The tragedies throughout history have taught us the importance of providing a quick and easy exit for occupants of a building. In other terms, it’s called egress. In case of emergency situations, having the simple freedom of leaving a hazardous area in the shortest time possible is sometimes the only chance people have to be safe.
Having a means of egress means a continuous and unobstructed path of travel from any point in a building or structure to a public way. Many a tragedy have a larger death toll because of not having a route to escape to safer ground. Exit panic devices can provide just that. Those are emergency exit devices installed on commercial doors to allow fast and easy egress.
Continue reading this article to learn why endorsing exit panic devices to provide safe egress is essential for safety during emergency cases and other details about safe egress that you need to know to optimize your building safety.
Types of Exit Panic Devices
A panic device can be used on both single and pairs of doors but aside from the traditional horizontal panels, it has three other varieties:
These have the same appearance as the horizontal ones except it has locking and unlocking mechanisms at the bottom and the top of the door that is activated when it is pressed as opposed to a traditional horizontal lock.
Concealed Vertical rod
This type has special rods that accommodate the entire hollow body of the door frame. It being concealed is a plus for security because intruders will have a tough time locating it to break-in.
Panic bar levers
Levers that are integrated components of the panic bar itself placed on the exterior of the exit door. This serves as a backup method of entry in an emergency environment, allowing free access for rescue teams.
Much like everything in a well-built property, planning and arranging every important detail is important. Here are the factors that you should consider for means of safe egress:
There should be at least two exits provided for all areas. All exits must be remotely located from each other and constructed to minimize the possibility that more than one may be blocked by any one fire or another emergency condition.
Number of exits
The minimum number of exits must be increased as follows:
- Occupant load of more than 49 but fewer than 500
- Occupant load of more than 500 but fewer than 1,000
- Occupant load of more than 1,000
The minimum number or expected number of people in a building can be determined by dividing the gross or net floor area of a particular portion of a building by a factor projected for each person. Both of those factors varies in the type of occupancy.
Access to exit
There are safety codes that specify the travel distance allowed to reach an exit. A general rule is one exit shall not exceed at least 150 feet in buildings not equipped with sprinklers and 200 feet for buildings with sprinklers. This matter is of utmost importance since a person could be exposed to fire or smoke conditions within the duration that it takes to get to the nearest exit.
Other components that should be considered for means of egress are the capacity and the width. In general, the egress capacity feet factor for stairs is 0.3 inches per person and for ramps and level components is 0.2 inches per person, while the egress width should have no door opening should be less than 32 inches clear width opening.
Trust that providing safe egress is an effective safety precaution. It would not be suggested and mandated if it’s not. Have a safer building with exit panic devices.