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Vertical Rod Panic Device Basics

A Vertical Rod Panic Device has rods that connect the device’s pushpad to the top and/or bottom latches. Since the strikes are mounted on the top of the door frame and the floor, it allows for two latch points and many choose this type of exit device for the added security.

Vertical Rod Panic Devices are available in concealed or surface versions.

Concealed Vertical Rod Exit Devices have the top and bottom rods installed within the door. This type is ideal for a clean look and some argue that it increases the security factor even more since the rods cannot be tampered with. Concealed Vertical Rod Panic Devices are most commonly used on new doors built specifically to accommodate the hardware within the door's interior. Installing a concealed vertical rod device on existing doors can be tricky and will require a skilled contractor.

Surface Vertical Rod Exit Devices are mounted to the door's exterior with the rods visible. This makes them easy to add to an existing door and are the only option for solid doors.

Vertical Rod Exit Devices are available with a top and a bottom rod or top rod only. The second of these two configurations is known as Less Bottom Rod (LBR). One advantage of a LBR Vertical Rod Panic Device are that they are easier to install, only having one latch point. Since it allows for the bottom strike to be omitted, no prep-work needs to be done to the floor or threshold. The disadvantage of such is that it reduces the security.

Vertical Rod Device Installed


Vertical Rod Panic Hardware is also used on a set of double doors in conjunction with another Vertical Rod Panic Device, a Rim Panic Device, or a Mortise Panic Device.

Vertical Rod and Rim Panic Device Installed on Double Door Vertical Rod Installed on Double Door

Vertical Rod and Mortise Panic Devices

Two Vertical Rods

Rim Panic Device on Active Door and Vertical Rod on Inactive Door
When a set of double doors has both a vertical rod exit device and a rim exit device, the rim exit device strike is mounted to the normally inactive side of the double doors. The inactive side is then secured by a vertical rod exit device, which latches at the top of the door frame and into the threshold. A Double Door Coordinator must be used to insure the active door does not close until the inactive door bypasses it.
This not recommend for double doors that that are frequently used or used by the public.

Vertical Rod on Active Door and Inactive Door
When a set of double doors has a vertical rod exit device on both doors, they will have 4 latching points. This configuration will satisfy many fire door requirements.

Mortise Panic Device on Active Door and Vertical Rod on Inactive Door
When a set of double doors has a vertical rod exit device on the inactive leaf and a mortise exit device on the active leaf, the strike is mortised into the edge of the inactive leaf. An open back strike plate will allow the inactive leaf to be opened independently as long as there is no overlap or astragal installed. In the case of a astragal a Double Door Coordinator must be used. A door coordinator prevents the active door from closing until the inactive door bypasses it, making sure both leaves of the double door set latch securely.


Measuring for a Vertical Rod Panic Device

When measuring your door for a vertical rod exit device, you need to know the Width of the Door as well as the Height of the Door. Many models are field sizable for doors between certain widths. Click here to see how to field size a panic device.

Many Vertical Rod Door Panic Devices come standard for 7' (84") door heights with optional Vertical Rod Extensions for doors up to 10' (120"). These Vertical Rod Exit Device Extension Rods are also field sizable and can be cut to length as needed.

Rim Panic Device Guide - Previous Page | Alarm Panic Device Guide - Next Page


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