Brad Miller of Lowcountry Doors and Hardware sent me this Fixed-it Friday photo, and like so many of the other FF and WW photos, it tells a story. While I don’t know all of the details, I’ve seen this often enough to come up with a plausible theory or three.
Vertical rod panic hardware can be tough to keep working properly – especially on high-traffic doors. These doors look like exterior doors, and I would very rarely (almost never) use vertical rod panic hardware there. I would opt for removeable mullions and rim panics if possible; this is a much better application for security, durability, and maintenance.
It’s possible that the doors in the photo never had bottom rods and latches – I can’t really tell. I would not specify less-bottom-rod panic hardware on exterior doors – having latches only at the top of the door doesn’t provide sufficient security, in my opinion.
It’s also possible that the bottom rods and latches were omitted because someone realized that they conflict with the requirement for a flush smooth surface on the push side of the door – 10 inches up from the floor. Or maybe the rods and latches got banged up and someone decided the cane bolt was more secure without realizing that the “new and improved” security solution was not code compliant.
As for the yellow ribbons…I’m guessing they’re not there to remind people to retract the cane bolt before exiting. If you have a theory to add, leave it in the comment box!