What Are Panic Gates and How Are They Built?

What Are Panic Gates and How Are They Built?

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Often, when you’re building a high-security perimeter fence for an important site, you still need to have emergency egress gates so that anyone with authorized access to the protected area can get out if they need to.

In the fence industry, the solution to this problem is often to install a panic gate. Let’s take a closer look at what panic gates are and how they are built and installed.

What Are Panic Gates?

Panic gates, also called emergency egress gates, are a type of gate that can be operated quickly from the inside when an emergency arises but that aren’t locked and aren’t operable from the outside.

This makes them an ideal choice for sites that need a secure perimeter but that might also need to allow employees or authorized site users to get out fast when the need arises.

Panic gates are often used on industrial fences, like those around oil and gas facilities, factories or substations, where there might be hazardous materials or potentially hazardous conditions inside the fenced area.

How Do Gate Panic Mechanisms Work?


There are different types of mechanisms used on panic gates, but most of them use a push bar to activate the gate latch. This latch secures the gate by means of a panic gate receiving bracket that is mounted on the gate latch post, and there may or may not be a lockable handle on the outside of the gate, again to allow access to authorized users.

Some gate panic mechanisms even have built-in alarms, so they can alert security when they are opened, but even when these kinds of electronic elements are included in the gate panic hardware, they should still be operate mechanically without any power or electricity.

That’s because if there is an emergency, there might not be power to the gate, but people might still need to exit the area.

What Kind of Gates Can Be Fitted With Panic Hardware?

While we’ve provided a free, downloadable sketch of a chain link panic gate here, this kind of hardware can be used to turn nearly any gate into a panic gate.

So if you have a different kind of fence and you want a matching gate, you can modify this design for whatever type of gate you’re installing.

It’s important to remember that panic gate hardware should be usable without having to activate any other latches or locks, so if your gate type usually has another type of latch or lock, you will need to remove that before you install the gate.

Panic hardware is for emergency use, so the user should not have to activate or unlock any other kind of latch or lock.

What Kind of Modifications Are Done to Gates to Build a Panic Gate?

The biggest modification to your gate will be installing the panic gate hardware itself, along with the panic gate catch on the gate latch post.

However, there are other changes that you might make to your gate, too.

One common modification to gate designs for panic gates is to add a metal plate to the outside of the gate to limit the ability to reach the panic gate hardware from the outside of the gate. This panel should be large enough to make accessing the bar by hand or using tools, and often, these kinds of panels or “panic gate shrouds” have a bent section that extends towards the inside of the gate, making it harder to access the panic bar.

Panic gates also often have sturdier posts because this kind of gate is often slammed closed. Sometimes, as pictured in our design drawing, they might also have a header bar.

Often, panic gates also have automatic closers since they are designed to remain closed unless there’s an emergency.

Who Can Supply and Install Panic Gates?

Panic gates are most often used on commercial and industrial sites, so they’re usually supplied and installed by companies that specialize in commercial fencing, industrial fencing, and high-security fencing.

It is also possible, in some cases, to retrofit existing gates with this kind of hardware.

It’s always a good idea to speak to a fence professional when you want something a little more complex and specialized, like a panic gate.

Don’t forget to download our panic gate design sketch so you can show them what you’re looking for!

Download Panic Gate Sketch

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