Administration Policies


UMB Policy on Emergency Egress Safety


Responsible VP/AVP

Dawn M. Rhodes, DBA, MBA

Policy Statement


Provide clear, safe exit access 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.


The State Fire Marshal's Office has been directed by state law to enforce laws, regulations, and standards pertaining to fire safety. 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.

By reference the State Fire Prevention Commission has adopted the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) Life Safety Code. Section 9- of the Life Safety Code, which applies to all campus buildings, states that "a means of egress (exit) is a continuous and unobstructed way of exit travel from any point in a building or structure to a public way." This includes intervening room spaces, doorways, hallways, corridors, passageways, balconies, ramps, stairs, enclosures, and lobbies.

Many buildings are faced with storage problems, and the corridors are being 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 an effort 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.
  2. Storage in 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. No storage or furniture of any type will be allowed in exit stairwells.
  3. Corridor storage is limited to items used in daily operations.
  4. A clear path of travel of a minimum of 44" must be provided in all exit corridors of existing buildings, and all storage confined to one side of the corridor. Special circumstances will be evaluated on a case-by-case basis. The life safety of the building occupants and firefighters, however, will be given highest priority.
  5. 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.
  6. Flammable liquids or other hazardous material storage will not be permitted in any means of egress including corridors and exit stairwells.
  7. All equipment/storage in any corridor 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.
  8. Questions and requests for guidance concerning this policy should be directed to the Office of Environmental Health and Safety.


Environmental Health and Safety 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 EHS personnel. Moving of items improperly stored will be coordinated with General Services. Every effort will be made by EHS 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 period of time to properly store the items according to the following schedule:

    a. Combustible or non-combustible trash - 7 days
    b. Flammable liquids or other hazardous materials - 7 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 equipment other than trash, 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. Surplus equipment will be moved to the storage area above Lexington Garage and stored or disposed of according to established surplus property disposal policies and procedures.
    c. Hazardous materials will be moved to an appropriate storage area.
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