As per OSHA, at least two exit routes must be available to allow quick evacuation of employees and other occupants in the event of an emergency. Standard 29 CFR 1910, Subpart E says, “the exit routes have to be located as far away from each other as possible so that if one route is blocked by fire or smoke, employees can use the other route to escape.”
An exit is defined by OSHA as a continuous and unobstructed path of exit travel from any point within a workplace to a place of safety. An exit route is made up of three components:
- Exit access: The portion of the exit route that leads to an exit.
- Exit: The part of the exit route that is usually separated from other areas to provide a protected way of travel to the exit discharge.
- Exit discharge: The part of the exit route that leads directly outside or to a street, walkway, refuge area, public way, or open space with access to the outside.