Administration Policies


UMB Policy on Emergency Egress Safety

Administration   |   Approved March 21, 2023

Responsible VP/AVP

Dawn M. Rhodes, DBA, MBA

Revision History

Signed March 21, 2023 


Provide a clear means of egress for students, faculty, and staff to safely exit campus buildings in case of fire or other emergency. Minimize the hazards to firefighters when doing search and rescue or trying to reach and extinguish fires within University buildings.

Policy Statement


The State Fire Marshal's Office has been directed by state law to enforce laws, regulations, and standards pertaining to fire safety. The UMB Office of the Fire Marshal (OFM) is deputized by the State Fire Marshal’s Office to enforce these laws, regulations, and standards at UMB.

The State Fire Prevention Commission has established a Fire Prevention Code that applies to buildings within the State of Maryland. All University buildings are affected by these fire prevention requirements.

The State Fire Prevention Commission has adopted the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) National Fire Code. The National Fire Code requires all means of egress to be continuously maintained free of all obstructions or impediments to full instant use in the case of fire or other emergency.

Many buildings are faced with storage problems, and the means of egress are improperly and unsafely used for storage. In some instances, storage has escalated to the point that it presents a fire safety hazard to building occupants and firefighters.



The following policy is to mitigate the fire safety concerns in campus buildings.

1.  No storage of any type will be allowed in any part of the means of egress of buildings constructed or renovated after January 1, 1990.

     a. Storage in the means of egress of buildings constructed or renovated before January 1, 1990 must be managed and limited to non-combustible items stored in appropriate storage cabinets or shelving.

2.  Flammable liquids and other hazardous materials are not permitted to    be stored in any portion of the means of egress of any building.

3.  No storage of any type is permitted in exits of any building.

4.  Corridor storage near or adjacent to an exit access is limited to items   used in daily operations.

5.  A clear path of travel of a minimum of 44"”must be provided in all exit    access corridors of existing buildings. All storage must be confined to one side of the corridor.

6.  Special circumstances will be evaluated on a case-by-case basis.  However, the life safety of the building occupants and firefighters will be given highest priority.

7.  Storage must not obstruct safety showers, eye washes, fire    extinguishers, exit doors, fire alarm pull stations, electrical panels, or any other safety feature of UMB buildings.

8.  All storage in corridors in or near exit access should be clearly labeled    with the owner's name, campus address, and campus phone number. This information will assist University personnel in the event of a flood or other emergency in the building.

9.  Questions and requests for guidance concerning this policy should be directed to the Office of the Fire Marshal.



Office of the Fire Marshal (OFM) personnel will conduct periodic surveys of all means of egress components. Items stored in means of egress areas contrary to this policy will be addressed in the following manner:

1.  Items found to be stored contrary to the means of egress policy will be tagged as a fire hazard by OFM personnel. Moving of items improperly stored will be coordinated with Environmental Services. Reasonable efforts will be made by OFM personnel to contact the owner of the item(s) by checking inventory tags and talking with floor occupants. Owners of the items will have a reasonable grace period to move and properly store the items according to the following schedule:

a. Combustible or non-combustible trash - 7 days
b. Flammable liquids or other hazardous materials - 3 days
c. Surplus equipment - 30 days

Any items encroaching on the minimum required egress path (44") will be moved immediately. Similarly, any item found to be either hazardous or blocking a safety feature will be moved immediately. Notices and inventories of removed items will be provided to the school or unit's administrative officer.

2.  Disposition of any item that is not properly stored after the established grace period will be discussed with the appropriate representatives of the school or unit involved.

a. Trash will be disposed of.
b. Hazardous materials will be moved to an appropriate storage area.




Means of egress – A continuous and unobstructed way of travel from any point in a building or structure to a public way consisting of three separate and distinct parts: (1) the exit access, (2) the exit, and (3) the exit discharge.

Exit access – The portion of a means of egress that leads to an exit.

Exit – The portion of a means of egress that is separated from all other spaces of the building or structure by construction, location, or equipment as required to provide a protected way of travel to the exit discharge.

Exit discharge – The portion of a means of egress between the termination of an exit and a public way.

Public way – A street, alley, or other similar parcel of land essentially open to the outside air deeded, dedicated, or other permanently appropriated to the public for public use and having a clear width and height of not less than 10 ft.

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