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Mar 08 2017

WW: Blackout

Category: Egress,Wordless WednesdayLori @ 12:42 am Comments (6)

I was checking out the iDH stats, and I noticed that there have been a few days lately when we’ve almost reached 2,000 visits.  Today could be the day, because I KNOW you will want to share the link to today’s Wordless Wednesday photo which was sent to me by Brent Kiernan of Allegion.

Just hover your cursor over the share/save icon to the right of the post title (^), and share the link to social media or send it to all of your door-loving friends via email.  This one is a doozy, and joins the short list of photos that have made me cry (a little).

Because I know you’ll have questions, here’s a little more info even though it’s Wordless Wednesday.  These doors are in a restaurant/bar, and lead to a patio that is being repaired because of some flood damage.  There is another set of doors leading to the same patio – also blacked out and also with the exit sign illuminated.  IF (and that’s a big IF), the contractor got permission to close these two exits because of the construction, shouldn’t the exit signs be covered too?

If this photo made you say “wow” (or some other expletive), share the link to wow your friends and help iDH reach a new milestone.  🙂


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6 Responses to “WW: Blackout”

  1. Cda says:


    They put effort into boarding it up. They could have at least covered the exit sign.

    Now you are going to make me look at exit signs, when the exit is allowed to be blocked for some reason. Not sure if I have had the exit sign covered before.

  2. Jim Elder says:

    Lori. Brings up a question: Under what circumstances can you legally close a required means of egress without changing something else (i.e. occupant calculation)? Maybe in this case the exit was not required?

    • Lori says:

      Personally, I wouldn’t close an exit like this one unless it was authorized by the fire marshal. To eliminate an exit that is no longer required, I would present the calculations for occupant load, travel distance, etc., to the fire marshal and see if he would grant permission. There may be some other process but I don’t know what it is.

      – Lori

  3. tigerloose says:

    If an exit is disabled for whatever reason, the exit sign should be gone or obscured. In the case of a poorly disguised exit door that is not functional there should be a sign that says NOT AN EXIT

  4. Tom Breese says:

    Construction has its costs, but we can’t let it be at the risk of human safety. Short of closing up the business during construction, maybe the AHJ could determine how large an occupant load could be safely allowed, and then have that affected portion of the occupied space closed off due to lack of safe egress. It might be worthwhile to pay the contractor overtime or double-shifts, and maybe ease up on after-hours noise ordinances, in order to shorten the construction time. Definitely, the EXIT sign needs to be turned off.

  5. Jerry Austin says:

    I would always involve the authority having jurisdiction because they have the latitude to make judgements on derangements of egress. The authorities also have often excellent training and experience on practical exit safety. Exit safety can involve more than fires, including panic flight from a variety of situations.

    NFPA 101 Life Safety Code, 2000 ed., discusses this in Section 4.6.3. Section allows portions of an existing build to be occupied during construction, repair, alterations or additions only “where required means of egress and required fire protection features are in place and continuously maintained for the portion occupied or where alternative life safety measures acceptable to the authority having jurisdiction are in place”. In a hospital, our accrediting folks wanted to see a carefully thought out plan for an alternative as well. This included how exiting can be redirected with signage, paths of travel, and it better be in writing for their review. As I recall the IFC and IBC had somewhat similar requirements.

    I think it is always so important to run things deranging safety systems by them. I have often been surprised at the things they brought up when I though I had thought of everything.

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