Frequently Asked Questions About Exit Signs - The Rugby Observer

Frequently Asked Questions About Exit Signs

Rugby Editorial 20th Sep, 2023   0

Exit signs are a vital part of any public space. Without them, getting everyone out of the building in the event of an emergency can become chaotic. Those signs act as a guide to help with proper evacuation strategies.

There are some common knowledge items about exit signs but what about those questions that most people really don’t have a grip on? Here are some of the most frequently asked questions about exit signs in public spaces.

What is an Emergency Exit Route?

In the United States, OSHA is the regulatory group responsible for workplace safety. According to OHSA, an emergency exit route is considered to be an unobstructed and continuous path of travel from one point in a workplace to a point of safety.




There are three parts of a viable exit route, including the exit signs – the exit, exit access, and exit discharge. The access leads the way to the exit, which is a protected way of travel to the discharge. The exit discharge is the path that leads outside, into a walkway, street, public way, open space, or area of refuge. You will even find exit routes in large public spaces like stadiums for sporting events.

Do All Workplaces Require Emergency Exits?


All general industry workplaces, not including mobile workspaces like vessels or vehicles, must have some sort of emergency route and emergency planning in place. These requirements are according to OSHA standards.

Each workplace has requirements separate from these, but this is a universal safety requirement that must be adhered to in order to remain up to code and avoid potential fines.

How Many Exits Must a Workplace Have?

The answer to this can vary. For the most part, workplaces are required to have a minimum of two exit routes so that building occupants and employees are able to evacuate in a prompt manner in the event of an emergency.

In the instance where two emergency exits will not safely allow employees to evacuate, then more than two exit routes may become a necessity. There are some instances where a single exit route is permissible depending on the size of the building, occupancy, the number of employees, and any workplace arrangements that still allow for the safe evacuation of everyone on the premises.

Why is it Necessary That Fire Exits and Exit Routes be Clear and Unblocked?

One of the most imperative factors when it comes to fire exits and exit routes is a clear, unobstructed path. Any fire exit or exit route must be unblocked and clear in order to facilitate safe and quick exits when an emergency occurs. Any obstructions or blockages can cause chaos, panic, and delay, leading to potential injuries and accidents that may have otherwise been avoided.

Fire exits and routes must be kept free from any equipment or material obstructions, dead-end corridors, or locked doors. Proper fire exit signs play a vital role in getting people to safety by providing the safest path to an exit.

Where Should Fire Exit Signs Be Posted?

Fire exit signs won’t be able to do the job if they are not posted in the proper places. Emergency exit signs should be posted at each exit. Where the direction of travel to one of those exits is not readily apparent, then there must be a sign that is posted along the exit access in order to provide a clear direction of travel to the closest fire exit. Signs such as these should be posted in a way that they command a clear, visible line of site at all times.

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