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The management of wall linings and storage within corridors/escape routes

Escape routes from the workplace within buildings are normally stair enclosures or corridors and can be divided into two categories, protected escape routes and unprotected escape routes.

1. Protected escape routes

Protected escape routes are: stairs/corridors entered by fire doors leading to the open air.

  • Note: The storage of combustible material within these escape routes is forbidden, however notice-boards may be provided in exceptional circumstances.

Exceptional circumstances: The use of notice-boards in a protected escape route may be approved providing they are absolutely necessary and all the following conditions are met:

a) the building is fitted with a fire alarm and an automatic fire detection system;

b) the notice-boards are specially constructed to comply with the building standards surface spread of flame rating;

c) express permission has been received, in writing, from Fife Fire and Rescue Service.

2. Unprotected escape routes

Unprotected escape routes are: normally corridors linking parts of a building and connecting to protected escape routes.

The use of notice-boards and/or storage in unprotected corridors is permitted subject to the following conditions being met.


  • the notice-board does not exceed 1.2m high x 3.0m long;
  • if more than one notice-board is required a 3.0m gap should be employed between adjacent notice-boards (including notice-boards on opposite sides of a corridor);
  • all paperwork on the notice-board etc. is securely pinned back at the corners.

Furniture/storage: The use of furniture and/or storage in unprotected corridors is permitted subject to the following conditions being met:

  • no obstruction of the escape route occurs and required minimum escape route widths are maintained;
  • furniture should be inherently non-combustible i.e. metal or hardwood and should be securely fixed to the wall;
  • storage of display leaflets/paper on cabinets must be kept to a minimum;
  • where the provision of seating is necessary a maximum of 3 (hardwood or solid plastic) chairs are normally permitted.

Note: No seating containing upholstered polyurethane foam (whether treated or not) is acceptable under any circumstances. Where it is proposed to introduce large numbers of units advice should be sought from the University Fire Officer.

Any queries re identification of a protected route, or on any of the above, should be directed to the University Fire Officer, at Environmental, Health and Safety Services (Ext. 2749).


Mr Steven McKenzie, Fire Safety Adviser

Environmental Health and Safety Services
Bute Building, Queens Terrace
St Andrews
KY16 9TS
Scotland, United Kingdom

Tel: +44 (0)1334 462782
Fax:+44 (0)1334 462747