Escape staircase - special requirements

On an escape stairwell similar to an escape staircase alone certain requirements are made by the state building authorities. Both the width and the access to the escape staircase is prescribed by various building codes. These can be slightly different in each country, so we want to prepare the facts about the escape staircase something.


In the state building regulations of Baden-Württemberg, for example, it stands that necessary stairs or exits do not have to be reachable more than 40 meters from each place of a recreation room. The usable width must be at least one meter. From a distance of 40 meters there is also the catchment area, which applies to an escape staircase respectively.

This escape staircase or escape staircase must be clearly marked in a map as the next escape or escape route.

Material and exceptions

Like the staircase itself, the staircase may only be made of non-combustible material. However, these rules and regulations do not apply to multi-storey flats or to residential buildings with up to two flats of low height. Agricultural and forestry buildings are also excluded from the regulation.


Here is a brief overview of the many regulations that revolve around escape staircases. Most of them do not apply to the residential buildings with up to two apartments described above. There may also be slightly different provisions in other Länder.

  • Steps should not start directly behind a door
  • Stairs in the escape staircase must have a sturdy handrail
  • Every escape staircase must have a safe exit at a short distance
  • the exit must not be narrower than the escape staircase itself
  • a necessary stairwell or escape staircase must be on the outside wall
  • There must be a window on every floor above the ground that can be opened in an emergency
  • more than six apartments or comparable units of use per floor may not access an escape staircase
  • for more than five storeys, a smoke outlet is required
  • All fittings in the escape staircase must consist of non-combustible building materials

Tips & Tricks

Since most of the regulations for buildings with more than five storeys are even stricter, your architect should develop a special concept for escape staircases, which also takes into account the workplace regulations and other requirements applicable to the building.

Video Board: Escape Game Stairs / 脱出ゲーム 非常階段 (hozdesign)