I often find that people who do this type of design rarely think about how spaces are actually used. Besides, the EPO looked nothing like the exit buttons that were used in other facilities. Color, shape, size, and location were all different.
One thing is for certain, per code the EPOs had to be located a specific distance from the door. The reasoning being that one would smell smoke, see fire, run for the exit, and hit the BIG RED BUTTON on the way out.
The offending party admitted that he was thinking about something else at the time and operating from muscle memory. He knew he made a mistake the minute that his finger touched the button, but didn’t stop himself before it was too late.
It was labeled, but I can’t remember exactly how. There definitely wasn’t a sign next to it that said, “do not press unless something is on fire.” We installed a cover the following week, but the fire marshal made us remove it on a subsequent inspection citing a code violation.