Escape route regulations according to ASR A2.3 and MBO

What width is required? Is a second escape route necessary? ASR A2.3 and MBO regulate the requirements for escape routes.

Fluchtweg Vorschriften nach ASR A2.3 und MBO-CWS Fire Safety

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22 February 2022 Fire Safety

In case of fire, there is an average of 120 seconds to escape - not much time if the safe escape route is not known. The danger of smoke inhalation exists even earlier. As a result, escape and rescue routes play an important role in preventing personal injury and damage to property. In general, escape routes are designed to guide people out of a building into the open or a secured area in the event of an emergency. The focus is thus on self-rescue. In contrast to this, a rescue route in the strict sense is aimed at external rescue and fire fighting by emergency services.

Regulations for escape routes

Various regulations apply to escape and rescue routes based on building codes, workplace regulations, DGUV and DIN standards. The workplace regulation ASR A2.3 specifies how escape routes, escape and rescue plans and emergency exits are to be designed and planned in a workplace. The aim is to ensure that people leave the building quickly and safely via escape routes as traffic routes in the event of an emergency.

ASR A2.3 regulates the width, length and height of escape and rescue routes.

  • the width, length and height of escape and rescue routes
  • Equipment of escape doors and emergency exits
  • Marking of escape routes and emergency exits

Check your escape routes with our checklist.

Escape routes according to ASR A2.3

Fluchwege nach ASR A2.3-Escape routes-CWS Fire Safety

According to ASR A2.3, escape routes and emergency exits must be kept clear at all times, even from the outside! They must not be restricted in their function by subsequent modernization or renovation. Flammable substances and objects, such as furniture or appliances, are not to be stored in escape and rescue routes, such as stairwells. Rubbish is to be disposed of immediately. Clear and visible marking of escape routes is essential. Safety lighting and escape signs must never be suspended, obstructed or covered. Emergency exit doors must open easily in the direction of escape and must never be obstructed or permanently closed. Lifts are not permitted as escape routes.

Furthermore, ASR A2.3 requires the preparation of escape and rescue plans in accordance with the applicable standards DIN EN ISO 23601 and DIN EN ISO 7010. The escape and rescue plans must be hung in sufficient numbers and form the basis for evacuation drills. The frequency and scope of evacuation drills shall be determined after taking individual and other legal regulations into account. It is recommended to conduct an evacuation drill at least once a year.

Escape route width according to ASR A2.3

The minimum width of the escape route is based on the maximum number of people using the escape route in an emergency. The minimum height is 2 m

Number of people in the catchment area

Escape route width

up to 5
up to 20
up to 200
up to 300
up to 400

0.875 m
1.00 m
1.20 m
1.80 m
2.40 m


Download the checklist for checking escape routes.

Escape routes according to MBO

Building regulations such as MBO, LBO or special building regulations specify the number and construction method of escape and rescue routes. This also includes the fire resistance requirements for room-enclosing components and opening closures (e.g. fire doors, walls, ceilings or partitions). According to the MBO, the following rules apply:

  • Buildings with at least one common room must have two independent escape and rescue routes. These can be staircases or windows.
  • High-rise buildings must have two separate stairwells or a safety stairwell.
  • Stairwells must have windows on the top floor that can be opened easily or another smoke outlet.

Second escape route according to ASR and MBO
A second escape route is necessary if the building or premises has at least one common room. In addition, the necessity results from the risk assessment. For example, production rooms with more than 200 m² or floors with a floor area of more than 1,600 m² require two escape routes.  


Checklist for safe escape and rescue routes

The requirements for escape and rescue routes are manifold.
The checklist for escape and rescue routes covers the central requirements of ASR A2.3 and the MBO. Use our checklist to check quickly and easily whether 

  • the escape plans in your building meet the formal and content-related requirements.
  • the escape and rescue routes are up to date and comply with the regulations.

Download the checklist now!

Checklist escape and rescue routes-CWS Fire Safety

If your escape and rescue plans are no longer up to date or the escape routes in the building have defects, contact us. Our experts will advise you throughout Germany on how to make your escape routes safe.

Learn everything about escape routes briefly and compactly!

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