been nearly impossible for us or our others of the past to foresee issues with the current state of commercial doors.

If you are in need of commercial door repair in Houston area, contact your Top Rated Local® Commercial Door Service experts.