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How to Repair Panic Bars on Commercial Doors



Panic bars, also known as crash bars, play a crucial role in ensuring the safety and security of people in commercial buildings. These devices allow for quick and easy exits during emergencies, preventing chaos and potential injury. If you run a business in Oakville, maintaining these bars in optimal condition is essential for both legal compliance and the safety of your employees and customers. However, like any mechanical device, panic bars can malfunction over time. In this article, we’ll explore how to handle door repair in Oakville, focusing on panic bars for commercial doors.
Maintaining these devices involves recognizing and addressing common issues, such as jamming, loose components, and malfunctioning mechanisms. Whether you’re considering DIY fixes or professional commercial door repair service, understanding the basics can help you make informed decisions.

Types of Panic Bars

When it comes to panic bars, it’s important to recognize the different types available, as each one has specific applications and potential issues.
Rim Panic Bars: These are the most common type and are installed on the interior surface of the door. They are known for their straightforward installation and effectiveness in emergencies. Rim panic bars are ideal for single and double doors, providing reliable security.
Mortise Panic Bars: These panic bars involve a mortise lock mechanism that is embedded within the door itself. They offer a sleek appearance and are highly secure, making them suitable for doors that need enhanced protection. The complexity of their mechanism requires precise installation and maintenance.
Vertical Rod Panic Bars: These bars have rods that extend vertically within the door frame, either at the top, bottom, or both. They are commonly used on double doors without a central mullion. Vertical rod panic bars provide excellent security but require careful alignment to function correctly.

Common Panic Bar Problems

Even the best panic bars can encounter problems over time. Recognizing these issues early can help you address them before they become major safety hazards.
Jamming: A jammed panic bar can prevent the door from opening quickly in an emergency. This can be due to dirt, debris, or misalignment. Regular inspection can help prevent jamming issues.
Loose Components: Over time, screws and other components can become loose, compromising the panic bar’s effectiveness. Loose parts can cause rattling sounds or make the bar feel unstable. Tightening these components is usually a straightforward fix.
Malfunctioning Mechanisms: The internal mechanisms of panic bars can wear out or break, leading to improper functioning. This can result from regular use, environmental factors, or poor maintenance. Identifying and replacing faulty mechanisms is crucial for maintaining door safety.

Diagnosis and Assessment

Before diving into repairs, it’s important to accurately diagnose the problem with your panic bar. Proper assessment can save time and ensure the right solution is applied.
Identifying Panic Bar Issues: Start by observing the panic bar’s operation. Does it stick, feel loose, or fail to engage properly? Listen for unusual sounds and check for visible damage. Comparing the operation of the problematic panic bar to a functioning one can help identify discrepancies. For instance, if the panic bar sticks when pushed, it could indicate internal friction or misalignment issues. If it feels loose, there may be loose screws or bolts that need tightening.
Tools for Assessment: To diagnose issues effectively, you’ll need a few basic tools, including a screwdriver set (with both flathead and Phillips screwdrivers), pliers (regular and needle-nose), a flashlight for inspecting hard-to-see areas, and lubricant. These tools will help you inspect the panic bar closely and make minor adjustments or repairs. The emergency door repair might require immediate attention if significant issues are discovered during the assessment.

Repair Methods

Once you’ve identified the issue, it’s time to move on to the repair. Here are some common methods to address typical panic bar problems:
Tightening Loose Components: If you notice loose screws or bolts, use the appropriate screwdriver or wrench to tighten them. This simple step can resolve many issues related to rattling or instability.
Replacing Worn Parts: If parts like springs, latches, or the bar itself are worn out or broken, replacing them is necessary. Make sure to get compatible replacement parts from a reliable source. Follow the manufacturer’s instructions for disassembly and reassembly.
Adjusting Mechanisms: Sometimes, the internal mechanisms of the panic bar need adjustment. This could involve realigning rods, adjusting the tension of springs, or repositioning the bar. Refer to the product manual for specific adjustment guidelines.

Materials and Tools Needed

Having the right materials and tools on hand can make the repair process smoother and more efficient.
Common Materials for Panic Bar Repair: Replacement parts (springs, latches, rods), lubricants (silicone spray or graphite powder), and cleaning supplies (cloth, mild detergent).
Essential Tools: Screwdriver set (both flathead and Phillips), pliers, adjustable wrench, lubricant spray, flashlight, and possibly a power drill for more intensive repairs.

DIY vs. Professional Repair

When it comes to repairing panic bars, you might wonder whether to tackle the job yourself or hire a professional. Both approaches have their benefits.
Benefits of DIY: Doing it yourself can save money and give you a sense of accomplishment. Simple tasks like tightening screws or applying lubricant are easy and don’t require specialized skills. If you’re comfortable with basic tools and have some mechanical inclination, DIY might be a good option for you.
When to Hire Professionals: For more complex issues, such as replacing internal mechanisms or dealing with mortise panic bars, hiring a professional is advisable. Professionals have the experience and tools to ensure the repair is done correctly and safely. A commercial door repair service can also provide regular maintenance, ensuring your panic bars are always in top condition.

Maintenance Tips

Regular maintenance can extend the life of your panic bars and ensure they function properly when needed most.
Regular Testing and Inspection: Periodically test all panic bars in your building to ensure they operate smoothly. Look for signs of wear or damage and address any issues immediately. Regular inspections can catch small problems before they become major safety hazards.
Lubricating Moving Parts: Apply a light lubricant to the moving parts of the panic bar, such as hinges and latches, to keep them operating smoothly. Avoid using heavy oils that can attract dust and debris. Regular lubrication reduces friction and wear, prolonging the life of the panic bar.


In conclusion, maintaining and repairing panic bars is vital for the safety and security of any commercial building. Understanding the types of panic bars and common issues helps in diagnosing and fixing problems effectively. Whether you opt for DIY repairs or professional assistance, keeping your panic bars in good working condition is crucial for door repair in Oakville. Regular maintenance and timely repairs can prevent emergencies from becoming disastrous. Testing and lubricating your panic bars regularly ensures they function properly when needed most.
For more complex issues or professional support, consider reaching out to a trusted commercial door repair service. Minute Locksmith provides expert solutions for panic bar installation, repairs, and other essential emergency door repair services. Trusting our expertise ensures your doors remain secure and functional, offering peace of mind for your business operations.

Frequently Asked Questions

Panic bars are devices installed on commercial doors that allow for quick and easy exit during emergencies. They are also known as crash bars.
Jamming can be caused by dirt, debris, or misalignment. Regular cleaning and inspection can help prevent this issue.
It’s a good idea to inspect your panic bars at least once a month to ensure they are functioning properly.
Yes, simple repairs like tightening screws or applying lubricant can be done yourself. For more complex issues, consider hiring a professional.

Basic tools include a screwdriver set, pliers, adjustable wrench, lubricant spray, and a flashlight.