How to Keep Fire Exit Doors Up to Code
Why is it important to equip fire exit doors with proper handles, and how do NFPA codes apply to your facility?
Proper door handles on fire exit doors are just as important as extinguishing equipment, emergency lighting, and alarms. Equipping your facility with the proper emergency evacuation tools can mean the difference between life and death. Fire exit door handles are designed to make it easy for people to exit a building in a quick and orderly fashion while minimizing panic and confusion.
The National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) 80 standard requires emergency exit doors to be clearly recognizable and equipped with specific types of hardware and accessories, such as self-closing devices and fire-rated hinges. They also require a unique kind of door handle, sometimes referred to as a panic device, push pad, or crash bar. This “handle” is a horizontal push bar that extends at least halfway across the width of the door, is between 30-44 inches above the floor, and requires a force of at least 15 pounds to release the latch. It also allows the door to be opened from the inside, even when it is locked on the outside.
Additional requirements include keeping the exit doors unobstructed, marking the exit with an illuminated sign, and ensuring the exit path is clearly marked and well-lit.
NFPA requirements can certainly seem a bit overwhelming. Therefore, when your facility has a fire and safety inspection done, you’ll want a safety professional who knows what to look out for and who understands how NFPA codes are applied to the general industry setting. By adhering to NFPA codes, industrial facilities can help ensure safe and efficient emergency evacuations, and minimize the risk of injury or loss of life. Contact Walden at 516-701-1681 to speak with an experienced EHS professional about fire safety at your facility.