Escape routes

How many exits do I need?

The amount of exits you will need depends on two factors:

  1. The distance people need to travel to reach a place of safety – this is known as the travel distance.
  2. The number of people who would need to escape a fire – refer to the relevant guide.

Table of example travel distances*


Single exit

More than one exit

Factories and Warehouses



Offices and Shops



Residential and Care Homes




*Travel distance: The actual distance to be travelled by a person from any point within the floor area to the nearest storey exit or final exit, having regard to the layout of walls, partitions and fixings

If there are more than 60 people in your premises, you will need more than one exit. More detailed information can be found in the free guide on risk assessment relevant to your type of premises.

Do I need Emergency Lighting?

Emergency lighting is provided to illuminate your way out if the normal lighting fails. The size, design and type of your building will dictate whether emergency lighting is required.

In general, if you are a licenced premises such as a restaurant, emergency lighting is always required.

Emergency lighting may not be required – it depends on the outcome of your fire risk assessment.