NEC 110.26(C) Entrance to Working Space (2) Large Equipment For equipment rated 1200 amperes or more that contains overcurrent devices, switching devices, or control devices, there shall be one entrance to the required working space not less than 610 mm (24 in.) wide and 2.0 m (6 1/ 2 ft) high at each end of the working space. Where the entrance has a personnel door(s), the door(s) shall open in the direction of egress and be equipped with panic bars, pressure plates, or other devices that are normally latched but open under simple pressure.
Is this requirement requiring crash bar hardware or can lever hardware be used?
Seems to me that this is left kinda vague and left for interpretation.
I have seen this go either way. Should be the call of the Building Inspector. Is this a requirement that anyone has been stuck with since it is in the electrical code. Is this in the Life Safety Code NFPA 101? I don't have a current copy.
TKB: This Article is part of the NEC (110.26 (C). Here in NJ it is enforced by the Electrical Sub-Code Official (Elec Inspector).
As to the exact requirement...we request/require 'crash bars' that can be operated by pressure from pushing. Levers are not acceptable as they have to be operated 'down' or 'up', and could be difficult to do with injured hands/arms, etc.
As the NEC is 'semi' vague in the description of the 'device', we made the determination with consultation of the Bldg & Fire Inspectors.
BTW, a 90k SF car dealership failed final for egress at the elec room for this.
Architects are 70/30 on this; it gets caught in Plan Review; the GC usually 'goes cheap', and hopes it gets missed.
This gets me wondering if electronic panic hardware would qualify for this? My bet is yes it would. For any who do not know what electronic panic bars are, they are touch sensitive, and release magnetic locks when touched. They can be wired fail safe, or fail secure depending on the equipment they are fed from.
There was some discussion about this at an inspectors meeting focusing on equipment of 1200 amps that was less than 6 feet in width and also a room with several 800 amp panels next to each other. It was concluded that based on the Code less than six foot wide did not require the two exits. It was also concluded that a single piece of equipment had to be 1200 amps or more. I would not want to be in the room under either of those situations when their was a catastophic failure without a second way out. Especially if I had to stop and turn a door knob. Alan--
I've been using that requirement for a long time to beat up on Architects who want to give me only 1 door...and make it swing into the room. I'm not sure when it went into the NEC, but it's been a part of Chicago Code since before 2000. Since "panic hardware" is designed to work on door that swing "in the direction of egress", I've been happily designing safer rooms for the good of all of us who work for a living.
Panic hardware is there for the escape of the poor electrician whose fingers are fried and he has to get out of the room fast. He cannot turn a doorknob, nor can he operate a lever handle. Crash bars are the only way to go. Magnetic locks would not cut it IMO.
I want to correct what I posted above. In the 2005 Code the six foot requirement for 1200 amp equipment was removed. Equipment of any size that is 1200 amps or more needs two exits unless one of the exceptions applies. Alan--