August 10, 2022
by Nils Deacon, Manager, Inspections and Rating Services
Places of public assembly as defined by NFPA 101, the Life Safety Code, are areas in a building where 50 or more people gather for various reasons.
A restaurant seating 50 or more would fall under this definition and require safeguards appropriate for a public gathering venue. Commercial kitchens are a leading location for fires in restaurants and qualify as a hazardous area. The code calls for a secondary means of egress that does not go through a hazardous area.
However, some restaurants still have the secondary means of egress go through the kitchen area. If an inspection reveals this is the case, the operation should be required to provide a standard secondary means of egress.
DISCLAIMER: This information reflects the interpretation of MSO, Inc. with regard to NFPA Standards and Codes. It does not represent NFPA’s official position on the items discussed.
Secondary means of egress through the kitchen