If you’ve been to a school, hospital, or office building, chances are you’ve seen and used an exit device. These devices outfit double doors and are UL-listed for fire safety as panic hardware.
They come in three main types: rim, vertical rod, and concealed vertical cable. Edge is one of the most robust configurations and latches directly to a panic bar.
Rim devices include a deadlock feature. This prevents the latch from being forcibly retracted by someone outside the door, so only a key or an inside handle can reject it.
These are UL-listed as fire-rated panic hardware and work well with narrow-stile aluminium, hollow metal, or wood doors. Rim exit devices are often the best choice for existing single doors, as they are easy to install.
So, what is a rim exit device? Rim exit devices are surface-mounted to the door. A latch protrudes from the device’s face and locks to the strike plate on the frame, mullion in double doors, or inactive door for single-door openings without a mullion.
They are mounted on the door’s surface, with a top and bottom rod extending its total height. The interlocking noseguard and Starwheel bolt close around the strike to secure the door, which can be a surface-applied or mortise strike. They can also be used with a removable mullion that allows them to be installed on paired doors without narrowing the opening.
Rim devices are the easiest to install and often the type chosen for retrofits. They latch directly to the door frame, requiring less preparation of the quality door and frame than vertical rod or concealed vertical rod models.
They can be installed on single doors or pairs with a removable mullion. A rim device requires the doors to be aligned to work correctly, but this is easier to accomplish than vertical rod devices.
Rim devices are available in various widths to accommodate all commercial doors, from 30″ – to 48″. Many are field sizable for use on wider doors. Some have a “T” option that provides top-only latching for applications that don’t require a bottom latch. The T option also allows for easier egress with less force needed on the push bar. Some rim devices also include an integrated alarm in the push rail. This is ideal for ADA access applications where notices are required.
The rim exit device is one of three types of devices that can be used to secure an out-swinging door. It is fire-rated and labelled as panic hardware, working on double and single doors. Its latch is secured by the door’s frame, often above a mullion. The device is surface-mounted with top and bottom rods that latch into a strike plate on the door frame or a mullion for double doors.
These strikes can be surface-applied or mortised into a recessed pocket. These are heavy-duty devices that are generally used in pairs on double doors. They work well with alarmed hardware because the strike can accommodate various electrical connectors. They also provide the most flexibility for doors with a mullion since they can be mounted to either a mullion or the active leaf of a double door. They can also be used on a single door with a removable mullion to close the gap and minimize forced entry.
Rim exit devices provide reliable, easy-to-use security, strictly following fire and safety codes. Moreover, they offer more flexibility for alarms and electrified hardware than vertical rod systems. These can be surface-mounted, concealed, or mortise-lock style.
Whether installed on single or double doors, rim devices are UL-listed as panic and fire-rated equipment. They also comply with ADA regulations. They are non-handed and field reversible.
A push bar above or below the door’s mullion retracts the rim device’s latch. The push bar is usually centred above the mullion but can be offset left or right of the centre.
Surface vertical rod exit devices mount on the door’s exterior and extend a top and bottom rod to latch into a surface-applied or mortise strike. They can also be operated by a solenoid in the pushbar for instantaneous unlocking and locking from a remote location or an access control system.