According to Approved Document K, Protection from falling, collision and impact, ‘Vomitory exits’ are storey exits provided within the body of a seating layout.
The word ‘vomitory’ is derived from ‘vomitorium’ which refers to a passage found beneath the seating through which an audience can exit at the end of an event. This originates from Roman times, when amphitheatres had vomitorium to allow the audience to leave.
The phrase is still sometimes used to describe exit routes from stadia or theatres, and can also be used to refer to an exit route from the performance area itself.
Approved document K requires that, where stepped gangways are provided in assembly buildings, for example in theatres or cinemas, transverse gangways should be provided to give access from the side to vomitory exits within the body of a seating layout.
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