What Does An Egress Door Mean?

A closed emergency egress door
Publish at Jan 31, 2023 By: Isaac Bell
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In building terms, egress means "a route or path to going out." By simple means, it's an exit path. Both commercial and residential buildings have egress doors and are operated by regional building codes.

An egress door serves as an exit door from the building during an emergency. Building occupants can make an emergency escape through this door in fire or other desperate conditions. There is an international building code to operate egress doors, and all the buildings around the world follow this code. Many areas also have local codes and operate their egress doors in this code system. These codes generally state how many door openings will be needed and what needs to be used in each egress door.

The egress doors are the rescue openings for any emergency. But, that doesn't mean that only the exit door is considered an egress door. All the doors serving at the end of the exit door are counted as egress doors. These doors also need to follow the life safety code strictly.

Egress Doors In Commercial Building

A closed emergency egress door

Maintaining proper safety in commercial buildings is crucial as the building is occupied. The majority of doors in commercial spaces are considered egress doors.

The doors that are not egress are hard to find in the commercial building. Doors from the rooms that do not have occupants are non-egress. Rooms like closets or storehouses are among them.

Egress Door In Residential Occupancies

Residential properties have fewer egress doors compared to commercial ones. Usually, the front door and yard gate is egress door in a residential building.

What Are The Differences Between An Egress Door And A Regular Door?

As an egress door needs to serve as an exit path for the occupants, it must follow certain door hardware and code.

Regular Door

Regular doors do not have any limitation on size or shape. It can be of any size or shape you wish. These doors provide a passage from one room to another.

There is no certain regulation about how a regular door will open. It can open externally or internally. This door type can be locked from both sides with double-sided deadbolts or door closers. Most of the doors in private homes are non-egress stable doors.

Egress Door

An egress door has some specific requirements. It has a certain width limitation. The width of an egress door must be at least thirty-tw0 inches, and it also should not surpass forty-eight-inch width. This width range assures it doesn't face any obstacles while opening.

An egress door should always open externally. It can be locked from the outside but never from the inside. This door should have only a single motion locking system from the inside. An egress door should be equipped with a system that can open the door automatically. Locking devices like a panic bar or a panic button can do this. Deadbolt or manual flush bolts that require more than one action to operate is not preferable for an egress door.

In commercial buildings, all doors are egress, except some hallway or closet doors.

Variation Of Egress Doors

Egress doors have two kinds of variations-

  1. Free egress
  2. Delayed egress

Free Egress Door

Free egress doors have a single operation like a panic bar. Anyone can make an emergency exit with doors with panic bars by making no delay.

Door handles of an emergency egress door

Delayed Egress Door

You will have to wait for some time in case you want to exit by a delayed egress door. The delay can be up to 15 seconds.

Requirements For The Egress Doors

The egress doors need to follow and maintain some specific requirements. The following conditions are needed to meet while making an egress door.

Width Of The Door

The door width needs to be specific for egress doors. It should have minimum 32-inch width but not more than 48-inch.


To make an egress door fully opened, anyone should not require a force of more than 15 pounds. 30 pounds will be required to set motion in the door.

Locking System

Any locks used in the egress door should not hamper the door opening. The door should always open in the exterior direction. To open the door externally, you shouldn't need any locks, keys, or special knowledge.


The egress doors are swinging types of doors that must swing in the egress direction. This swing direction is considered for a room with an occupant load of 50 persons.


An egress door is expected to have a maximum threshold of 13 millimeters over the floor area.

Delayed-Exit Device

A delayed-exit device in egress doors should connect with the central fire alarm system. It should also follow the international fire code patterns. It has a system that raises the alarm when the power supply gets short.

You will get more information about door hardware and egress requirements in your regional building code.

Is An Egress Door And A Fire Door Works The Same?

An egress door and a fire door are in no way the same. They have different builds and perform different tasks.

The egress doors are the escape path for the building during an emergency. At the same time, a fire door stops the spreading of the fire. Fire doors have fire resistant core system. It also has a releasing mechanism that keeps the door locked when the fire bursts.

Do You Need An Egress Door For Your Home or The Commercial Property?

Definitely, yes. On your home property, you should have an egress door. One egress door is a must-have. Two are better to have in your house. Two egress doors on both sides of your house will give you more escape options in case a fire bursts out or some emergency arises. Private property egress doors do not have the same locks in commercial buildings. But in either way, the unlocking pattern should be comfortable enough for all the house members.

You must be careful when choosing the company to set your egress doors up. Armor Locks Co. has a great reputation for setting up egress doors. With a long experience and qualified professionals, Armor Locks Co. is fully capable of setting egress doors in residential and commercial properties. Call 832-481-5030 to contact Armor Locks Co. and get more detailed information.

Frequently Asked Question (FAQ)

What Is Non-Egress Door?

Answer: According to NFPA 101, entrance doors do not lead out. Instead, the doors that lead to the building exit are described as exit doors. Non-egress doors don't have to follow certain guidelines. In private homes, the majority of doors are non-egress doors.

What Is The Minimum Door Height In A Means Of Egress?

Answer: The door opening clearance should not cross 6ft 8in or 2032mm. You have to make sure the clearance doesn't exceed this height.

Can You Put A Deadbolt On A Revolving Door?

Answer: If you plan to put a deadbolt on the revolving doors, you must have enough space to set the lock compartments on both sides. Deadbolt locks significantly increase the security of the revolving doors.

What Does Double Egress Door Mean?

Answer: Double egress has metal support on both sides. These double doors are commonly used in schools, hospitals, or nursing homes. Traffic control is important in these places, and double doors are handy there.

What Is The Meaning Of Single Motion?

Answer: Single motion is a lever mechanism where it makes escaping a building during an emergency easier. The egress door opens by simultaneous bolt release, and a thumb turns on the door.

Do Exterior Doors Need Door Closers?

Answer: Door closer is door hardware, which is not very important in most areas except commercial buildings. Door closers are very largely used in commercial buildings.

Article written by: Isaac Bell
I'm Isaac Bell, founder of Armor Locks Co. I founded the company in 2014, and we've been growing. We're a Houston-based locksmith and security services provider, and we're dedicated to providing quality service and helping people in emergencies. We still uphold our founding ethos of putting customers first, which is why we're one of the most trusted names in security. Thank you for considering me for your next project!