Fire Marshal Comments on Maximum Occupancy
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Fire Marshal Comments on Maximum Occupancy Requirements under Amended Public Health Order
Posted on 04/07/2020

Effective this morning, Governor Michelle Lujan-Grisham’s amended public health order restricting essential business operations, i.e. grocery stores, limits the number of individuals within retail space to 20 percent or less of maximum occupancy. In addition, hotels, motels, and other places of lodging such as RV Parks shall operate at 25 percent of maximum occupancy.

 

This order requires business owners and store managers alike to police the number of occupants in their stores. The Los Alamos Fire Marshal’s Office would like to remind owners and managers of certain restrictions for egress that must be observed to comply with the amended order.

 

“Businesses must keep all exits open, and exits cannot be reduced or blocked,” said Wendy Servey, Fire Marshal, “Reducing or blocking exits will increase travel distances and create problems for patrons who are shopping within the business.”

 

Servey offered specific guidance about doors and exits, stressing the need for them to remain open for ease of exit in case of an emergency.

 

“It is okay to disable, but not lock, automatic doors, providing the doors will still open as a  “breakaway” in the event they are needed, and of course it goes without saying that any type of barricade, such as shopping carts or stock, placed in front of an exit is not allowed,” Servey said.

 

Servey encouraged business owners who may have questions about maximum occupancy to call the Building Safety Division at 662-8120 or the Fire Marshal’s Office at 662-8301.

 

“We would be happy to review any situation inside of a store and offer guidance,” she said.

 

Store owners seeking clarity on essential or non-essential status under the amended health order are asked to send inquires to the State of New Mexico at covid.exemption@state.nm.us.

 

Members of the public who observe any non-compliance with the amended health order may contact NMSP.COVID19@state.nm.us or phone the Los Alamos Police non-emergency line at

662-8222.