Exiting Systems

The most important aspect of fire safety is getting everyone out quickly and safely. All exit corridors, doors, and stairways must be safely maintained at all times.

Keep stairways free of obstructions at all times. Anything which may render the stairway unusable should be kept away from stairs. Propane barbecue grills, motorcycles, and combustible materials should not be stored under stairs.

If there are interior corridor systems, ongoing maintenance is necessary.

  • Keep all storage and obstructions out of corridors.
  • Maintain and test emergency lighting monthly. Check for burned out bulbs, low and dead batteries.
  • Maintain exit signs. Replace burned out bulbs as soon as possible.
  • Fire doors along the corridor should be maintained self-closing, self-latching (especially laundry and utility rooms) and not propped open. Properly maintained fire doors can hold back fire and smoke from the corridor, allowing tenants time to get out.
  • Post evacuation plans in common areas of the complex. Each plan must indicate two exits from each area and a safe place for everyone to congregate. Provide evacuation information to new tenants regarding procedures to be followed if the fire alarm is activated.

All floor levels are required to have two ways out of every sleeping room.

  • All sleeping rooms below the forth floor are required to have an operable window for escape or rescue.
  • All floors above the first story used for human occupancy are required to have two separate exits, one of which may be an exterior fire escape built to Uniform Building Code standards.


  1. In all occupancies, second stories with an occupant load of ten or less may have one exit.
  2. An exit ladder device may be used in lieu of a fire escape if the building does not exceed three floors in height. It must be built to Uniform Building Code standards.