Last edited 09 Nov 2020

Unprotected escape route

Approved document B, Fire Safety, Volume 2, Buildings other than dwellinghouses, defines an escape route as:

‘...that part of the means of escape from any point in a building to a final exit’ where a final exit is, ‘The termination of an escape route from a building giving direct access to a street, passageway, walkway or open space and sited to ensure the rapid dispersal of persons from the vicinity of a building so that they are no longer in danger from fire and/or smoke.’

Escape routes can be protected or unprotected, where an unprotected escape routes is:

The unprotected part of an escape route, ‘…which a person has to traverse before reaching either the safety of a final exit or the comparative safety of a protected escape route, i.e. a protected corridor or protected stairway. Unprotected escape routes should be limited in extent so that people do not have to travel excessive distances while exposed to the immediate danger of fire and smoke. Even with protected horizontal escape routes, the distance to a final exit or protected stairway needs to be limited because the structure does not give protection indefinitely.'

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