Escape stairs - these requirements must meet them

An escape staircase is required by law in many buildings. One provision that must be complied with is the Workplace Ordinance. Of course, this also applies to public buildings such as hospitals or department stores. The requirements for an escape staircase are shown here.

Escape staircase or fire escape

An escape staircase differs mainly in one point from a fire escape. The escape staircase may also be used at other times as a staircase. This is not the case with a fire escape. Nevertheless, of course, nothing should be turned off on the escalator or the access be blocked.

The building codes of the countries sometimes do not differentiate after fire or escape stairs, but use the term necessary stairs. Each lounge and each workroom must be connected to an exit with a necessary staircase.

Width of the escape staircase

The necessary width of the escape stair depends on how many people have to take these stairs at the same time in case of danger. The area covered by an escape staircase is called the catchment area. In large buildings, for example, it is clearly shown on the escape plans which stairs are responsible for which area.

It is always the maximum number of people who need to take the escape stairs in case of danger to determine the width of the stairs.

  • clear width of the stairs from 0.875 meters - up to 5 people
  • clear width of the stairs from 1.00 meters - up to 20 people
  • clear width of the stairs from 1.20 meters - up to 200 people
  • clear width of the stairs from 1.80 meters - up to 300 people
  • clear width of the stairs from 2.40 meters - up to 400 people

Handrails on traffic routes

The prescribed traffic routes also include escape stairs. Therefore, handrails must offer secure hold here. The handrails must be routed over the entire staircase and must not be interrupted anywhere. At the ends of these handrails must not be bent over or round shaped, because otherwise someone could get stuck.

Tips & Tricks

The Workplace Ordinance and the Sales Office Ordinance still differ a lot. So an escape staircase for customers must be at least two meters wide. Only if your sales area is less than 500 square meters, the width can be at least 1.25 meters. But even then you have to continue the handrails on the landing.

Video Board: New Fire Stairs - Instructions