Safety Basics: Fire Exits & Egress
In 1911, 146 workers were killed within 18 minutes at the Triangle Shirtwaist Factory in New York City after a fire broke out and they were unable to escape due to locked exit doors. As you can imagine, this tragedy helped pave the way for improved safety codes and other regulations across the country.
MSD’s written emergency action plan (EAP) is reviewed during orientation and with employees who have transferred into a new role. It is also available for review on the employee portal. For a fire emergency, the plan covers evacuation procedures, accounting for evacuated employees, aiding employees with disabilities and visitors, emergency contact numbers, and the means of alerting employees in case of an evacuation.
Fire Exit & Egress Information to Know:
- Maintain two means of egress.
- Exit doors shall be side hinged and open outward.
- Exit doors must be unlocked – employees must be able to open an exit route door from the inside at all times without keys, tools, or special knowledge.
- Never block fire exits, exit routes, or stairwells.
- Keep means of egress free of all obstructions and impediments.
- Ensure exits are marked by a readily visible sign.
Whether you are at work, visiting a restaurant, or attending an event be sure to review exit route maps or scan for exit signs so you are prepared to evacuate in case of an emergency.