Q. In a large electrical room with numerous pieces of equipment rated at 1,200A or more, the question has arisen as to whether panic hardware is or is not required on all of the personnel doors. One personnel door is located 30 feet from the nearest edge of the switchgear, which is rated at 2,000A. The other personnel door is located 3 feet from the nearest edge of the motor control center, which is rated at 1,600A. There is also a roll-up door for moving equipment in and out of the room. Per the 2008 version of the NEC, which one of the following is the correct answer?

  1. All personnel doors must have panic hardware and open in the direction of egress. In this example, it would include both the personnel doors.
  2. All personnel and equipment doors must have panic hardware.
  3. All personnel doors located within 25 feet of electrical equipment rated 1,200A or greater must have panic hardware, and open in the direction of egress. In this example, it would only include the personnel door located within 3 feet of the motor control center.
  4. Section 110.26(C)(3) would not apply in this example because the width of the electrical equipment is not known. This section of the Code applies only to equipment that is rated 1,200A or greater, and more than 6 feet in width.

Answer: C

Section 110.26(C)(3) of the 2008 NEC has been revised. The revision does not require panic hardware on the personnel door(s) if the door(s) are located 25 feet or more from the nearest edge of electrical equipment rated 1,200A or greater. Equipment width is not an issue in this section.

Owen is the owner and president of National Code Seminars and the holder of master electrician certifications in 46 states. He can be reached at necexpert@aol.com.