Yes, you can lock a push bar. While push bars are safety mechanisms which usually need to be kept unlocked, there are some circumstances where they need to be locked. If you have an exterior door equipped with a push bar as the only locking mechanism, the bar may need to be locked up when you’re locking up the property for the night. Otherwise, this door will still be accessible from the outside. So, you’ll need to know how to lock and then unlock your push bar for security and safety.

How to Lock a Push Bar on a Door

When you need to lock a door with a push bar you need to start on the inside of the building. You will need the door’s “dog down” key or an Allen key (also known as a hex key) in order to lock it. Most businesses keep the key right by the door, or one of their doors.

Next you will need to locate the small hole somewhere on the push part of the exit bar. Depending on your model of push bar, it may also be on one of the two ends of the bar. You place the key in the hole and push it until the bar releases, or pops forward. This releases the latch. Be careful, as if you close the door now, it will lock automatically and, if you are on the outside of the building, you will need a key to get in.

You should also be sure to unlock every single push bar in the building when you get in, in order to ensure they are all operational. To do so, stand on the inside of the door and push the bar down. Then insert and turn the key. Try pushing the door open to ensure that it has unlocked.

When to Lock a Push Bar Door

If the door has any other locking mechanisms that will work independently of the push bar, you should be using them instead of the push bar. Push bars are safety mechanisms that help people escape buildings in emergencies. When possible, you should not lock them so that you do not forget to unlock them.

If your building isn’t high traffic, especially through the door that you have the push bar on, you may simply wish to leave the push bar portion locked all of the time. Most push bar models will still work from the inside when locked (although you should check this.)

Should You Add a Push Bar?

Building codes require push bars on many doors on commercial properties. If you are changing up the hardware on a door anyway, you should consider adding a push bar. They can act as the primary locking and opening mechanism on the door. It is highly convenient to purchase a single piece of door hardware that can function as a safety mechanism as well as open and lock the door.

We can help you choose a quality push bar that will function seamlessly for years.