Ingress & egress
Means of egress is defined as a continuous and unobstructed path of travel from any point in a building or structure to a public way that consists of exit access, exit, and exit discharge. The NFPA sets the requirements for the location of exits, number of exits, and access to exits. The NFPA also has requirements for signage, stairs, corridors, locks, door width and arrangement, and more. An experienced and licensed professional can help business owners ensure any COVID-19 related changes do not affect ingress or egress requirements or fire safety measures which may break fire code.
Social distancing and new restrictions on how many people can be in a building at once have caused businesses to “reroute” traffic of people entering and exiting a building. However, FEMA warns that social distancing approaches to controlling building occupant flow have resulted in the potential for public safety to be compromised by way of blocked or locked emergency exits to limit or prohibit access to portions of a building.
Each building is equipped with the appropriate number of emergency exits and coordinating signage. The number, placement, and capacity of exits is based on a number of factors that include type of occupancy and use, travel distance, and separation of exits.
Social distancing measures do not affect these requirements. It’s important that building owners acknowledge these exits are critical for life and safety measures.