Safety Policies and Procedures Manual

Exit Routes

SPPM 8.24

For more information contact:
   WSU Fire Marshal


Exit routes are an essential part of any plan designed to evacuate people from a building or other structure in the event of a fire and other emergency. Each work station should have at least two routes from the work station to a location at least 75 yards from the structure. The work group should have a designated meeting place outside of the structure.


The unit administrator and the area safety committee are responsible for establishing and communicating exit routes within spaces assigned to the unit.

The unit administrator is responsible for ensuring that the exit routes are not obstructed.

  • Any obstruction of the exit route is a serious violation of the International Fire Code.

    Contact the WSU Fire Marshal for more information regarding the International Fire Code.

  • No one may place items within the exit route that restrict or obstruct corridors, stairways, or other exit ways. (RCW 19.27, WAC 296-24-21501, WAC 296-800-31025) The objective is to prevent accidents, to provide unobstructed exit routes, and to comply with fire and safety regulations.

    For example, movers may not block exits with vehicles or dollies.

  • Any material that may cause combustion, explosion, or the generation of toxic smoke and gases may not be placed in exit routes.

Items placed, installed, or maintained any place within space assigned to an administrative unit must be consistent with the fire-resistive standards of the building or other structure.

Personnel are not to place a door chock, wedge, or furniture item in a doorway that could prevent the door from automatically closing in the event of a fire.

Self Inspection

Annually, a representative of the area safety committee and the unit administrator conduct a safety review to evaluate hazards and to recommend or take corrective action to minimize or eliminate hazards.

Use the Safety Inspection Checklist.

Reporting Obstructions

Anyone who identifies a hazard should report the hazard to the unit administrator, the safety committee representative, and/or the WSU Fire Marshal.

Use a Hazard Notification form to report obstructions (see SPPM 2.52).

Fire Marshal Inspection

The WSU Fire Marshal may issue citations if an administrative unit has obstructions within the department’s exit routes.

Distribution of citations:

  • First notice – The department chair.
  • Second notice – The appropriate dean or equivalent administrator.
  • Final notice – Dean and chair meet with fire chief.

Revisions:  Aug. 2006 (Rev. 67); Nov. 1994 (Rev. 12*) Dec. 1989 – new policy (Rev. 7).