How to Open a Push Bar Door from the Outside – A Comprehensive Guide

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Imagine yourself standing outside a building, eager to enter, only to be confronted by a locked push bar door. The frustration can be overwhelming, especially if you don’t know how to open it from the outside. Fear not! This comprehensive guide will equip you with the knowledge and techniques to tackle this seemingly insurmountable obstacle.

This Door Push-bar is Slightly Off-Level : mildlyinfuriating

How To Open A Push Bar Door From The Outside

Push bar doors are designed to allow easy and efficient exit from the inside, but they can pose a challenge when locked from the outside. Understanding their mechanism is key to overcoming this hurdle. Let’s delve deeper into this topic.

The Mechanism of Push Bar Doors

Push bar doors operate on a simple yet effective mechanism. They consist of a metal bar that runs horizontally across the door, extending from one side to the other. When pushed from the inside, the bar engages a latch or locking mechanism, releasing the door to swing open.

However, when the door is locked from the outside, the latch or locking mechanism remains engaged, preventing the bar from being pushed. This is where our exploration comes in handy.

Opening a Push Bar Door from the Outside

There are several methods you can employ to open a push bar door from the outside, each with its own level of effectiveness.

Method 1: Emergency Release

Many push bar doors are equipped with an emergency release mechanism designed for situations like yours. It is typically a small button or lever located near the door handle. Pressing or pulling this release will disengage the latch, allowing you to push the bar and open the door.

Method 2: Using a Tool

If the emergency release is not present or accessible, you can use a tool to manipulate the latch or locking mechanism. A slim, flat tool like a credit card, hotel room key, or even a butter knife can be inserted into the gap between the door and the frame. Gently guide the tool toward the latch and apply pressure to disengage it. Once the latch is released, push the bar to open the door.

Method 3: Shaking the Door

This method may seem unconventional, but it can sometimes work. Firmly grasp the push bar and shake it vigorously while applying pressure. The vibrations may cause the latch or locking mechanism to loosen, allowing you to push the bar and open the door.

Tips from Experts

Here are some tips and expert advice to enhance your chances of successfully opening a push bar door from the outside:

Always start with the emergency release: If present, this is the easiest and most recommended method.

Use a thin, flexible tool: Credit cards, hotel room keys, or plastic wedges are ideal as they can easily fit into tight spaces.

Apply gentle force: Avoid using excessive force as it may damage the door or the latch mechanism.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Q: Why is my push bar door locked from the outside?

A: There are several reasons, including safety protocols, security measures, or accidental locking.

Q: What if I can’t open the push bar door using the methods described?

A: If you encounter difficulties, contact the building manager or a qualified locksmith for assistance.

Q: Can I disable the lock on a push bar door?

A: Disabling the lock is not advisable as it compromises the safety and security of the building. It is best to contact the appropriate authorities for authorized access.


Opening a push bar door from the outside can be a daunting task, but with the techniques outlined in this guide, you are well-equipped to tackle this challenge. Remember to prioritize safety, use the appropriate method, and seek assistance when necessary. Now that you have mastered this skill, you will approach locked push bar doors with confidence and ease. Let us know if you have any further questions or if there are any other topics you would like us to explore. Your thoughts and feedback are always welcome!

How To Open A Push Bar Door From The Outside

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