Discharge From Exits

The ‘discharge from exits’ are provisions in the Building Code of Australia to maintain a safe unobstructed path of travel from the ‘exit door’ of a building to a road or open space. Discharge from exits should always be nominated as an essential safety measure by the building surveyor/ building certifier.

Building Code of Australia

The Building Code of Australia (BCA) contains a number of provisions containing clauses relative to ‘discharge from exits’ i.e. D1.7, D1.9 to D1.11, D2.13, G4.3, G4.6 and G4.7. The BCA requires the discharge from exits path (egress) to be at least 1m wide (must be wider under certain conditions), open to the sky for its full length, installed with bollards to prevent vehicles obstructing and its surface to be sufficient to accept foot traffic under a building permit.

The following illustration depicts a building’s discharge from exits.

The following is a part extract of Clause I1.1 for an Essential Safety Measure (as appeared in BCA 2013) known as discharge from exits:

Table I1.2 Safety Measures – Means of Egress

Safety Measures BCA Provision for Determining Standard of Performance
Discharge from exits (including paths of travel from open spaces to the public roads to which they are connected) D1.7, D1.9 to D1.11, D2.12, G4.3, G4.6, G4.7

Essential Safety Measures Audit – Discharge From Exits

Some state authorities recommend building surveyors/ certifiers to nominate three-monthly inspections in their essential safety measures schedules/ determinations. This shows the importance of ensuring paths of travel from the discharge from exits point of a building to a road or open space is vital in the protection of life safety.

An essential safety measures auditor must check that no illegal works have taken place that can affect the discharge from exits safe evacuation, ensuring fire safety compliance and that exits are not blocked, bollards are in place if required, no obstructions exist in the pathway to a road or open space and that the ground surface has no trips or fall hazards. Any non compliant items should be listed in the essential safety measures logbook to allow for signing the Annual Statement, Annual Certificate of Compliance, Annual Fire Safety Statement, Annual Maintenance Statement and Annual Occupiers Statement.