Creating fire evacuation maps is an essential task in maintaining the safety of your occupants. One of the most integral parts of this process is creating emergency exit routes. These are also called “egress routes.” There are a few different sets of codes and standards that you should follow when creating egress routes. These are put together by organizations such as OSHA and the ICC. Your specific codes and common practices are dependent on a number of factors. These include your location, industry, number of occupants, size of your building, etc.

Are you an expert in fire code?

The task of creating egress routes for your emergency action plan could be assigned to just about anyone. For many organizations, the person making the fire evacuation maps is not trained in fire safety. Even most school resource officers haven’t been taught OSHA and ICC fire code. For this reason, many of the emergency exit routes we see are not as safe as they could be.

If you are confused or unsure if your maps are safe and up to code, check with your local fire marshal. Additionally, you can contact Building Maps for any of your building safety consulting needs.

Check your Primary and Secondary Egress Routes

One of the most common – and most dangerous – mistakes we see on fire evacuation maps has to do with secondary exit routes. According to OSHA, most buildings should have two emergency exit routes for each room. The primary exit route should lead you to the nearest exit.

On the other hand, the secondary route should lead you in the opposite direction of the primary route. This applies even if the route leads you to an exit further away than what the next closest might be. Additionally, OSHA states that “exit routes must be located as far away as practical from each other in case one is blocked by fire or smoke.” 

If you are creating your evacuation maps in house, this is something to keep in mind. For more details on OSHA and ICC codes and standards, see the links below.


Building Maps is the industry leader in fire evacuation and security mapping illustration and services. Send us your existing maps or blueprints, and we will create safe, clean, properly oriented evacuation maps for your buildings. Please contact us, visit our website, or request a quote for more info on our services.

More Info

OSHA Standards and Regulations

ICC Building Codes

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