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Does This Meet Code 5

I need to Get Out

This is one of our most challenging questions on “Does This Meet Code.”  In fact we have run this on the site as a static picture many times, but never asked for your comments.

Looking at this picture, can the owner of a building paint a exit door to match its surroundings?

{ 15 comments… add one }

  • Andy King (Franklin TN) February 1, 2009, 7:03 am

    No. The awning and the bottom of the door disguise the exit. The debate could be what would you need to do to make it acceptable. Could you paint the door frame brown and paint the awning??

    NFPA 101 – 7.5.2 Impediments to Egress. See also 7.1.9 and* Exit access and exit doors shall be designed and arranged to be clearly recognizable.
    A. Doors that lead through wall paneling, and that harmonize in appearance with the rest of the wall to avoid detracting from some desired aesthetic or decorative effect, are not acceptable, because casual occupants might not be aware of such means of egress even though it is visible. Hangings or draperies shall not be placed over exit doors or located so that they conceal or obscure any exit, unless otherwise provided in

  • Ron February 1, 2009, 11:29 am

    NO. IBC 1008.1 has the same basic wording as NFPA 101.

  • Robert J Davidson February 1, 2009, 12:04 pm


    IFC, 2006 edition

    1028.5 Furnishings and decorations.
    Furnishings, decorations or other objects shall not be placed so as to obstruct exits, access thereto, egress therefrom, or visibility thereof. Hangings and draperies shall not be placed over exit doors or otherwise be located to conceal or obstruct an exit. Mirrors shall not be placed on exit doors. Mirrors shall not be placed in or adjacent to any exit in such a manner as to confuse the direction of exit.

  • Fire Marshal Dan R.Reid February 1, 2009, 8:10 pm

    Refer to IBC or IFC 2003, Chapter 10, NFPA 5000, Building Construction and Safety Code, Chapter 11, NFPA 1, Uniform Fire Code, Chapter 14, or NFPA 101, Life Safety Code, Chapter 7.
    The means of egress doors must be readily distinguihable from the adjacent construction and wall finishes so the doors are easily recognizable as doors.

  • Mike Eckert February 2, 2009, 8:18 am

    I have seen similar problems at nursing homes, where they try to cover to door with a blanket, etc. to prevent resident elopement. In addtion to disguising the door, the coverings are generally combustible; also a problem.

  • Lt./Inspector Don Collick February 2, 2009, 8:58 am


  • Chris February 2, 2009, 9:46 am

    I had a catering hall with doors just like this. They weren’t happy when I told them that it was no good.

  • Tim February 2, 2009, 11:53 am

    That arrangement of this exit assembly does NOT comply in several conditions as per 1008.1, IFC 2003/ CFSC which states:

    Doors serving a means of egress system shall meet the requirements of this section and Section 1017.2. Doors provided for egress purposes in numbers greater than required by this code shall meet the requirements of this section.

    Means of egress doors shall be readily distinguishable from the adjacent construction and finishes such that the doors are easily recognizable as doors. Mirrors or similar reflecting materials shall not be used on means of egress doors. Means of egress doors shall not be concealed by curtains, drapes, decorations or similar materials.”

  • Richard February 2, 2009, 3:36 pm

    NO way

  • Matt February 2, 2009, 7:54 pm

    What exit?

  • rfu49 February 3, 2009, 10:18 am

    No But — Where is the manual pull station?

  • Debra VanReenen February 10, 2009, 5:56 pm

    Absolutely no. What possess people to do things like this?

  • Brian Dove February 23, 2009, 9:17 am

    Does anyone see the boxes and the wet floor sign perched right next to the door? What does this tell you about their standard day to day activities and the usability of the exit door?

  • Marcus Veytia February 26, 2009, 12:32 pm

    Ontario Building Code, Sentence, states, “Exits shall be located and arranged so that they are clearly visible or their locations are clearly indicated and they are accessible at all times.” This is most likely the same for the National Building Code of Canada (model code).

  • Bob October 5, 2010, 1:25 pm

    I’m sorry…I’m speechless. I hope and pray it’s not a health care facility…because that would explain why they get a bad rap.

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