California Exit Routes laws & safety compliance analysis

California Exit Routes: What you need to know

California has adopted exit route rules in general industry workplaces that mirror federal rules and has added its own provisions that are stricter than federal rules. In many cases, Cal/OSHA as added more detailed explanatory language. (8 CCR 3215 to 3235)

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The state standards must be at least as strict as the federal standards; otherwise, the federal standards apply. Cal/OSHA administers and enforces workplace safety and health requirements in California.

8 CCR 3216

Location. Exit signs, directional signs, or both, must be provided at every exit door, at the intersection of corridors, at exit stairways or ramps, and at such other locations and intervals as are necessary to provide the occupants with what they need to know to safely exit in an emergency.

Electrically illuminated signs. Exit and exit directional signs that are required to be electrically illuminated must be lighted with two electric lamps, either one of which is sufficient to provide the required luminance on the face of the sign. Radioactive isotope self-powered signs with a luminance of not less that 0.02 lamberts during its useful life are acceptable.

8 CCR 3217

Drapes, hangings, curtains, drops, and all other similar material (including Christmas trees) located in corridors, stairways, lobbies, ramps, passageways, and balconies used as required exits must be made from nonflammable material or must be treated and maintained in a flame-retardant condition with a flame-retardant solution or process approved by the state fire marshal.

8 CCR 3222

Arrangement of exits. If only two exits are required, they must be placed a distance apart equal to not less than one-half ...

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