It’s sad but true: Many people know only one way out of a building, and that’s the way that they came in. That’s one reason why workplace emergency exit drills are so important. It’s also vital to post evacuation maps and ensure that every exit route is always kept clear.
Another sad truth in many facilities is that fire exit routes often fail to meet OSHA and NFPA requirements. Details matter. The danger and chaos of an emergency only becomes worse if employees encounter obstacles such as locked doors or aisles that are blocked or used for storage.
This checklist can help you avoid the most common exit route violations. Remember that many local jurisdictions have more stringent requirements, and that your specific needs can also vary depending on the size and nature of your facility.
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Realsays:09/26/2018 at 11:19 am
I thought 36″ wide clearance was required for all points in exit routes?
Karensays:10/03/2018 at 2:24 pm
Thank you for asking about this. OSHA actually permits exit access routes to be as narrow as 28 inches in some cases [29 CFR 1910.36(g)(2)]. As part of OSHA’s Means of Egress Regulation, the NFPA 101 Standard is incorporated into regulation by reference. This Standard also requires a minimum of 28 inches at all points [NFPA 101, 22.214.171.124.2] unless a greater width is required by another part of the standard.
The 36-inch requirement has been adopted by many jurisdictions because most standard doors are at least 36 inches wide, to facilitate access for anyone with impaired mobility. Exit routes should never narrow at any point, so if the door is 36 inches wide, it makes sense that the rest of the exit rout is at least this wide. This is especially important (and is required) when there is only one exit route from a building.
Please reach out if you have any further questions.
Darrinsays:09/26/2018 at 11:42 am
Fun Fact: Helena, Montana allows ORANGE exit signs!
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