Guide To Egress Doors

Egress doors are designed to allow for easy exit of a building during situations that involve emergencies or evacuations. However, the term ‘egress door’ doesn’t just refer to the door that leads to the outside of the building. All doors along the path that any person will take in order to reach the outside of the building are considered egress doors, and are required to hold to the same safety standards that the external door is required to. If your business or institution has hallways and walkways that lead to an emergency exit, all doors along the way of this path – the path of egress – are considered egress door. In this blog entry, the door installation experts at UTS Group will give you some details about egress doors, and how they differ from the typical fire doors.

What makes egress doors unique?

Regular Doors: Regular doors can be custom craft into any desired size or shape. They don’t need to open or operate in any specific way or even provide handicap access (unless the door opens to a public area that is subject to AODA regulations for accessibility for handicapped individuals.) Doors inside your home are probably regular doors unless there is a handicapped individual living inside your home. Businesses most likely have regular doors in place on entrances to private areas, storage rooms, and closets.

Egress Doors: Egress Doors have to be at least 32 inches wide, and no bigger than 48 inches wide, in order to provide maximum ease of access. The door has to open up outwardly, and can’t be locked up from the inside. Egress doors are required to have a panic button or panic bar installed that automatically unlocks the door for easy and free opening. Exit from an egress door needs to be possible in one single motion, in pushing the panic button or panic bar. Any hardware like deadbolts or other types of locks that will require more than a single action for opening are not allowed – and it’s likely that other regulations or safety rules will apply.

Are Egress Doors like Fire Doors?

In short – no. Egress doors are meant to allow quick escape from a building in the event of an emergency. Fire doors are meant to halt the spread of flames or fire, and are made of special fire resistant cores – and also need to be inspected every year. Fire doors have mechanisms that ensure that doors shut and stay closed and locked in the event of a fire. UTS Group provides full fire door installation and inspection, but we want to emphasize that fire doors and egress doors are simply not the same – and not all egress doors are meant to stop a fire’s spread.

Do you Require an Egress Door in your Home?

In short – yes. You need at least one egress door in your home, but we recommend installing two at opposite sides of your houses. Bedrooms need egress windows in order to easily escape in the event of a fire. Egress doors in private residences don’t have panic bars or panic buttons and are not required to adhere to the same locking regulations as egress doors located inside public buildings are. However, egress doors should be easy to unlock for every single person in the household. If you’re not sure if the egress doors in your home or business meet safety standards, contact the experts here at UTS Group!


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