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Use of Corridors and Equipment Rooms for Storage FIN-INS-21


This policy applies to all University-owned buildings and to areas occupied by the University in non-owned buildings.

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Policy Statement

Building users shall not place or store materials and equipment in corridors and stairways that impede emergency evacuation, contribute to or cause hazards, or impede the ingress of emergency personnel or access to building equipment. Building users shall not place flammable materials within twenty-five feet of any source of combustion, including moving machinery, in any equipment room. Building users shall not place any materials in equipment rooms that will impede access to equipment in that room.

The generally accepted minimum unobstructed corridor width of 44 inches (IFC 1005.1) shall apply to most University buildings; however, in buildings containing large lecture halls, classrooms, recreational and assembly areas or large buildings with increased occupant loads, an evaluation by INLOCC will be conducted to determine the minimum required clear exit width.

A minimum 36 inch (IFC 1017.5) clearance width shall be maintained in service aisle ways. Many buildings contain corridors which are wider than the minimum required clear exit width. In certain situations it may be possible to utilize space in corridors for other purposes in addition to occupant movement.

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Reason for Policy

Maintaining clear corridors and paths of egress travel is fundamental to life safety. Egress corridors are intended by the code to be separate and distinct from occupied work areas to protect the occupants' path to the exterior and to keep known hazards typically found in work spaces and their consequent dangers from endangering larger numbers of occupants evacuating the area.

Storage in and use of corridors, hallways or stairways and equipment rooms must be in accordance with OSHA 29 CFR 1910 General Industry Regulations Subpart E "Means of Egress," The Indiana Fire Code IFC 315.3.2 “Means of Egress” and The Indiana Fire Code 1030.2 “Reliability” and The Indiana Fire Code IFC 315.3 “Storage in buildings”. Failure to meet these standards results in unacceptable hazards for persons during emergency egress and to emergency personnel during emergency ingress.


1030.2 Reliability. Required exit accesses, exits and exit discharges
shall be continuously maintained free from obstructions
or impediments to full instant use in the case of fire or
other emergency when the building area served by the means
of egress is occupied. An exit or exit passageway shall not be
used for any purpose that interferes with a means of egress.

315.3.2 Means of egress.
Combustible materials shall not
be stored in exits or enclosures for stairways and ramps.

315.3 Storage in buildings.
Storage of materials in buildings
shall be orderly and stacks shall be stable. Storage of combustible
materials shall be separated from heaters or heating
devices by distance or shielding so that ignition cannot occur.

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Suspected violations and requests to store material in the affected areas can be reported to:

IUB  Greg Jeffers
IUPUI  Blake Hayes
Other campuses Steve Morron

The information will be forwarded to the proper personnel for further response. (See VIOLATION and APPROVED tags.)

Permission to store materials will be in accordance with the Table of Common Items Permitted and Prohibited in Building Corridors.

Relevant procedures may be found here.

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Building Corridor/ Hallway: Any passageway connecting individual rooms and spaces that lead to an exit door, stairwell, or other place of refuge used by personnel evacuating the area and emergency personnel arriving to the area.

Biological Hazards: Organisms, microorganisms, or substances derived from the above that pose a primary threat to the health of humans.

Equipment: Anything which occupies a permanent footprint on the floor and requires electrical power to operate (e.g., copy machine, vending machine).

Hazardous Chemical: Any chemical which is classified as a physical hazard or a health hazard, a simple asphyxiant, combustible dust, pyrophoric gas, or hazard not otherwise classified.

Indiana University Property: Buildings, grounds, and land that are owned by Indiana University or controlled by Indiana University via leases or other formal contractual arrangements to house ongoing IU operations.

Material: Item such as file cabinet, furnishing, trash/recycling container, construction material.

Service Aisle Way: An aisle way designed and dedicated for the placement of equipment and supplies to support building operations. Service aisle ways are physically separated from public corridors and not designed for public use or egress routes.

Simple Asphyxiant: A substance or mixture that displaces oxygen in the ambient atmosphere, and can thus cause oxygen deprivation in those who are exposed, leading to unconsciousness and death.
Stairway: One or more flights of stairs, either exterior or interior, that serves as the primary vertical means of egress for personnel evacuating the area and emergency personnel arriving to the area.

Temporary: Thirty days maximum duration.

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Items stored in violation of this policy will be tagged. If the owner can be identified, the owner will be notified. Otherwise, the building manager or head of department will be notified. Items will be removed at the discretion of the inspectors (INLOCC or EHSM): immediately if circumstances so dictate, but in no more than 30 days. There is no guarantee that removed items will be stored for recovery by the owner. Repeated violations will be reported to the dean or vice president supervising the area.

The owner of removed equipment will be charged the cost of removal.

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Additional Contacts

Subject Contact Phone Email
Fire Code Mel Lane 812-855-6341
Hazardous Materials Mike Jenson 812-855-3231
OSHA Mike Jenson 812-855-3231

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This policy was established in 2015.

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