Commercial Building Egress Codes

The basic concept of commercial building egress codes involves the desire for a provision that ensures a designated path of egress is unobstructed and continuous throughout all areas the means of egress travels through until the outside point is reached. Principles of building egress codes include the width of the hallways, corridors, and doorways, the direction the doors swing, the lighting of signs and marking of egress components, as well as the complete geometry of all stairwells, stairways, and ramps. In addition, commercial building egress codes indicate limits on the distance that must be traveled through a means of egress that lead to safety, and these egress codes also enforce the need for an alternate means of egress in the event that the primary means becomes obstructed. Commercial building egress codes make it quite clear that the primary means of egress that must be traveled to reach an outside location in the event of an evacuation must be one hundred percent plausible.

When commercial building egress codes are being developed, it is with the objective of finding a means of egress that will allow all people the opportunity for unimpeded evacuation, without having to be exposed to fire, smoke, or any forces that threaten safety. The best, and really only way to ensure this objective is through what is called populations density, also known as the occupant load factor, In simple language, these two terms mean that only a certain number of people are allowed to occupy a specific amount of area within a building. Once this number has been determined, an “egress width per occupant” is designed to accommodate the determined occupant load on each designated floor and in each area of the commercial building. In other words, a means of egress will take you through corridors, hallways, and stairwells, and each of these locations cannot be narrower than the determined egress width per occupant that serves to benefit the occupant load factor.

Another important reason why the areas dedicated to a means of egress is because it has been estimated in commercial building egress codes that an accumulation of people traveling along the means of egress will undoubtedly occur, therefore, allowing extenuating circumstances to narrow a means of egress is not permitted. To permit such an action would serve to increase the likelihood of congestion through a means of egress, which slows progression, consequently leading to a greater chance of injuries or loss of life. Naturally, commercial building egress codes can be amended to suit changing times, increased occupancy of a building, as well as for changes in the structural integrity and design of a commercial building.

For more information regarding commercial building egress codes, contact GloBrite Systems. GloBrite can help commercial building owners navigate the rules and regulations concerning commercial building egress codes, so they can become compliant with ease.

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