July 30, 2019 / by Danny Mavis

Sometimes the most convenient solutions seem so easy because of how seamlessly they have been integrated into systems. Well, that’s the case with the panic bolt – it is a bar that spans an emergency exit door on its interior and opens the latch when pressure is applied. This bolt is also installed on the inactive leaf of double doors. They can be installed on timber and metal doors or even gates and there are some panic bolts that use a special type of bolt slide technology which provides them with smoother operation.

Their simple design makes emergency doors work so effortlessly, allowing for a safer and more convenient way of exiting. This is especially useful in buildings available to the public, like museums or libraries where a crowd of people can easily block an exit door that uses a simple lockset. Bellow, you’ll find all there is to know about panic bolts.

Length, Material & Finish

This type of bolt doesn’t just come in one form and shape despite being used mostly on panic doors. There are various types of lengths ranging from 230mm and up to a 1000mm, with the most common ones being 250mm, 350 and 450mm. Panic bolts are oftentimes made of steel with a zinc-coated plate but you can find some made from brass with a satin chrome plate. There are also bolts that are 600mm and 300mm long but they are not as common as the previous ones.


They can have either a visible or a concealed fixing. Both types have a 6 point fixing and while panic bolts are supplied with a floor plate and a top guide, sometimes they can be purchased as separate parts. There are also offset bolts that come with a visible fixing and their length is oftentimes either 450mm or 600m.

Bolt Throw

What every handyman needs to know about panic bolts is their bolt throw. This is the distance it goes from when the bolt is fully retracted to when it is fully locked. Usually, the standard bolt throw is 50mm but it ranges according to the use of the bolt.

Durability & Security

Every type of panic bolt needs to satisfy certain standards and here in Australia, there are two different ones. The first is the Level S2 (Physical Security) that conforms with the Australian Standard No. AS 4145.2-1993 for deadbolts used in mechanical locksets for doors. The second conforms with the Level D3 (Durability) Australian Standard AS 4145.2-1993 for deadbolts used in mechanical locksets for doors. This compliance is for panic/ skeleton bolts with the 781/791 marking.