To stay in compliance with OSHA regulations and ensure the safety of your building’s entrances and exits, you may need to implement Not An Exit signs that clearly mark doorways as inappropriate exits to the outside world. These signs are critical to your business’s fire safety plan and other evacuation scenarios. The goal in these emergencies is to get everyone to safety and out of harm’s way as quickly and efficiently as possible. This goal is hindered when frightened guests and employees are pulling open doors that lead into offices, hallways, and other recesses instead of outside. With Not An Exit signs, you can cut through the confusion, bring clarity to your evacuation plan, and keep your business up to code.
Does it strike you as unlikely or even silly that you might improve employee morale with something as seemingly irrelevant as Not An Exit signs? Does it seem odd to wonder about what such signs could do for your productivity? Or even the comfort and happiness of your customers? Perhaps it shouldn’t seem so strange. Studies have shown that a cluttered, confused mind is virtually indistinguishable from an unhappy one. The two are synonymous. And yes, even something as simple as having a door that appears to be an exit (but isn’t) can lead to clutter and confusion. As a business owner, clarity should always be among your highest priorities. And if something as simple as a Not An Exit sign can help you move towards that goal, why not give it a try?
Stay Up to Code
Even if you don’t believe it’s important from a personal standpoint to mark doors according to their function, you know beyond a doubt that you must adhere to certain regulatory codes that govern your business layout. According to the National Fire Protection Association, whose recommendations are followed by most regulatory agencies, any door that “is located or arranged so that it is likely to be mistaken for an exit” should be fitted with a Not An Exit sign. This is especially important when the door is not otherwise labeled as an office, a closet, a hallway, etc. Inspectors can and will fine you for failing to uphold these regulations.
Keep Visitors Informed
It may seem to you and your long-time employees that it’s abundantly obvious that this door or that one does not lead to the outside. It wouldn’t even make sense, considering the layout of the building! Don’t let your familiarity with your own building landscape keep you from doing the right thing. It’s easy to forget that customers and visitors will not know the layout of the building. Try to see it through a newcomer’s eyes, and then take action as you deem appropriate. If you didn’t know that door led to the basement, would you assume that it led to the alleyway behind your business? If so, post a Not An Exit sign to be on the safe side.