Dear PoPville – Anyone Have Security Bars with a Quick Release Mechanism?


Dear PoPville,

We have a situation where we need to install a quick release mechanism on existing window security bars. Do you know anything about removing window security bars or retrofitting bars with a quick release mechanism?

16 Comment

  • I need this too! Our 1 bedroom condo bedroom has no way out if there is a fire in the hall leading to the fromt and back door. I’d have to literally punch through the wall! Scares the heck out of me…..

  • Kind of defeats the purpose doesn’t it though?

    I’d rather put up bars over the lower half of the window so I can use a chair to climb over them if I need to get out.

    • Anonymous 2:39 pm, I think you’re misunderstanding what the OP and Anonymous 2:34 pm are talking about.

      The idea with the quick-release mechanism is that it’s shielded in such a way that it can be opened only from the _inside_ — i.e., by the resident needing to exit in an emergency — not the outside.

      I’ve seen this in real life only on a security door. The inside had a knob that could be turned to open the security door, but it was shielded by metal on all four sides so that someone couldn’t (I assume) manage to reach in from the outside through the bars and open it that way.

    • It’s actually fire code to address the exact scenario the above poster mentions: fire obstructing a main exit and the window in question would be the only emergency egress. Pretty common situation in English basement apartments. I would bet a majority of such units in the city aren’t code compliant.

      • I was told that it was required for rental units, but if you owned the place you could just lock yourself in.

        They put them in when I first moved into my rental.

  • gotryit

    Federal City Iron Works made some basement window bars for me with a release mechanism on the inside. It would be very difficult for someone to turn it from the outside (which has a key lock). They measured the dimensions, built it, and installed it. Very easy, and they know the codes.

  • We recently fixed this in our English Basement. In just one day, the iron works contractor removed the bottom half of the security bars and retrofitted a little door into it. There is a box that contains a deadbolt that sits flush against the window. Anyone sleeping in the room could open the window and release the bars to climb out. Yes, you can see it but it doesn’t look very much different. Safety first.

  • I also need someone to install similar mechanism – knob-turn from inside – on security doors in a basement apt.

  • My bedrooms have a door in the bars with a deadbolt. I then have a padlock through the deadbolt and the key to the padlock hangs on a string next to the window inside. Not ideal in a panicky fire situation. Yes please, re the contractor recommendations and cost estimates.

  • Francis has done all the work at my place and for many neighbors. He is fair, professional, responsive, warm and kind. You may reach him at 202.345.5875.

  • We have safe release from the inside in a basement room that we had done by Fed City Iron They were great and turned it around very quickly.

  • Thanks all for the feedback! We really appreciate it. We’re going to go with Tom @ Fed City. We’re also going to get internal bars because they look a little better.

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