Exit Alarms, Part 2: Standalone Units

Standalone Exit Alarm Units

As a quick recap from Part 1, compared to integrated units, standalone exit alarm units are usually the more cost-efficient option. They are surface-mounted and generally do not require any modifications to the door or frame beyond the mounting screws for the hardware. Additionally, the existing lock(s) and door hardware are able to remain untouched.
There are plenty of options for standalone exit alarms. Here are some of the most popular:

Alarm Lock PG Series

The Alarm Lock PG Series is compromised of 4 unique exit alarm models: LL1, PG10, PG21, and PG30.

Alarm Lock PG10

PG10 is door-mount standalone exit alarm that provides keyed arming and disarming from either side of the door. The PG10 is available for single or double doors. An optional AC power supply is also available. Other features include:

  • 95 dB alarm
  • Battery back up and test button
  • The alarm can be bypassed from inside or outside by the use of a key
  • Two separate tamper switches

Alarm Lock LL1

Alarm Lock LL1

Alarm Lock LL1

LL1 is a PG10 with an additional strobe light for easy identification as well as a choice of system controllers.

Alarm Lock PG21

Alarm Lock PG21MSS

Alarm Lock PG21MSS

PG21 a narrow stile, door-mount standalone exit alarm with two selectable arming modes:

  1. Always armed mode – The key is unable to removed when in the disarmed position. Key must be rotated back to the armed position  for removal.
  2. Standard arming mode – The key is able to be removed when in the disarmed position.

Other features of the PG21 include:

  • 95 dB alarm &/or strobe
  • Low Battery Alert
  • LED Status Indicator
  • Exit Delay Time Options of 15 seconds; 1 min. 15 sec. & 3 mins 15 sec.
  • Dual Tamper Switches

While narrow-stile, the PG21 can be mounted on standard size doors as well. It is available in metallic silver and duronodic finishes and is armed/disarmed by a standard mortise cylinder (exterior control is possible via an optional rim cylinder). Other options for the PG21 include continuous alarm, minute shutdown with auto reset and exit/entry delay, a strobe light, and an AC power supply.

Alarm Lock PG30

The PG30 is very similar to the PG21.
Rather than cylinder control, the PG30 offers keypad control in addition to the following features:

  • 95 dB alarm with 3 programmable styles: sweep, pulsed, and steady
  • Audible low battery warning
  • Digital codes for master, management and passage (used for auto-arming)
  • 3 security levels for: a) high security b) unattended applications c) flexible control for delivery doors, etc.
  • Logo key is dual function test button

Arrow 130N Series

Arrow 130N

Arrow 130N

The Arrow 130N is perhaps the most economical standalone units currently available on the market. It’s features include:

  • 105 dB alarm
  • 9VDC battery operated with Low Battery Alert
  • Exit Delay Time Options of 7, 10,15 or 20 seconds
  • LED Status Indicator
  • Manual or automatic alarm reset adjustable for 2, 5 or 10 minutes

Detex EAX-500

Detex EAX-500

Detex EAX-500

The Detex EAX-500 is arguably one of the most popular and recognizable standalone exit alarms in North America. Features of the EAX-500 include:

  • 100 dB alarm
  • 9VDC battery operated with Low Battery Alert
  • Tapered cover that allows for installation on narrow stile doors
  • Intelligent circuit that senses the external magnet location automatically and sets the correct door handing
  • Secure, tamper resistant housing
  • LED visual and audible arming indicators

Detex EAX-2500

Detex EAX-2500

Detex EAX-2500

The Detex EAX-2500 is a hardwired exit alarm that will fit in a standard 4″ x 4″ outlet box. In addition to a battery back up, the EAX-2500 offers the following features:

  • 100 dB alarm
  • Field selectable low battery alert
  • Field selectable silent arming, status indicators and auto rearm options
  • Tamper resistant housing and cover protects electronics
  • Patented cam assembly that automatically adjusts for different size cylinders without spacers
  • Extended bypass that allows alarm to remain silenced when door is open and automatically rearm upon closing of door

Safety Technology International Exit Stopper

STI Exit Stopper

STI Exit Stopper

Safety Technology International’s Exit Stopper is a standalone exit alarm that can be door or wall-mounted. The Exit Stopper uses a polycarbonate housing available in red and green. Features of the Exit Stopper include:

  • 95/105 dB alarm
  • Low battery beep and flash; extended battery life mode
  • In exit alarm mode, alarm can be set to sound for 30 seconds, 3 minutes or indefinitely (unless disarmed with key supplied or until battery is drained)
  • In annunciator mode, it announces door entry/exit with 2 beeps repeated 5 times
  • Programmable 30 second entry delay or immediate alarm
  • Arming delay allows unit to arm following authorized exits

The Exit Stopper comes in a variety of options. These options reflect a variety of solutions and include:

  • STI-6400WIR supervised wireless (requires 8-Channel Receiver or Voice Receiver).
  • STI-V6400WIR4 supervised wireless with 4-Channel Voice Receiver.
  • STI-6402 protection for double doors.
  • STI-6403 remote horn can be located 300 feet from the door.
  • STI-6404 protection for double doors, has remote horn capabilities.
  • STI-6405 resettable alarm.
By |2020-03-16T09:00:41+00:00March 16th, 2020|All, Exit Alarms|0 Comments

Exit Alarms, Part 1: The Basics


As their name implies, exit alarms sends notification of an an egress, or exit, via an alarm. There are multiple reasons why building occupants would need to be made aware of an open door:

  • Elopement – In healthcare, childcare (schools and nurseries), and senior care facilities, the monitoring of occupants is necessary for their safety.
  • Safety – Paths of egress within a building may lead to areas that can pose a danger to occupants that are unfamiliar with the building.
  • Security – Propped doors can reduce security to critical areas within a building by allowing unauthorized access.
  • Theft Protection and Prevention – Retail environments, especially with exterior doors in areas other than the front entry, are at a constant risk for theft. Warehouses also share this risk.

No matter the reason, exit alarms can protect against and potentially prevent situations with serious consequences.

Exit Alarm Basics

Exit alarms detect egress in two different ways:

  1. Magnetic Switches – When the switches’ contacts are moved away from each other, such as when a door opens away from its frame, the alarm sounds.
  2. Dry Contacts – Dry contacts are integrated within the door hardware, such as an exit device. Pressing an exit device’s touchpad completes the circuit and the alarm sounds.

Exit alarms range between 85-105 Db loud. Arming and disarming of is usually controlled by keyed cylinders but keypad options exist as does automatic re-arming. Remote arming is also possible on some models. Exit alarms can be incorporated into existing access control systems by providing alerts and monitoring capabilities. These alerts can then be used to trigger other hardware, such as surveillance cameras.
‘Prop alarms’ are a type of exit alarm that allow temporary egress without an alarm. Prop alarms allow users to set a period of time that a door is allowed to be open, known as an exit delay, before the alarm is activated. Typical exit delays range anywhere from 15 seconds to 4 minutes in duration.

Exit Alarm Types

Exit alarms fall into one of two categories:

  • standalone units
  • integrated units

Standalone units function as exit alarms only; that is their only purpose. The Detex EAX-500 is an example of a standalone unit.

Detex EAX-500

Detex EAX-500

Integrated units incorporate exit alarms into door hardware, such as exit devices or multi-point locks.
Compared to integrated units, standalone units are usually the more cost-efficient option. They are surface-mounted and generally do not require any modifications to the door or frame beyond the mounting screws for the hardware. Additionally, the existing lock(s) and door hardware are able to remain untouched.

Standalone Units

Standalone units fall into one of two categories:

  • door-mount
  • wall-mount

As the name implies, door-mount units are mounted onto the door and are typically powered by 9-volt batteries. The aforementioned Detex EAX-500W is a door-mount unit. Wall-mount units mount to the wall near the door. The Detex EAX-2500 is an example of a wall-mount standalone unit.

Detex EAX-2500

Detex EAX-2500

Wall-mount units are usually powered by a low voltage transformer and feature a battery backup.  Additionally, wall-mount units can be tied into a monitoring or access control system to notify of an egress. I personally prefer wall-mount options when possible for a few reasons:

  1. Wall-mount units are less likely to snag on something, like a person or clothing, and less likely to be hit by something, such as a cart. Remember, no matter where you place a door-mount unit, it is still in the path of egress and moving individuals/objects.
  2. Walls usually provide a better mounting surface and some wall-mount units can actually mount onto existing outlet boxes.

Integrated Units

Integrated exit alarms are overwhelmingly found in exit devices. The Detex V40 is an example of an integrated unit.

Detex V-40

Detex V-40

Integrated units can also be found in single and multi-point locks as well as electromagnetic locks (maglocks). Maglocks utilize exit alarms for delayed egress solutions. I will address delayed egress in a separate article at the end of this series due to it’s complexity compared to all other exit alarms.
While integrated exit devices primarily come from the factory equipped with alarms, aftermarket kits are available. Multiple manufacturers offer aftermarket kits that locksmiths can install in the field. The installation of these aftermarket kits typically involves nothing more than a cover plate swap on the exit device.


This is the first in a series of articles covering exit alarms. Next week I will explore options for standalone units. For more information please see the Exit Alarms page in the Library.

By |2020-03-09T09:00:09+00:00March 9th, 2020|All, Exit Alarms|0 Comments

Exit Alarms Library Update

We have updated the Exit Alarms page in the Library using our new format.  We have new literature and manuals for the following manufacturers:

  • Alarm Lock Systems Inc.
  • Arrow Lock & Door Hardware
  • Detex Corporation
  • Positive Lock, Inc.
  • SARGENT Manufacturing Company
  • Security Door Controls (SDC)

We have also included a link to Detex’s Training and Support Videos. Detex has produced and hosted dozens of videos covering the application, installation, and servicing of their products. It’s a very comprehensive and valuable training resource.
Next Monday we will publish the first article in a multi-article series covering all things exit alarms.

By |2020-03-05T09:00:48+00:00March 5th, 2020|All, Exit Alarms, Library Update|0 Comments
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