Fire Safety Requirements for Egress and Pedestrian Doors

Fire and building codes can be complex and difficult to understand. However, the doors in your commercial facility must meet these codes to provide safe egress in the event of an emergency. Here’s an overview of some requirements for egress and fire doors in commercial facilities.

fire alarm in commercial building

Requirements For Egress Doors

In general, egress doors must be readily distinguishable from surrounding finishes and easily recognizable as doors. They must not be covered with mirrors or reflective materials and not be concealed with curtains or decorations. Here’s a general overview of some additional requirements for egress doors:

  • Door width. Egress doors must be a least 32 inches wide, measured between the face of the door and the stop on the frame, with the door open at 90 degrees.

  • Swing. Typically, egress doors must be swinging doors hung on pivots or hinges. In addition, the door must swing in the direction of egress travel when used in a room with an occupancy load of 50 people or more.

  • Force. The force required to fully open a swinging egress door should not exceed 67 Newtons or (15 pounds) to release the latch and 133 Newtons (30 pounds) to set the door in motion.

  • Locks. Locking, latching, and other fastening devices on egress doors must allow the door to be opened from the egress side without the use of keys, tools, or specialized knowledge.

  • Power-operated door. If there’s a power outage, power-operated egress doors must be capable of being opened manually or closed where necessary to safeguard means of egress.

  • Threshold. Egress door thresholds must be a maximum of 13 millimetres above the floor surface and should be bevelled.

  • Panic hardware. Egress doors equipped with panic hardware must have a push-pad or crossbar that doesn’t cover less than half the width of the door, must not be mounted less than 34 inches above the finished floor, and must be constructed to release using no more than 66 Newtons (15 pounds) of force in the direction of egress.

  • Delayed-egress exit devices. Delayed maglocks or delayed-egress exit devices must be connected to the building’s fire alarm system and be programmed to release on activation of the alarm or when there’s a power outage. In addition, the door must have signage to advise occupants of the delay and the delay cannot be more than 15 seconds.

  • Door closers. Door closers are required on egress doors in some provinces. However, door closers must not close the door in less than three seconds.

You can find more detailed information about egress door code requirements by consulting the National Building Code of Canada.

emergency alarm push crossbar for fire door

Requirements For Fire Doors

One of the cardinal rules of fire doors is that they must be self-closing. However, there are many ways to hold open a fire door. For example, a wall-or floor-mounted magnetic holder and a separate mechanical closer may be used if the holder releases when the fire alarm or smoke detector goes off. Here’s an overview of a few specific requirements for fire doors:

  • Closing devices. All fire doors are required to have a closing device. Furthermore, fire doors with an automatic operator must automatically disconnect during an alarm, allowing the door to close and latch.

  • Panic hardware. Fire doors equipped with panic hardware must have a label stating Fire Door to be Equipped with Fire Exit Hardware.

  • Glazing. The glazing used on fire doors must meet impact safety standards.

  • Clearance. The clearance under the bottom of a fire door must be less than 19 millimetres.

Lastly, fire door assemblies must be inspected and tested at least annually to ensure they remain in good working order.

automatic safety doors

Fire and Egress Door Hardware For Pedestrian Doors

At Creative Door ServicesTM, we carry a wide selection of safety hardware for commercial pedestrian doors. If you need a safe, durable, and reliable solution for your business, we have you covered. Our team follows strict safety protocols and is committed to providing you with top-quality services and support.

If you need help retrofitting, replacing, or repairing a fire or egress pedestrian door for your business, contact us today. We have locations in Kelowna, British Columbia; Vancouver, British Columbia; Calgary, Alberta; Edmonton, Alberta; Fort McMurray, Alberta; Regina, Saskatchewan; Saskatoon, Saskatchewan; and Winnipeg, Manitoba.

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