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Frequently Asked Questions

What is an Exit Strategy? An Exit Strategy is a plan for exiting a building or structure in an emergency. When entering a building, it is critical that you locate at least two ways out, keeping in mind that the way you came in (usually the front door) may not be the best way out.

Why is it important to know at least two ways out of a building? Any exit can become blocked during an emergency, so having at least one exit, and preferably two or more alternative exits, can literally save your life.

What is the difference between an Exit and an Exit Passageway? An Exit can be an exterior door, passageway, stair, ramp, or window leading to the outside of a building, that allows building occupants to safely leave a building in an acceptable amount of time. An Exit Passageway is a protected means of exit travel, sort of a fire resistive "envelope." Examples of Exit Passageways include enclosed interior exit stairways, hallways, corridors, passages, tunnels, under floor passageways, or overhead passageways.

Why is it important to keep exits and exit passageways clear of obstructions? Objects located in exit passageways, such as boxes, band equipment, stacked merchandise, garbage cans, etc., can, in a fire or other emergency, cause people to fall, seriously hurt themselves, and even block the exit passageway for others. Keeping exit passageways clear of obstacles enables people to exit a building more quickly and safely.

What is the difference between Exit Lights and Emergency Lighting? Exit Lights are the illuminated signs that read "EXIT," whereas Emergency Lighting are the lights that illuminate the pathway leading to the exits. Both must have emergency back-up electricity via batteries or a house generator that enable the Exit signs and Emergency lights to remain illuminated for at least 1-1/2 hours after electricity fails.

Can illuminated exit signs and emergency lighting (exit lights) really make that much difference?
Absolutely. During a fire, emergency lighting allows you to see and navigate your way through dense smoke to an exit. Clearly marked Exit signs enable you to distinguish which doors lead outside.


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