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The Fire Precautions (Workplace) Regulations 1997

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Emergency routes and exits

5.—(1) Where necessary in order to safeguard the safety of employees in case of fire, routes to emergency exits from a workplace and the exits themselves shall be kept clear at all times.

(2) The following requirements must be complied with in respect of a workplace where necessary (whether due to the features of the workplace, the activity carried on there, any hazard present there or any other relevant circumstances) in order to safeguard the safety of employees in case of fire—

(a)emergency routes and exits shall lead as directly as possible to a place of safety;

(b)in the event of danger, it must be possible for employees to evacuate the workplace quickly and as safely as possible;

(c)the number, distribution and dimensions of emergency routes and exits shall be adequate having regard to the use, equipment and dimensions of the workplace and the maximum number of persons that may be present there at any one time;

(d)emergency doors shall open in the direction of escape;

(e)sliding or revolving doors shall not be used for exits specifically intended as emergency exits;

(f)emergency doors shall not be so locked or fastened that they cannot be easily and immediately opened by any person who may require to use them in an emergency;

(g)emergency routes and exits must be indicated by signs(1); and

(h)emergency routes and exits requiring illumination shall be provided with emergency lighting of adequate intensity in the case of failure of their normal lighting.


See the Health and Safety (Safety Signs and Signals) Regulations 1996 (S.I. 1996/341), which impose requirements in relation to fire safety signs.

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