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Fire Code Requirements 101

This picture was taken in 2011 in an old textile plant in Northeast Georgia. These doors were screwed with a hinge to the attached hollow metal frame. What a horror it would have been if a fire or some other emergency had occurred in this plant! In today’s world, this would be punishable by a prison sentence.

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1. For any room or space with only one exit, the maximum occupant load should not exceed 50 people.
2. For any room with more than 50 occupants, doors must swing in the direction of egress (i.e.) the doors must swing out of the room.
3. Doors shall be equipped with panic hardware (crash bars).
4. Exits doors must not be equipped with locking hardware that would allow an occupant to be locked inside the room or space. Exit doors should also not be equipped with secondary locking devices, such as a deadbolt or slide bolt (or as picture shows, a hinge).

There are other requirements and generally these change depending on which version of NFPA 101 Life Safety Code the Authority Having Jurisdiction has adopted.

Take Care,

Debbie Purcell, AHC