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Emergency Exits

Providing a clear exit route for people escaping a site or building

What are Emergency Exits?

An emergency exit is a special exit used for the evacuation of people during an emergency. This could be during a fire, terrorism attack, gas leaks, stampede, or any other scenario that requires people to evacuate an area.

Two different standards apply to emergency exits - BS EN 179 and BS EN1125 – we can advise, install and maintain to both standards.

The exit itself is designed so that it can be opened regardless of the situation and by one single action by the user. The standards clarify how this can be done dependant on the use of the building/exit, different solutions are applied dependant on which standard is relevant for the exit in question.

The conception of Emergency Exit’s

On the 16th June 1883 a tragic event took place that initiated the first steps towards Emergency Exit regulations.

A children’s entertainment show was taking place at the Victoria Hall in Sheffield. At the end of this show the children were told that they would receive a prize when exiting the building.

The children couldn’t contain their excitement so rushed for the nearest door. Sadly this door was partially blocked which meant only one small child could squeeze through at a time. Due to the sheer volume of children running this stampede soon became deadly as children were struck down and trampled upon.

Due to the lack of clear and safe Emergency Exits 183 children died that day.

Queen Victoria sent letters of condolence to each family and a memorial was put in place. This eventually decayed due to neglect however was remade in Marble in the year 2002. It is currently located in Mowbray Park in Sunderland, England.

Emergency Exit Regulations

Every building has its own unique way of working but the rules and regulations relating to Emergency Exits are common to most. A good FRA (Fire Risk Assessment) should include their provision and if you are unsure or need help with your Emergency Exits and the regulations surrounding them then we are happy to help.


Typical Emergency Exit check list

  • Emergency signs, routes and exits must direct people to a place of safety as directly and as quickly as possible. No obstacles should be in place of a route.
  • The number, size and position of the emergency exits and emergency routes depends on the site. With this in mind consider the size and mobility of equipment used and more importantly the quantity and mobility of people present.
  • Keeping the Victoria Hall disaster in mind you should always ensure that Emergency Exits can be opened in the direction of escape. They should at no point be blocked, chained or locked in any other way.
  • Emergency Exits are only useful if people can find them. Therefore, ensure ample amounts of signs are distributed throughout the site to ensure a clear path. This includes the illumination of the signs in the event of power cuts or low visibility.
  • Once fitted emergency exits should be checked and maintained on a regular basis.

Unsure of the regulations?
Looking for an Emergency Exit installer/ certificate?

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