Printed from the blog of Lori Greene, AHC/CDC, CCPR, FDAI
Email:, Blog: or

Dec 04 2015

FF: Black Friday

Category: Egress,Fixed-it FridayLori @ 12:06 am Comments (8)

As I’ve mentioned before, I follow a great firefighter training page on Facebook called Truck Floor Training.  The members of that group occasionally post photos of a door that has been secured in a way that makes it difficult for firefighters to enter.  Almost all of these access problems are also egress problems (here are some examples).

There’s an interesting discussion taking place on that page, regarding pallets of masonry blocks being used to secure the entrances of a retail store on Black Friday.  There are many commenters who feel that while the blocks are a danger to firefighters, they’re not a code issue if the building is not occupied.  If the pallets are blocking required exits, I think they are a code issue, unless one of you can find something in the International Fire Code that says the means of egress requirements only apply when the building is occupied.

Here’s a portion of the Facebook discussion.  You can see the rest by visiting the Truck Floor Training page on Facebook.


Click here to read more on the Truck Floor Training Facebook page.

8 Responses to “FF: Black Friday”

  1. Bill C. says:

    NFPA101 General. Means of egress shall be continuously maintained free of all obstructions or impediments to full instant use in the case of fire or other emergency.


    NFPA101 Where means of egress doors are locked in a building that is NOT considered occupied, occupants shall not be locked beyond their control in buildings or building spaces, except for lockups in accordance with 22.4.5 and 23.4.5, detention and correctional occupancies, and health care occupancies.

  2. john dalrymple says:

    The lights are on ergo someone is inside ergo the building is occupied ergo they have a code violation.

  3. Joel Niemi says:

    I liked the “would have shut them down for a couple of days for being idiots” answer.
    And wrap caution tape with “fire investigation – do not remove” Text just to make it clear. Take tape off on Monday or so. Lost sales will train store manager to not do that again.

  4. John Payson says:

    I think the purpose of the pallets is to protect the doors against being rammed by trucks. Some businesses
    have permanent bollards in front to guard the entrance doors, but a business like Home Depot may sometimes
    have a need to be able to move large objects out the doors.

    Would you see any objection, from a security or fire-safety standpoint, to placing pallets roughly as shown, but with a 36″ gap between the pallets and the building? Anyone inside would be able to get out, but the
    mass of the pallets would provide protection against attempts at ramming.

  5. Charles says:

    Looks like either they got a shipment


    Set up for a morning pickup by a contractor

    Can you say HD

  6. Gerald Austin says:

    I would not permit blocking a designed means of egress, occuppied or empty,unless the door had the required “Door Blocked” sign to warn both people familiar and unfamiliar that what possibly looked like an available means of egress was not useable. This practice could trap an occupant in a fire or shooting incident (imagine that, contemplating a non-fire use) not realizing the normal escape route was blocked. Unless the occupants enter by unlocking this door from the outside and remove blocks to enter, it is obvious that the building will be occupied at some point while the blocks are place. I always fell back on the life safety code phrase that the means of egress in a building will be maintained at all times “for immediate use in the event of an emergency”. Guess in today’s world, fire is not the only emergency either.

  7. Curtis Meskus says:

    Let the building burn, it is not worth a FF life to search a building if all the exits are blocked.

Leave a Reply