2021 Illinois Compiled Statutes
Chapter 425 - FIRE SAFETY
425 ILCS 55/ - Public Building Egress Act.

(425 ILCS 55/0.01) (from Ch. 111 1/2, par. 3500)

Sec. 0.01. Short title. This Act may be cited as the Public Building Egress Act.

(Source: P.A. 86-1324.)


(425 ILCS 55/1) (from Ch. 111 1/2, par. 3501)

Sec. 1. That all public buildings now in process of construction or hereafter to be built or constructed, which may or shall be used for churches, school houses, operas, theatres, lecture rooms, hotels, public meetings, town halls, or which may or shall be used for any purpose whereby a collection of people may be assembled together for religious worship, amusement or instruction, shall be so built and constructed that all doors leading from the main hall or place where said collection of people may be assembled, or from the principal room which may be used for any of the purposes aforesaid, shall be so swung upon their hinges and constructed that said doors shall open outward; and that all means of egress for the public from the main hall or principal room, and from the building, shall be by means of doors which shall open outwards from the main hall or building.

(Source: R.S. 1874, p. 786.)


(425 ILCS 55/1.5)

Sec. 1.5. Stairwell door access.

(a) Stairwell enclosures in buildings greater than 4 stories shall comply with one of the following requirements:

  • (1) no stairwell enclosure door shall be locked at any time in order to provide re-entry from the stair enclosure to the interior of the building; or
  • (2) stairwell enclosure doors that are locked shall be equipped with an electronic lock release system that is activated upon loss of power, manually by a single switch accessible to building management or firefighting personnel, and automatically by activation of the building's fire alarm system.

A telephone or other two-way communications system connected to an approved constantly attended location shall be provided on not less than every fifth floor in each stairway where the doors to the stairway are locked. If this option is selected, the building must comply with these requirements by January 1, 2006.

(b) Regardless of which option is selected under subsection (a) of this Section, stairwell enclosure doors at the main egress level of the building shall remain unlocked from the stairwell enclosure side at all times.

(c) Building owners that select the option under paragraph (2) of subsection (a) of this Section must comply with the following requirements during the time necessary to install a lock release system and the two-way communication system:

  • (1) re-entry into the building interior shall be possible at all times on the highest story or second highest story, whichever allows access to another exit stair;
  • (2) there shall not be more than 4 stories intervening between stairwell enclosure doors that provides access to another exit stair;
  • (3) doors allowing re-entry shall be identified as such on the stair side of the door;
  • (4) doors not allowing re-entry shall be provided with a sign on the stair side indicating the location of the nearest exit, in each direction of travel that allows re-entry; and
  • (5) the information required to be posted on the door under paragraphs (3) and (4) of this subsection (c), shall be posted at eye level and at the bottom of the door.

(d) Nothing in this Section applies to any stairwell enclosure door that opens directly into a dwelling unit, provided the dwelling unit door has a self-closer, latch, and no self-locking hardware. Where all doors in the stairwell meet these criteria, the stairwell shall be provided with either a two-way communication system or readily operable windows on each landing or intermediate landing.

(e) Except as otherwise provided in subsection (f), a home rule unit may not regulate stairwell door access in a manner less restrictive than the regulation by the State of stairwell door access under this Act. This subsection (e) is a limitation under subsection (i) of Section 6 of Article VII of the Illinois Constitution on the concurrent exercise by home rule units of powers and functions exercised by the State.

(f) This Section does not apply in a home rule municipality that, on or before January 1, 2005, has passed an ordinance regulating building access from stairwell enclosures in buildings that are more than 4 stories in height.

(Source: P.A. 94-630, eff. 1-1-06; 95-331, eff. 8-21-07.)


(425 ILCS 55/2) (from Ch. 111 1/2, par. 3502)

Sec. 2. That any person or persons who shall fail or refuse to comply with the provisions of this act shall be guilty of a business offense and shall be fined in any sum not less than $100 nor more than $1,000.

(Source: P.A. 77-2564.)


(425 ILCS 55/3) (from Ch. 111 1/2, par. 3503)

Sec. 3. The Office of the State Fire Marshal shall have power to enforce this Act. The Office of the State Fire Marshal and the mayor, or other corporate authorities of the town or city, may close and prohibit all public buildings, hereafter erected, from being used in violation of this Act.

(Source: P.A. 82-783.)


(425 ILCS 55/4) (from Ch. 111 1/2, par. 3504)

Sec. 4. The Office of the State Fire Marshal shall promulgate rules and regulations specifying minimum exit dimensions and numbers of exits for buildings required by this Act to have doors which open outwards.

(Source: P.A. 82-706.)

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