Corridor Guidelines

These guidelines reflect requirements of all applicable health and safety codes and standards including but not limited to, fire safety, public health, biological and radiological safety requirements:


Corridor: Public and private circulation paths, elevator lobbies, and similar spaces that are typically 44 inches to 12 feet wide which serve as a required means of egress.

Lab Processing Equipment: centrifuge, incubator, ovens, sterilizer, pressure vessel, mixers, shakers, stirrers, hoods, bio-safety cabinets, fire rated cabinets, scintillation, scopes, scales, electronics, lasers, and similar equipment.

Hazardous Materials: All chemical, biological, radiological materials and waste

LFD: Lewiston Fire Department

Limited Access Corridor: A corridor that is separated from other space with normally closed cross-corridor doors and not frequented by the public.

General Guidelines

Compliance guidelines are based upon the following health, safety, and operational objectives:

  1. Corridors used for egress must remain free of hazardous materials, equipment, storage, and other materials and debris to assure safety.
  2. Hazardous materials and agents must be kept, stored, and used within laboratories.
  3. Food and drink must remain out of laboratories.
  4. Building systems must be accessible for service and maintenance personnel.
  5. Researchers need a break area outside of their laboratory to eat and drink that is convenient.
  6. Corridors are not assigned to departments and administrative units; use must not adversely affect safety or put Bates College at risk of regulatory action.
  7. Corridors do not have adequate ventilation to control the head load generated by equipment and are not designed to provide secondary containment for chemical spills or to control fugitive emissions and odors.
  8. In the event of an emergency, LFD requires space to stage and operate in corridors and near stair enclosures.

Prohibited Items

The following are considered serious and require immediate action by the responsible department:

  1. Any items located within a stairwell or stair enclosure, or under a stairwell.
  2. Any items that restrict the width of any portion of a corridor to less than 44 inches
  3. Any items that obstruct emergency equipment, such as fire alarm pull stations, fire extinguishers, sprinklers, eyewash/showers, emergency shut off valves, etc.
  4. Storage or use of hazardous materials and/or waste
  5. Compressed gas cylinders and cryogenic dewars
  6. Mechanical equipment with exposed pulleys and gears
  7. Unsecured items which could fall over
  8. Any item that produces steam, odors, or aeresols
  9. Workstations
  10. Highly combustible furniture
  11. Temporary storage associated with construction unless specifically planned, designated, and authorized.

Allowed Items

Examples of items that can be stored in corridors:

  1. Refrigerators and freezers for non-hazardous storage and food. Units for lab related storage must be kept locked. Units must be labeled with name and contact information.
  2. Non-combustible or low-combustible filing cabinets and storage cabinets with latching doors.
  3. Low combustible chairs and table for breaks if a break room is not available on the floor.
  4. Low combustible chairs and table for waiting areas, within reason, given space is available.
  5. White boards, bulletin boards, art, signs, display cases, and similar wall hung items that are low or noncombustible and occupy a reasonably small percentage of the wall.
  6. Food, drink, cash, and similar vending machines.
  7. Recycle intended for public areas.


Maintain clearances as follows:

  • Emergency Showers: 24 inches from non-electrical equipment and 60 inches from electrical equipment
  • Doors: 18 inches from pull side and 12 inches on the push side from the door latch for accessibility (see ANSI A117.1)
  • Fire Extinguishers: 18 inches to the left and right, 36 inches in the front, and nothing below.
  • Ceiling: no closer than 18 inches for sprinklered spaces and no closer than 24 inches from non-sprinklered spaces
  • Electrical Equipment: no closer than 36 from the front and 30 inches to the left and right, and nothing below