I’ve received this question 3 times in the last month…

Is a door with panic hardware required to have a door closer?

Sometimes the question comes up because of the maneuvering clearance requirements for a door with both a latch and a closer – omit one of the two and the required size of the maneuvering clearance changes.  There may be other reasons someone would want to omit the closer, but it just seems like a bad idea to me.

If the door isn’t fire-rated, there is nothing in the codes or standards that would mandate a closer, but in my opinion the door won’t function properly without one.  We subconsciously apply more force when pushing on a door with panic hardware.  The door could be slammed open and may bounce back and possibly hurt someone during either the opening or closing cycle.

Have you ever run across this application in the field or been asked to specify or install panic hardware on a door with no closer?  What is your response to this request?


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