This article is courtesy of Wayne Winton of For more “How-To” pictures and videos, including the largest collection of online locksmith training videos, please visit


Today we are installing a storefront door exit indicator. Exit indicators allow building occupants an unmistakable notification of the lock’s status: either locked or open/unlocked. When an exit indicator is used in conjunction with appropriate signage, such as a sticker that reads “THIS DOOR TO REMAIN UNLOCKED DURING BUSINESS HOURS”, building/life safety codes can allow deadlocks/bolts to be used in lieu of exit devices. This ability is especially important to storefront businesses who desire the extra security that a deadlock/bolt offers. In some cases, the AHJ may also allow cylinders on both sides of the door to be utilized as long as an exit indicator is in use.

Multiple manufacturers offer exit indicators that work in conjunction with storefront door mortise locks. Perhaps the most popular exit indicator is Adams Rite’s 4089. The 4089 exit indicator is compatible with Adams Rite’s MS1837, MS1850S, MS1850S-050, SCH1850S, MS1850SN, MS1850SN-050, SCH1850SN, MS+1890, MS1950, MS1950-050 series deadlocks as well as their 1870, 1870HM, 1877 series cylinder-operated flushbolts.


Like most jobs, there is more than one way to do something and installing a new exit indicator is no different.

The first way is with a jig and router. In the video below, I am using the HIT-45AR2 template with the HIT-45 modular clamp. It allows for a quick, professional, factory-like installation in the field. Also in the video is a second way: “freehanding” with a step-bit and a drill. Take a moment to check out both methods in action as well as a few additional tips.


For a closer look, here are some job site photos from other installations: