Halloween is only a day away and there are some spooky door and hardware combinations that you should be afraid of. Here are several hardware applications that you will definitely run away and hide from. If you see an opening with any of these conditions, then you’ll want to make some adjustments or replace them immediately.

Hardware For Fire Doors

Fire doors are a good thing for life safety. Having the right hardware is critical to the performance of a fire door. For example, hinges that are not approved for fire rated openings can be easy to miss, such as Brass based ball-bearing hinges instead of Steel based hinges. If hinges that are brass or bronze-based are used, then they will likely fail when exposed to high temperatures in a fire. Using BHMA finish codes will help avoid this mistake when ordering hinges.

If a witch’s brew happens to start the carpet on fire, you’ll want a way to escape the room and exit the building safely.

Another common mistake with fire doors is installing a hold open device. Fire doors are required to be self-closing in the event of a fire. If there is a door closer with a hold open arm or another type of manual hold open device, then the door will not close when it should. Unless authorized by the local authority having jurisdiction (AHJ), a hold open device must not be used.

Finally, fire rated doors are sometimes specified to have push plates and pull plates on them. This is dangerous because fire doors are required to be positive self-latching, meaning they automatic latch when they come in contact with the strike on the frame. If push/pull plates are the only thing on the doors, then they will blow open in high temperatures and allow smoke and fire to pass through. That would be scary!

Hardware For Pairs Of Doors

An astragal is often used on a pair of doors to seal the vertical gap between the two door leafs. There are two main types of astragals: overlapping astragals and meeting stile astragals. In a double door application, an overlapping astragal is attached to one door and overlaps the other door when closed. A meeting stile astragal has two pieces, each attached to one of the doors, which “meet” together when the doors are closed and seal the gap between the door.

Sealing the gaps around the perimeter of a door may help prevent the entrance of ghosts.

Overlapping astragals are sometimes used where they shouldn’t, such as a pair of doors that have vertical rod panic devices installed on them. These doors are meant to open independently. But if an overlapping astragal is used, then one of these doors will be prevented from opening due to the overlapping astragal. Instead, a meeting stile astragal should be used which will seal the gap and also allow both doors to open independent from the other. Overlapping astragals should only be used when one of the doors is kept closed most of the time.

Panic Hardware

Yes, panic hardware is a real thing.

This last scenario is something you might panic about. Panic hardware is meant to be used for egress in a single motion without requiring special knowledge or the use of a key. This means if there is an emergency, the occupants of the building can exit through the door without delay.

Exit Device with Cylinder Dogging

When zombies are chasing you through the office, use panic hardware to get out of the building.

There are times when building owners may feel that doors with panic hardware are not very secure. So they add an additional locking mechanism, such as a deadbolt. This is a terrifying addition to an exit door! Should an event occur that requires occupants to exit quickly, people would likely run towards the opening, attempt to exit using the panic hardware only to be prevented from exit because of the deadbolt that is bolted (which would leave them at the mercy of brain-eating zombies). No other locking hardware should be added to an opening that has a panic device unless approved by the local AHJ.

Have a Happy Halloween!