Changing the bulb here would have put this exit light into proper operation so that the exit could be found during an emergency. See NEC Article 700 Part B for emergency system circuit wiring. In the Life Safety Code, NFPA 101, see Section for un-obstructed egress. This rule states: “In every occupied building or structure, means of egress from all parts of the building shall be maintained free and unobstructed. No lock or fastening shall be permitted that prevents free escape from the inside of any building other than in health care occupancies and detention and correctional occupancies where staff are continually on duty and effective provisions are made to remove occupants in case of fire or other emergency. Means of egress shall be accessible to the extent necessary to ensure reasonable safety for occupants having impaired mobility.”

Since this violation was discovered in a hotel, seminar and meeting planners should consider the NEC rule when they schedule their meetings.