D & L Mobile Locksmith

A securely closed door will discourage most potential trespassers. And a push bar on a door can provide increased security and safety for your property. This type of door is often used in commercial centers, public buildings, hospitals, schools, cinemas, theatres, and emergency exits.

The unlocked door presents an opportunity for unauthorized individuals to gain entry to the building, potentially with malicious intent. Knowing the proper way to lock a push bar door when working in a commercial setting is essential. Occupants and business owners looking to increase the security of their space may be asking themselves, ‘How do you lock a push bar door?’

In this blog post, we will be delving into the specifics of push bar doors, their function, and how they can be securely locked.

What Is A Push Bar?

A push bar, also known as a panic bar, or crash bar, is an alternative to the standard knob or handle typically found on doors. It consists of a horizontal and flat bar, which is typically affixed to an outward-opening door.

In 1911, the push bar was designed and developed as a life-saving measure in response to the numerous fatalities caused by fires that trapped people in buildings with iron gates or inward-opening doors. These days, push bars are the primary door-opening mechanism in many commercial buildings and healthcare facilities.

The push bar is a highly intuitive, user-friendly device easily identifiable as fire exit doors. This makes it an ideal solution for any public space, enabling people unfamiliar with the building to make a swift exit, even if they are panicking. Its simple design ensures that anyone can operate the push bar in seconds.

They are a practical solution during emergencies, as they enable large numbers of people to exit simultaneously.

How To Lock A Push Bar Door

Before locking the push door, ensure that it is properly installed and secured to the doorframe. To do this, screws or bolts should be used to secure the strike plate to the doorframe. Then, by simply pushing down on the bar, it is possible to lock push bar doors from the inside. If the door does not open, you can be sure that it has been securely closed and locked.

How To Lock From The Outside

To lock a push bar door, a dogging hex key or mortise cylinder key must be inserted into the keyhole.

Check if your push bar door is equipped with an external locking mechanism. This should usually be a small rectangular keyhole located outside the door. Many push bar doors are fitted with an exterior locking mechanism, which can be activated outside the door.

Then, insert a key into the keyhole. Turn the key clockwise until the push bar door lock engages. This releases the latch mechanism and activates the strike plate, thus, ensuring that the door is locked.

Using a Deadbolt

The advantage of using a deadbolt is that it provides an additional layer of security, enabling you to lock a crash bar door without needing a key. It allows the bar to remain in the “pressed” position while preventing unauthorized entry.

Deadbolts come in two varieties: single-cylinder and double-cylinder. A single-cylinder deadbolt is equipped with a key slot on one side, and a thumb turn on the other, while a double-cylinder deadbolt has a keyed cylinder on both the interior and exterior of the door. Double-cylinder deadbolts are safer, though single-cylinder deadbolts are more practical in emergencies.

Using A Wedge

Secure your door by inserting a wood or metal directly below the door and in front of the panic bar. This will act as a wedge, preventing the door from being opened. Ensure the wedge is long enough to fit snugly between the door and frame. For an added layer of safety, a security bar can be used with the deadbolt.

Using A Thumb Turn

Another alternative is to turn the thumb latch in a clockwise or counterclockwise direction until you can see the latch. Once located, press down on the bar and hold it while continuing to rotate the thumb turn until you hear a clicking sound. This indicates that the door is now locked. Carefully release your grip on the bar afterward.

Using Access Control Systems

Another option is a keyless entry system. This system requires a keypad to be installed on exterior doors and can be programmed with safety codes (PIN) to allow access.

How To Unlock A Push Bar Door

Check to see if the push bar has a locking mechanism. It will either be a keyed cylinder or a thumb latch. If it has a keyed cylinder, insert the key and turn it counterclockwise to unlock the door.

If it’s a thumb latch, pressure needs to be applied to the horizontal bar. This motion replicates the action of a knob or handles on a traditional door. By doing so, the door latch will be disengaged, allowing the person to enter or exit the premises quickly.


Push bar door locks are renowned for their strength and security. If you’re having difficulty locking your door without a key, our knowledgeable locksmiths are happy to help. With extensive experience handling the installation, repair, and maintenance of panic bars and push bar systems, D & L Locksmiths is your trustworthy Commercial Locksmith in London, Ontario.

Contact us at (519) 686-2870 to get started.


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