How To Choose the Best Back Door Exit: A Comprehensive Guide

As a business owner, you need a rear exit with a secure, easy-to-use pedestrian door that conforms with safety regulations. There are many types of back door exits on the market. Consequently, choosing the best one can seem daunting. That’s why the Creative Door Services™ has put together this helpful guide.

a smiling business woman exiting a building through the back door

Types Of Commercial Rear Exit Doors

Contrary to popular belief, commercial and industrial back door pedestrian exits, or man doors, are not a one-size-fits-all solution! They can come in many styles and materials to choose from to not only complement the aesthetics of your building, but to meet your security needs. Here are just a few:

Commercial Hollow Metal Doors

Commercial hollow metal doors are the most popular commercial rear exit door style. They’re manufactured with a hollow metal shell filled with either a honeycomb core or mineral insulation. These doors are secure, durable, and require little to no maintenance. These doors are also fire-rated for up to three hours.

Hollow metal doors can last up to 10 years longer than wood doors and have a high-quality insulation value, making them an excellent choice for exterior use. Moreover, these doors are less expensive than other types of rear exit doors.

Commercial Wood Doors

Commercial wood doors are built using thin veneer wood sheets around a composite core of solid lumber, particle board, or pressed mineral products. Wooden doors have a more natural look and are typically used for interior applications. Wood doors aren’t as durable as steel doors and more vulnerable to extreme weather. Wood doors are also more expensive than other types of doors. Here’s an overview of four things to consider when choosing materials for your pedestrian door.

red fire exit door

Fire-Rated Doors

Many jurisdictions have building codes that require rear exit doors to be fire-rated to help protect people in the event of an emergency. The doors can withstand extreme heat and delay the spread of flames and smoke. If there’s a fire at the back of the building, a fire-rated door can prevent it from spreading inside. Fire-rated doors are typically rated to resist heat and smoke for 90 minutes but can be as high as three hours.

Solid Vs. Glass Commercial Back Exits

Commercial back exits aren’t typically in public view and are also the first place where vandals and thieves will try to enter your building, so it needs to be secure. Solid doors are typically more secure than glass doors. Glass doors are also less fire resistant and have less insulation value than solid doors. However, if you need to see outside your business for deliveries or other reasons, choose a hollow metal door with a fire-insulated narrow glass window. That way, you’ll enjoy all the benefits of a solid door but can still see outside.

accessibility and disability compliance button to open door

Accessibility Compliance

Besides fire rating, your back door exit also needs to meet accessibility requirements. This ensures people with disabilities and other mobility issues can enter and exit the building in case of an emergency. Doors that meet accessibility regulations have locks and handles that are lower than standard doors. The handle mechanism must also be accessible and easy to use without unusual maneuvering or tight gripping.

Security And Industrial-Grade Locking Capabilities

As mentioned earlier, rear exits must be as secure as possible to deter intruders. Installing a commercial lock on your rear exit can prevent unwanted visitors from entering your property. Commercial locks are heavy-duty and can withstand heat, tampering, and brute force. In fact, installing a back exit without a commercial-grade lock may violate the terms of your insurance.

Exit Devices

Door handles may not be the best way to open your rear exit. In fact, regular door handles may not comply with accessibility regulations. Crash bars or panic bars are horizontal bars connected to latches on the top and/or bottom of the door frame. The doors open by gently pushing the bar. There are four main types of exit devices:

  • Rim
  • Mortise
  • Surface vertical rod
  • Concealed vertical rod

The hardware for these devices is available in different finishes to match most décors.

interior school doorway exit into stairwell for safety

Facilities That Require Quality Back Door Exits

Back-door pedestrian exits are required for many buildings and facilities, including:

  • Warehouses
  • Factories and manufacturing facilities
  • Shipping and receiving depots
  • Retail stores
  • Schools
  • Hospitals
  • Multi-unit housing, like apartment complexes and assisted living facilities

Top-Quality Commercial Pedestrian Doors in Western Canada from Creative Door Services™

At Creative Door Services™ we carry a wide range of commercial and industrial pedestrian doors from top manufacturers. We also offer professional installation, maintenance, and repair services. Plus, all our doors come in both manual and automated versions depending on your budget and your facility’s needs.

Contact us today to learn more about our products and services or to get a free quote. We have locations in Kelowna, British Columbia; Vancouver, British Columbia; Calgary, Alberta; Edmonton, Alberta; Fort McMurray, Alberta; Regina, Saskatchewan; Saskatoon, Saskatchewan; and Winnipeg, Manitoba.

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