When it comes to keeping people safe, having the right type of exits in the case of an emergency is necessary. In a facility for individuals who need care, there are building codes that must be followed in order to keep residents safe. For those living with dementia, it can be difficult to determine what type of exit device to use and stop people from inadvertently leaving. Panic bar devices are designed to make a door simple to open in the event of an emergency. Some can come with a 15 or 30-second delay, giving any caregiver notice that the door has been pushed but not opening until the allotted time.
Time Delayed Panic Bar Devices
For people who are kept safe because they are in a secure unit, time delayed panic bar exit devices are worth it. The door doesn't open until the device has been pressed for 15 or 30 seconds, giving caregivers enough time to get to the resident who is trying to leave the facility. As long as building codes don't prevent time-delayed devices, these are an excellent way to keep residents in a nursing home or assisted living facility from wandering.
Codes for Locked Doors
Another way to prevent people who need to be supervised from leaving a facility is by installing a coded alarm at the door. If the code isn't used, the door doesn't open. Sometimes you can set the door to open no matter what and an alarm to go off if the code isn't typed in properly. While a panic bar device can make it easy to open the door in an emergency, a code can let people know that someone has left without using the right code.
A Plan of Egress
In any assisted living facility or nursing home, the plan of egress in the event of an emergency should be clearly marked out. No matter what types of alarms are used on doors, residents will need to be able to leave if there is an emergency. If doors are in place that prevents egress, this is going to be considered a safety hazard. While a delayed door may be used, a locked door should not be.
Everyone within a nursing home or assisted living facility must be able to leave if there is an emergency. A plan needs to be in place to protect those who need supervision and to help those that can't get out on their own.