Printed from the blog of Lori Greene, AHC/CDC, CCPR, FDAI
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Email: lori_greene@allegion.com, Blog: www.idighardware.com or www.ihatehardware.com


Nov 24 2009

Not an Exit

Category: EgressLori @ 11:32 pm Comments (4)
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Not an ExitThis sign is on the OUTSIDE of a door on the gas station I frequent.  I can’t think of any reason it would be important to know that nobody will be exiting out of that door (UPDATE:  Check out the comments for some interesting insight from a fire marshal.), but it did make me wonder when a sign like this IS required.

As far as I can tell, the International Building Code and International Fire Code don’t include a requirement for marking doors that are not part of a means of egress.  I did find it in two other publications though.

According to the OSHA standards, doors that might be mistaken for exits have to be marked “Not an Exit” or have signage indicating what the room is used for (storage, electric room, etc.). NFPA 101 requires doors that might be mistaken for an exit to have a sign that reads “NO EXIT.”

Although neither of the publications actually state that the sign goes on the egress side of the door, I think it’s implied.  🙂

Occupational Safety and Health Standards:

1910.37(b)(5) –Each doorway or passage along an exit access that could be mistaken for an exit must be marked “Not an Exit” or similar designation, or be identified by a sign indicating its actual use (e.g., closet).

NFPA 101 – 2006, 2009:

7.10.8.3* No Exit.
7.10.8.3.1 Any door, passage, or stairway that is neither an exit nor a way of exit access and that is located or arranged so that it is likely to be mistaken for an exit shall be identified by a sign that reads as follows:  NO EXIT
7.10.8.3.2 The NO EXIT sign shall have the word NO in letters 2 in. (51 mm) high, with a stroke width of 3⁄8 in. (9.5 mm), and the word EXIT in letters 1 in. (25 mm) high, with the word EXIT below the word NO, unless such sign is an approved existing sign.

4 Responses to “Not an Exit”

  1. Patrick Quinlan says:

    When would there be a need to have a “this is not an exit” sign on the outside of the door? These types of signs are only required for egress purposes, not for one entering the building.

    • Lori says:

      There isn’t a need per the building code to have the sign on the outside, but check out the comment below relevant to firefighting.

  2. Todd Wyatt says:

    The 2012 NFPA 101 Life Safety Code states the following :
    7.10.8.3* No Exit.
    7.10.8.3.1 Any door, passage, or stairway that is neither an exit nor a way of exit access and that is located or arranged so that it is likely to be mistaken for an exit shall be identified by a sign that reads as follows: NO EXIT
    7.10.8.3.2 The NO EXIT sign shall have the word NO in letters 2in.(51 mm) high, with a stroke width of 3/8 in. (9.5mm), and the word EXIT in letters 1 in. (25 mm) high, with the word EXIT below the word NO, unless such sign is an approved existing sign.

    The appendix explains the above sections per the following :
    A.7.10.8.3 The likelihood of occupants mistaking passageways or stairways that lead to dead-end spaces for exit doors and becoming trapped governs the need for exit signs. Thus, such areas should be marked with a sign that reads as follows: NO EXIT
    Supplementary identification indicating the character of the area, such as TO BASEMENT, STOREROOM, LINEN CLOSET, or the like, is permitted to be provided.

    The AHJ would typically be the one to determine if the door is likely to be mistaken for an exit.

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