7.1 General.[Bookmark][Notes][Print]

7.1.1* Application.   Means of egress for both new and existing buildings shall comply with this chapter. (See also 5.5.3.)



7.1.2 Definitions.   

7.1.2.1 General.    For definitions see Chapter 3 Definitions.



7.1.2.2 Special Definitions.   A list of special terms used in this chapter follows:

  • (1)
    Accessible Area of Refuge. See 3.3.22.1.
  • (2)
    Accessible Means of Egress. See 3.3.170.1.
  • (3)
    Area of Refuge. See 3.3.22.
  • (4)
    Common Path of Travel. See 3.3.47.
  • (5)
    Electroluminescent. See 3.3.68.
  • (6)
    Elevator Evacuation System. See 3.3.69.
  • (7)
    Elevator Lobby. See 3.3.70.
  • (8)
    Elevator Lobby Door. See 3.3.62.1.
  • (9)
    Exit. See 3.3.81.
  • (10)
    Exit Access. See 3.3.82.
  • (11)
    Exit Discharge. See 3.3.83.
  • (12)
    Externally Illuminated. See 3.3.144.1.
  • (13)
    Horizontal Exit. See 3.3.81.1.
  • (14)
    Internally Illuminated. See 3.3.144.2.
  • (15)
    Means of Egress. See 3.3.170.
  • (16)
    Photoluminescent. See 3.3.207.
  • (17)
    Ramp. See 3.3.219.
  • (18)
    Self-Luminous. See 3.3.239.
  • (19)
    Severe Mobility Impairment. See 3.3.244.
  • (20)
    Smokeproof Enclosure. See 3.3.255.





7.1.3 Separation of Means of Egress.   See also Section 8.2.


7.1.3.1 Exit Access Corridors.   Corridors used as exit access and serving an area having an occupant load exceeding 30 shall be separated from other parts of the building by walls having not less than a 1-hour fire resistance rating in accordance with Section 8.3, unless otherwise permitted by one of the following:

  • (1)
    This requirement shall not apply to existing buildings, provided that the occupancy classification does not change.
  • (2)
    This requirement shall not apply where otherwise provided in Chapters 11 through 43.




7.1.3.2 Exits.  

7.1.3.2.1    Where this Code requires an exit to be separated from other parts of the building, the separating construction shall meet the requirements of Section 8.2 and the following:

  • (1)*
    The separation shall have a minimum 1-hour fire resistance rating where the exit connects three or fewer stories.
  • (2)
    The separation specified in 7.1.3.2.1(1), other than an existing separation, shall be supported by construction having not less than a 1-hour fire resistance rating.
  • (3)*
    The separation shall have a minimum 2-hour fire resistance rating where the exit connects four or more stories, unless one of the following conditions exists:

    • (a)
      In existing non-high-rise buildings, existing exit stair enclosures shall have a minimum 1-hour fire resistance rating.
    • (b)
      In existing buildings protected throughout by an approved, supervised automatic sprinkler system in accordance with Section 9.7, existing exit stair enclosures shall have a minimum 1-hour fire resistance rating.
    • (c)
      The minimum 1-hour enclosures in accordance with 28.2.2.1.2, 29.2.2.1.2, 30.2.2.1.2, and 31.2.2.1.2 shall be permitted as an alternative to the requirement of 7.1.3.2.1(3).

  • (4)
    Reserved.
  • (5)
    The minimum 2-hour fire resistance–rated separation required by 7.1.3.2.1(3) shall be constructed of an assembly of noncombustible or limited-combustible materials and shall be supported by construction having a minimum 2-hour fire resistance rating, unless otherwise permitted by 7.1.3.2.1(7).
  • (6)*
    Structural elements, or portions thereof, that support exit components and either penetrate into a fire resistance–rated assembly or are installed within a fire resistance–rated wall assembly shall be protected, as a minimum, to the fire resistance rating required by 7.1.3.2.1(1) or (3).
  • (7)
    In Type III, Type IV, and Type V construction, as defined in NFPA 220, Standard on Types of Building Construction (see 8.2.1.2), fire-retardant-treated wood enclosed in noncombustible or limited-combustible materials shall be permitted.
  • (8)
    Openings in the separation shall be protected by fire door assemblies equipped with door closers complying with 7.2.1.8.
  • (9)*
    Openings in exit enclosures shall be limited to door assemblies from normally occupied spaces and corridors and door assemblies for egress from the enclosure, unless one of the following conditions exists:

    • (a)
      Openings in exit passageways in mall buildings as provided in Chapters 36 and 37 shall be permitted.
    • (b)
      In buildings of Type I or Type II construction, as defined in NFPA 220, Standard on Types of Building Construction (see 8.2.1.2), existing fire protection–rated door assemblies to interstitial spaces shall be permitted, provided that such spaces meet all of the following criteria:

      • i.
        The space is used solely for distribution of pipes, ducts, and conduits.
      • ii.
        The space contains no storage.
      • iii.
        The space is separated from the exit enclosure in accordance with Section 8.3.

    • (c)
      Existing openings to mechanical equipment spaces protected by approved existing fire protection–rated door assemblies shall be permitted, provided that the following criteria are met:

      • i.
        The space is used solely for non-fuel-fired mechanical equipment.
      • ii.
        The space contains no storage of combustible materials.
      • iii.
        The building is protected throughout by an approved, supervised automatic sprinkler system in accordance with Section 9.7.


  • (10)
    Penetrations into, and openings through, an exit enclosure assembly shall be limited to the following:

    • (a)
      Door assemblies permitted by 7.1.3.2.1(9)
    • (b)*
      Electrical conduit serving the exit enclosure
    • (c)
      Required exit door openings
    • (d)
      Ductwork and equipment necessary for independent stair pressurization
    • (e)
      Water or steam piping necessary for the heating or cooling of the exit enclosure
    • (f)
      Sprinkler piping
    • (g)
      Standpipes
    • (h)
      Existing penetrations protected in accordance with 8.3.5
    • (i)
      Penetrations for fire alarm circuits, where the circuits are installed in metal conduit and the penetrations are protected in accordance with 8.3.5

  • (11)
    Penetrations or communicating openings shall be prohibited between adjacent exit enclosures.
  • (12)
    Membrane penetrations shall be permitted on the exit access side of the exit enclosure and shall be protected in accordance with 8.3.5.6.




7.1.3.2.2    An exit enclosure shall provide a continuous protected path of travel to an exit discharge.



7.1.3.2.3*    An exit enclosure shall not be used for any purpose that has the potential to interfere with its use as an exit and, if so designated, as an area of refuge. (See also 7.2.2.5.3.)





7.1.4 Interior Finish in Exit Enclosures.  

7.1.4.1* Interior Wall and Ceiling Finish in Exit Enclosures.   Interior wall and ceiling finish shall be in accordance with Section 10.2. In exit enclosures, interior wall and ceiling finish materials complying with Section 10.2 shall be Class A or Class B.



7.1.4.2* Interior Floor Finish in Exit Enclosures.   New interior floor finish in exit enclosures, including stair treads and risers, shall be not less than Class II in accordance with Section 10.2.




7.1.5* Headroom.  

7.1.5.1    Means of egress shall be designed and maintained to provide headroom in accordance with other sections of this Code, and such headroom shall be not less than 7 ft 6 in. (2285 mm), with projections from the ceiling not less than 6 ft 8 in. (2030 mm) with a tolerance of − 3/4 in. (−19 mm), above the finished floor, unless otherwise specified by any of the following:

  • (1)
    In existing buildings, the ceiling height shall be not less than 7 ft (2135 mm) from the floor, with projections from the ceiling not less than 6 ft 8 in. (2030 mm) nominal above the floor.
  • (2)
    Headroom in industrial equipment access areas as provided in 40.2.5.2 shall be permitted.




7.1.5.2    The minimum ceiling height shall be maintained for not less than two-thirds of the ceiling area of any room or space, provided that the ceiling height of the remaining ceiling area is not less than 6 ft 8 in. (2030 mm).



7.1.5.3    Headroom on stairs shall be not less than 6 ft 8 in. (2030 mm) and shall be measured vertically above a plane parallel to, and tangent with, the most forward projection of the stair tread.




7.1.6 Walking Surfaces in the Means of Egress.  

7.1.6.1 General.  

7.1.6.1.1    Walking surfaces in the means of egress shall comply with 7.1.6.2 through 7.1.6.4.



7.1.6.1.2    Approved existing walking surfaces shall be permitted.




7.1.6.2 Changes in Elevation.   Abrupt changes in elevation of walking surfaces shall not exceed 1/4 in. (6.3 mm). Changes in elevation exceeding 1/4 in. (6.3 mm), but not exceeding 1/2 in. (13 mm), shall be beveled with a slope of 1 in 2. Changes in elevation exceeding 1/2 in. (13 mm) shall be considered a change in level and shall be subject to the requirements of 7.1.7.



7.1.6.3 Level.   Walking surfaces shall comply with all of the following:

  • (1)
    Walking surfaces shall be nominally level.
  • (2)
    The slope of a walking surface in the direction of travel shall not exceed 1 in 20, unless the ramp requirements of 7.2.5 are met.
  • (3)
    The slope perpendicular to the direction of travel shall not exceed 1 in 48.




7.1.6.4* Slip Resistance.   Walking surfaces shall be slip resistant under foreseeable conditions. The walking surface of each element in the means of egress shall be uniformly slip resistant along the natural path of travel.




7.1.7 Changes in Level in Means of Egress.  

7.1.7.1    Changes in level in means of egress shall be achieved by an approved means of egress where the elevation difference exceeds 21 in. (535 mm).



7.1.7.2*    Changes in level in means of egress not in excess of 21 in. (535 mm) shall be achieved either by a ramp complying with the requirements of 7.2.5 or by a stair complying with the requirements of 7.2.2.


7.1.7.2.1    Where a ramp is used, the presence and location of ramped portions of walkways shall be readily apparent.



7.1.7.2.2    Where a stair is used, the tread depth of such stair shall be not less than 13 in. (330 mm).



7.1.7.2.3    Tread depth in industrial equipment access areas as provided in 40.2.5.2 shall be permitted.



7.1.7.2.4    The presence and location of each step shall be readily apparent.





7.1.8* Guards.   Guards in accordance with 7.2.2.4 shall be provided at the open sides of means of egress that exceed 30 in. (760 mm) above the floor or the finished ground level below.



7.1.9 Impediments to Egress.   Any device or alarm installed to restrict the improper use of a means of egress shall be designed and installed so that it cannot, even in case of failure, impede or prevent emergency use of such means of egress, unless otherwise provided in 7.2.1.6 and Chapters 18, 19, 22, and 23.



7.1.10 Means of Egress Reliability.  

7.1.10.1* General.   Means of egress shall be continuously maintained free of all obstructions or impediments to full instant use in the case of fire or other emergency.



7.1.10.2 Furnishings and Decorations in Means of Egress.  

7.1.10.2.1    No furnishings, decorations, or other objects shall obstruct exits or their access thereto, egress therefrom, or visibility thereof.



7.1.10.2.2    No obstruction by railings, barriers, or gates shall divide the means of egress into sections appurtenant to individual rooms, apartments, or other occupied spaces. Where the authority having jurisdiction finds the required path of travel to be obstructed by furniture or other movable objects, the authority shall be permitted to require that such objects be secured out of the way or shall be permitted to require that railings or other permanent barriers be installed to protect the path of travel against encroachment.



7.1.10.2.3    Mirrors shall not be placed on exit door leaves. Mirrors shall not be placed in or adjacent to any exit in such a manner as to confuse the direction of egress.





7.1.11 Sprinkler System Installation.   Where another provision of this chapter requires an automatic sprinkler system, the sprinkler system shall be installed in accordance with the subparts of 9.7.1.1 permitted by the applicable occupancy chapters.


7.2 Means of Egress Components.[Bookmark][Notes][Print]

7.2.1 Door Openings.  

7.2.1.1 General.  

7.2.1.1.1    A door assembly in a means of egress shall conform to the general requirements of Section 7.1 and to the special requirements of 7.2.1.



7.2.1.1.2    Every door opening and every principal entrance that is required to serve as an exit shall be designed and constructed so that the path of egress travel is obvious and direct. Windows that, because of their physical configuration or design and the materials used in their construction, have the potential to be mistaken for door openings shall be made inaccessible to the occupants by barriers or railings.



7.2.1.1.3 Occupied Building.   

7.2.1.1.3.1    For the purposes of Section 7.2, a building shall be considered to be occupied at any time it meets any of the following criteria:

  • (1)
    It is open for general occupancy.
  • (2)
    It is open to the public.
  • (3)
    It is occupied by more than 10 persons.




7.2.1.1.3.2    Where means of egress doors are locked in a building that is not considered occupied, occupants shall not be locked beyond their control in buildings or building spaces, except for lockups in accordance with 22.4.5 and 23.4.5, detention and correctional occupancies, and health care occupancies.





7.2.1.2 Door Leaf Width.  

7.2.1.2.1* Measurement of Clear Width.  

7.2.1.2.1.1 Swinging Door Assemblies.    For swinging door assemblies, clear width shall be measured as follows:

  • (1)
    The measurement shall be taken at the narrowest point in the door opening.
  • (2)
    The measurement shall be taken between the face of the door leaf and the stop of the frame.
  • (3)
    For new swinging door assemblies, the measurement shall be taken with the door leaf open 90 degrees.
  • (4)
    For any existing door assembly, the measurement shall be taken with the door leaf in the fully open position.
  • (5)
    Projections of not more than 4 in. (100 mm) into the door opening width on the hinge side shall not be considered reductions in clear width, provided that such projections are for purposes of accommodating panic hardware or fire exit hardware and are located not less than 34 in. (865 mm), and not more than 48 in. (1220 mm), above the floor.
  • (6)
    Projections exceeding 6 ft 8 in. (2030 mm) above the floor shall not be considered reductions in clear width.




7.2.1.2.1.2 Other than Swinging Door Assemblies.    For other than swinging door assemblies, clear width shall be measured as follows:

  • (1)
    The measurement shall be taken at the narrowest point in the door opening.
  • (2)
    The measurement shall be taken as the door opening width when the door leaf is in the fully open position.
  • (3)
    Projections exceeding 6 ft 8 in. (2030 mm) above the floor shall not be considered reductions in clear width.





7.2.1.2.2* Measurement of Egress Capacity Width.   

7.2.1.2.2.1 Swinging Door Assemblies.    For swinging door assemblies, egress capacity width shall be measured as follows:

  • (1)
    The measurement shall be taken at the narrowest point in the door opening.
  • (2)
    The measurement shall be taken between the face of the door leaf and the stop of the frame.
  • (3)
    For new swinging doors assemblies, the measurement shall be taken with the door leaf open 90 degrees.
  • (4)
    For any existing door assembly, the measurement shall be taken with the door leaf in the fully open position.
  • (5)
    Projections not more than 3 1/2 in. (90 mm) at each side of the door openings at a height of not more than 38 in. (965 mm) shall not be considered reductions in egress capacity width.
  • (6)
    Projections exceeding 6 ft 8 in. (2030 mm) above the floor shall not be considered reductions in egress capacity width.




7.2.1.2.2.2 Other than Swinging Door Assemblies.   For other than swinging door assemblies, egress capacity width shall be measured as follows:

  • (1)
    The measurement shall be taken at the narrowest point in the door opening.
  • (2)
    The measurement shall be taken as the door opening width when the door leaf is in the fully open position.
  • (3)
    Projections not more than 3 1/2 in. (90 mm) at each side of the door openings at a height of not more than 38 in. (965 mm) shall not be considered reductions in egress capacity width.
  • (4)
    Projections exceeding 6 ft 8 in. (2030 mm) above the floor shall not be considered reductions in egress capacity width.





7.2.1.2.3 Minimum Door Leaf Width.  

7.2.1.2.3.1    For purposes of determining minimum door opening width, the clear width in accordance with 7.2.1.2.1 shall be used, unless door leaf width is specified.



7.2.1.2.3.2    Door openings in means of egress shall be not less than 32 in. (810 mm) in clear width, except under any of the following conditions:

  • (1)
    Where a pair of door leaves is provided, one door leaf shall provide not less than a 32 in. (810 mm) clear width opening.
  • (2)
    Exit access door assemblies serving a room not exceeding 70 ft2 (6.5 m2) and not required to be accessible to persons with severe mobility impairments shall be not less than 24 in. (610 mm) in door leaf width.
  • (3)
    Door openings serving a building or portion thereof not required to be accessible to persons with severe mobility impairments shall be permitted to be 28 in. (710 mm) in door leaf width.
  • (4)
    In existing buildings, the existing door leaf width shall be not less than 28 in. (710 mm).
  • (5)
    Door openings in detention and correctional occupancies, as otherwise provided in Chapters 22 and 23, shall not be required to comply with 7.2.1.2.3.
  • (6)
    Interior door openings in dwelling units as otherwise provided in Chapter 24 shall not be required to comply with 7.2.1.2.3.
  • (7)
    A power-operated door leaf located within a two-leaf opening shall be exempt from the minimum 32 in. (810 mm) single-leaf requirement in accordance with 7.2.1.9.1.5.
  • (8)
    Revolving door assemblies, as provided in 7.2.1.10, shall be exempt from the minimum 32 in. (810 mm) width requirement.
  • (9)*
    Where a single door opening is provided for discharge from a stairway required to be a minimum of 56 in. (1420 mm) wide in accordance with 7.2.2.2.1.2(B), and such door assembly serves as the sole means of exit discharge from such stairway, the clear width of the door opening, measured in accordance with 7.2.1.2.2, shall be not less than two-thirds the required width of the stairway.






7.2.1.3 Floor Level.  

7.2.1.3.1    The elevation of the floor surfaces on both sides of a door opening shall not vary by more than 1/2 in. (13 mm), unless otherwise permitted by 7.2.1.3.5 or 7.2.1.3.6.



7.2.1.3.2    The elevation of the floor surfaces required by 7.2.1.3.1 shall be maintained on both sides of the door openings for a distance not less than the width of the widest leaf.



7.2.1.3.3    Thresholds at door openings shall not exceed 1/2 in. (13 mm) in height.



7.2.1.3.4    Raised thresholds and floor level changes in excess of 1/4 in. (6.3 mm) at door openings shall be beveled with a slope not steeper than 1 in 2.



7.2.1.3.5    In existing buildings, where the door opening discharges to the outside or to an exterior balcony or exterior exit access, the floor level outside the door opening shall be permitted to be one step lower than that of the inside, but shall be not more than 8 in. (205 mm) lower.



7.2.1.3.6    In existing buildings, a door assembly at the top of a stair shall be permitted to open directly at a stair, provided that the door leaf does not swing over the stair and that the door opening serves an area with an occupant load of fewer than 50 persons.




7.2.1.4 Swing and Force to Open.  

7.2.1.4.1* Swinging-Type Door Assembly Requirement.   Any door assembly in a means of egress shall be of the side-hinged or pivoted-swinging type, and shall be installed to be capable of swinging from any position to the full required width of the opening in which it is installed, unless otherwise specified as follows:

  • (1)
    Door assemblies in dwelling units, as provided in Chapter 24, shall be permitted.
  • (2)
    Door assemblies in residential board and care occupancies, as provided in Chapters 32 and 33, shall be permitted.
  • (3)
    Where permitted in Chapters 11 through 43, horizontal-sliding or vertical-rolling security grilles or door assemblies that are part of the required means of egress shall be permitted, provided that all of the following criteria are met:

    • (a)
      Such grilles or door assemblies shall remain secured in the fully open position during the period of occupancy by the general public.
    • (b)
      On or adjacent to the grille or door opening, there shall be a readily visible, durable sign in letters not less than 1 in. (25 mm) high on a contrasting background that reads as follows: THIS DOOR TO REMAIN OPEN WHEN THE BUILDING IS OCCUPIED.
    • (c)
      Door leaves or grilles shall not be brought to the closed position when the space is occupied.
    • (d)
      Door leaves or grilles shall be operable from within the space without the use of any special knowledge or effort.
    • (e)
      Where two or more means of egress are required, not more than half of the means of egress shall be equipped with horizontal-sliding or vertical-rolling grilles or door assemblies.

  • (4)
    Horizontal-sliding door assemblies shall be permitted under any of the following conditions:

    • (a)
      Horizontal-sliding door assemblies in detention and correctional occupancies, as provided in Chapters 22 and 23, shall be permitted.
    • (b)
      Horizontal-sliding door assemblies complying with 7.2.1.14 shall be permitted.
    • (c)
      Unless prohibited by Chapters 11 through 43, horizontal-sliding door assemblies serving a room or area with an occupant load of fewer than 10 shall be permitted, provided that all of the following criteria are met:

      • i.
        The area served by the door assembly has no high hazard contents.
      • ii.
        The door assembly is readily operable from either side without special knowledge or effort.
      • iii.
        The force required to operate the door assembly in the direction of door leaf travel is not more than 30 lbf (133 N) to set the door leaf in motion and is not more than 15 lbf (67 N) to close the door assembly or open it to the minimum required width.
      • iv.
        The door assembly complies with any required fire protection rating, and, where rated, is self-closing or automatic-closing by means of smoke detection in accordance with 7.2.1.8 and is installed in accordance with NFPA 80, Standard for Fire Doors and Other Opening Protectives.
      • v.
        Corridor door assemblies required to be self-latching have a latch or other mechanism that ensures that the door leaf will not rebound into a partially open position if forcefully closed.

    • (d)
      Where private garages, business areas, industrial areas, and storage areas with an occupant load not exceeding 10 contain only low or ordinary hazard contents, door openings to such areas and private garages shall be permitted to be horizontal-sliding door assemblies.

  • (5)
    Where private garages, business areas, industrial areas, and storage areas with an occupant load not exceeding 10 contain only low or ordinary hazard contents, door openings to such areas and private garages shall be permitted to be vertical-rolling door assemblies.
  • (6)
    Revolving door assemblies complying with 7.2.1.10 shall be permitted.
  • (7)
    Existing fusible link–operated horizontal-sliding or vertical-rolling fire door assemblies shall be permitted to be used as provided in Chapters 39, 40, and 42.




7.2.1.4.2 Door Leaf Swing Direction.   Door leaves required to be of the side-hinged or pivoted-swinging type shall swing in the direction of egress travel under any of the following conditions:

  • (1)
    Where serving a room or area with an occupant load of 50 or more, except under any of the following conditions:

    • (a)
      Door leaves in horizontal exits shall not be required to swing in the direction of egress travel where permitted by 7.2.4.3.8.1 or 7.2.4.3.8.2.
    • (b)
      Door leaves in smoke barriers shall not be required to swing in the direction of egress travel in existing health care occupancies, as provided in Chapter 19.

  • (2)
    Where the door assembly is used in an exit enclosure, unless the door opening serves an individual living unit that opens directly into an exit enclosure
  • (3)
    Where the door opening serves a high hazard contents area




7.2.1.4.3 Door Leaf Encroachment.  

7.2.1.4.3.1*    During its swing, any door leaf in a means of egress shall leave not less than one-half of the required width of an aisle, a corridor, a passageway, or a landing unobstructed and shall project not more than 7 in. (180 mm) into the required width of an aisle, a corridor, a passageway, or a landing, when fully open, unless both of the following conditions are met:

  • (1)
    The door opening provides access to a stair in an existing building.
  • (2)
    The door opening meets the requirement that limits projection to not more than 7 in. (180 mm) into the required width of the stair landing when the door leaf is fully open.




7.2.1.4.3.2    Surface-mounted latch release hardware on the door leaf shall be exempt from being included in the maximum 7 in. (180 mm) projection requirement of 7.2.1.4.3.1, provided that both of the following criteria are met:

  • (1)
    The hardware is mounted to the side of the door leaf that faces the aisle, corridor, passageway, or landing when the door leaf is in the open position.
  • (2)
    The hardware is mounted not less than 34 in. (865 mm), and not more than 48 in. (1220 mm), above the floor.





7.2.1.4.4 Screen Door Assemblies and Storm Door Assemblies.   Screen door assemblies and storm door assemblies used in a means of egress shall be subject to the requirements for direction of swing that are applicable to other door assemblies used in a means of egress.



7.2.1.4.5 Door Leaf Operating Forces.  

7.2.1.4.5.1    The forces required to fully open any door leaf manually in a means of egress shall not exceed 15 lbf (67 N) to release the latch, 30 lbf (133 N) to set the leaf in motion, and 15 lbf (67 N) to open the leaf to the minimum required width, unless otherwise specified as follows:

  • (1)
    The opening forces for interior side-hinged or pivoted-swinging door leaves without closers shall not exceed 5 lbf (22 N).
  • (2)
    The opening forces for existing door leaves in existing buildings shall not exceed 50 lbf (222 N) applied to the latch stile.
  • (3)
    The opening forces for horizontal-sliding door leaves in detention and correctional occupancies shall be as provided in Chapters 22 and 23.
  • (4)
    The opening forces for power-operated door leaves shall be as provided in 7.2.1.9.




7.2.1.4.5.2    The forces specified in 7.2.1.4.5 shall be applied to the latch stile.





7.2.1.5 Locks, Latches, and Alarm Devices.  

7.2.1.5.1    Door leaves shall be arranged to be opened readily from the egress side whenever the building is occupied.



7.2.1.5.2*    The requirement of 7.2.1.5.1 shall not apply to door leaves of listed fire door assemblies after exposure to elevated temperature in accordance with the listing, based on laboratory fire test procedures.



7.2.1.5.3    Locks, if provided, shall not require the use of a key, a tool, or special knowledge or effort for operation from the egress side.



7.2.1.5.4    The requirements of 7.2.1.5.1 and 7.2.1.5.3 shall not apply where otherwise provided in Chapters 18 through 23.



7.2.1.5.5 Key-Operated Locks.  

7.2.1.5.5.1    Exterior door assemblies shall be permitted to have key-operated locks from the egress side, provided that all of the following criteria are met:

  • (1)
    This alternative is permitted in Chapters 11 through 43 for the specific occupancy.
  • (2)
    A readily visible, durable sign in letters not less than 1 in. (25 mm) high on a contrasting background that reads as follows is located on or adjacent to the door leaf: THIS DOOR TO REMAIN UNLOCKED WHEN THE BUILDING IS OCCUPIED.
  • (3)
    The locking device is of a type that is readily distinguishable as locked.
  • (4)
    A key is immediately available to any occupant inside the building when it is locked.




7.2.1.5.5.2    The alternative provisions of 7.2.1.5.5.1 shall be permitted to be revoked by the authority having jurisdiction for cause.




7.2.1.5.6 Electrically Controlled Egress Door Assemblies.   Door assemblies in the means of egress shall be permitted to be electrically locked if equipped with approved, listed hardware, provided that all of the following conditions are met:

  • (1)
    The hardware for occupant release of the lock is affixed to the door leaf.
  • (2)
    The hardware has an obvious method of operation that is readily operated in the direction of egress.
  • (3)
    The hardware is capable of being operated with one hand in the direction of egress.
  • (4)
    Operation of the hardware interrupts the power supply directly to the electric lock and unlocks the door assembly in the direction of egress.
  • (5)*
    Loss of power to the listed releasing hardware automatically unlocks the door assembly in the direction of egress.
  • (6)
    Hardware for new installations is listed in accordance with ANSI/UL 294, Standard for Access Control System Units.




7.2.1.5.7    Where permitted in Chapters 11 through 43, key operation shall be permitted, provided that the key cannot be removed when the door leaf is locked from the side from which egress is to be made.



7.2.1.5.8*    Every door assembly in a stair enclosure serving more than four stories, unless permitted by 7.2.1.5.8.2, shall meet one of the following conditions:

  • (1)
    Re-entry from the stair enclosure to the interior of the building shall be provided.
  • (2)
    An automatic release that is actuated with the initiation of the building fire alarm system shall be provided to unlock all stair enclosure door assemblies to allow re-entry.
  • (3)
    Selected re-entry shall be provided in accordance with 7.2.1.5.8.1.



7.2.1.5.8.1    Door assemblies on stair enclosures shall be permitted to be equipped with hardware that prevents re-entry into the interior of the building, provided that all of the following criteria are met:

  • (1)
    There shall be not less than two levels where it is possible to leave the stair enclosure to access another exit.
  • (2)
    There shall be not more than four stories intervening between stories where it is possible to leave the stair enclosure to access another exit.
  • (3)
    Re-entry shall be possible on the top story or next-to-top story served by the stair enclosure, and such story shall allow access to another exit.
  • (4)
    Door assemblies allowing re-entry shall be identified as such on the stair side of the door leaf.
  • (5)
    Door assemblies not allowing re-entry shall be provided with a sign on the stair side indicating the location of the nearest door opening, in each direction of travel, that allows re-entry or exit.




7.2.1.5.8.2    The requirements of 7.2.1.5.8, except as provided in 7.2.1.5.8.3, shall not apply to the following:

  • (1)
    Existing installations in buildings that are not high-rise buildings as permitted in Chapters 11 through 43
  • (2)
    Existing installations in high-rise buildings as permitted in Chapters 11 through 43 where the occupancy is within a building protected throughout by an approved, supervised automatic sprinkler system in accordance with Section 9.7
  • (3)
    Existing approved stairwell re-entry installations as permitted by Chapters 11 through 43
  • (4)
    Stair enclosures serving a building permitted to have a single exit in accordance with Chapters 11 through 43
  • (5)
    Stair enclosures in health care occupancies where otherwise provided in Chapter 18
  • (6)
    Stair enclosures in detention and correctional occupancies where otherwise provided in Chapter 22




7.2.1.5.8.3    When the provisions of 7.2.1.5.8.2 are used, signage on the stair door leaves shall be required as follows;

  • (1)
    Door assemblies allowing re-entry shall be identified as such on the stair side of the door leaf.
  • (2)
    Door assemblies not allowing re-entry shall be provided with a sign on the stair side indicating the location of the nearest door opening, in each direction of travel, that allows re-entry or exit.





7.2.1.5.9    If a stair enclosure allows access to the roof of the building, the door assembly to the roof either shall be kept locked or shall allow re-entry from the roof.



7.2.1.5.10*    A latch or other fastening device on a door leaf shall be provided with a releasing device that has an obvious method of operation and that is readily operated under all lighting conditions.


7.2.1.5.10.1    The releasing mechanism for any latch shall be located as follows:

  • (1)
    Not less than 34 in. (865 mm) above the finished floor for other than existing installations
  • (2)
    Not more than 48 in. (1220 mm) above the finished floor




7.2.1.5.10.2    The releasing mechanism shall open the door leaf with not more than one releasing operation, unless otherwise specified in 7.2.1.5.10.3, 7.2.1.5.10.4, or 7.2.1.5.10.6.



7.2.1.5.10.3*    Egress door assemblies from individual living units and guest rooms of residential occupancies shall be permitted to be provided with devices, including automatic latching devices, that require not more than one additional releasing operation, provided that such device is operable from the inside without the use of a key or tool and is mounted at a height not exceeding 48 in. (1220 mm) above the finished floor.



7.2.1.5.10.4    Existing security devices permitted by 7.2.1.5.10.3 shall be permitted to have two additional releasing operations.



7.2.1.5.10.5    Existing security devices permitted by 7.2.1.5.10.3, other than automatic latching devices, shall be located not more than 60 in. (1525 mm) above the finished floor.



7.2.1.5.10.6    Two releasing operations shall be permitted for existing hardware on a door leaf serving an area having an occupant load not exceeding three, provided that releasing does not require simultaneous operations.




7.2.1.5.11    Where pairs of door leaves are required in a means of egress, one of the following criteria shall be met:

  • (1)
    Each leaf of the pair shall be provided with a releasing device that does not depend on the release of one leaf before the other.
  • (2)
    Approved automatic flush bolts shall be used and arranged such that both of the following criteria are met:

    • (a)
      The door leaf equipped with the automatic flush bolts shall have no doorknob or surface-mounted hardware.
    • (b)
      Unlatching of any leaf shall not require more than one operation.





7.2.1.5.12*    Devices shall not be installed in connection with any door assembly on which panic hardware or fire exit hardware is required where such devices prevent or are intended to prevent the free use of the leaf for purposes of egress, unless otherwise provided in 7.2.1.6.




7.2.1.6* Special Locking Arrangements.   

7.2.1.6.1 Delayed-Egress Locking Systems.  

7.2.1.6.1.1    Approved, listed, delayed-egress locking systems shall be permitted to be installed on door assemblies serving low and ordinary hazard contents in buildings protected throughout by an approved, supervised automatic fire detection system in accordance with Section 9.6 or an approved, supervised automatic sprinkler system in accordance with Section 9.7, and where permitted in Chapters 11 through 43, provided that all of the following criteria are met:

  • (1)
    The door leaves shall unlock in the direction of egress upon actuation of one of the following:

    • (a)
      Approved, supervised automatic sprinkler system in accordance with Section 9.7
    • (b)
      Not more than one heat detector of an approved, supervised automatic fire detection system in accordance with Section 9.6
    • (c)
      Not more than two smoke detectors of an approved, supervised automatic fire detection system in accordance with Section 9.6

  • (2)
    The door leaves shall unlock in the direction of egress upon loss of power controlling the lock or locking mechanism.
  • (3)*
    An irreversible process shall release the lock in the direction of egress within 15 seconds, or 30 seconds where approved by the authority having jurisdiction, upon application of a force to the release device required in 7.2.1.5.10 under all of the following conditions:

    • (a)
      The force shall not be required to exceed 15 lbf (67 N).
    • (b)
      The force shall not be required to be continuously applied for more than 3 seconds.
    • (c)
      The initiation of the release process shall activate an audible signal in the vicinity of the door opening.
    • (d)
      Once the lock has been released by the application of force to the releasing device, relocking shall be by manual means only.

  • (4)*
    A readily visible, durable sign in letters not less than 1 in. (25 mm) high and not less than 1/8 in. (3.2 mm) in stroke width on a contrasting background that reads as follows shall be located on the door leaf adjacent to the release device in the direction of egress:
    PUSH UNTIL ALARM SOUNDS
    DOOR CAN BE OPENED IN 15 SECONDS
  • (5)
    The egress side of doors equipped with delayed-egress locks shall be provided with emergency lighting in accordance with Section 7.9.




7.2.1.6.1.2    The provisions of 7.2.1.6.2 for access-controlled egress door assemblies shall not apply to door assemblies with delayed-egress locking systems.




7.2.1.6.2* Access-Controlled Egress Door Assemblies.   Where permitted in Chapters 11 through 43, door assemblies in the means of egress shall be permitted to be equipped with electrical lock hardware that prevents egress, provided that all of the following criteria are met:

  • (1)
    A sensor shall be provided on the egress side, arranged to unlock the door leaf in the direction of egress upon detection of an approaching occupant.
  • (2)
    Door leaves shall automatically unlock in the direction of egress upon loss of power to the sensor or to the part of the access control system that locks the door leaves.
  • (3)
    Door locks shall be arranged to unlock in the direction of egress from a manual release device complying with all of the following criteria:

    • (a)
      The manual release device shall be located on the egress side, 40 in. to 48 in. (1015 mm to 1220 mm ) vertically above the floor, and within 60 in. (1525 mm) of the secured door openings.
    • (b)
      The manual release device shall be readily accessible and clearly identified by a sign that reads as follows:
      PUSH TO EXIT.
    • (c)
      When operated, the manual release device shall result in direct interruption of power to the lock — independent of the locking system electronics — and the lock shall remain unlocked for not less than 30 seconds.

  • (4)
    Activation of the building fire-protective signaling system, if provided, shall automatically unlock the door leaves in the direction of egress, and the door leaves shall remain unlocked until the fire-protective signaling system has been manually reset.
  • (5)
    The activation of manual fire alarm boxes that activate the building fire-protective signaling system specified in 7.2.1.6.2(4) shall not be required to unlock the door leaves.
  • (6)
    Activation of the building automatic sprinkler or fire detection system, if provided, shall automatically unlock the door leaves in the direction of egress, and the door leaves shall remain unlocked until the fire-protective signaling system has been manually reset.
  • (7)
    The egress side of access-controlled egress doors, other than existing access-controlled egress doors, shall be provided with emergency lighting in accordance with Section 7.9.




7.2.1.6.3 Elevator Lobby Exit Access Door Assemblies Locking.   Where permitted in Chapters 11 through 43, door assemblies separating the elevator lobby from the exit access required by 7.4.1.6.1 shall be permitted to be electrically locked, provided that all the following criteria are met:

  • (1)
    The lock is listed in accordance with ANSI/UL 294, Standard for Access Control System Units.
  • (2)
    The building is protected throughout by a fire alarm system in accordance with Section 9.6.
  • (3)
    The building is protected throughout by an approved, supervised automatic sprinkler system in accordance with Section 9.7.
  • (4)
    Waterflow in the sprinkler system required by 7.2.1.6.3(3) is arranged to initiate the building fire alarm system.
  • (5)
    The elevator lobby is protected by an approved, supervised smoke detection system in accordance with Section 9.6.
  • (6)
    Detection of smoke by the detection system required by 7.2.1.6.3(5) is arranged to initiate the building fire alarm system and notify building occupants.
  • (7)
    Initiation of the building fire alarm system by other than manual fire alarm boxes unlocks the elevator lobby door assembly.
  • (8)
    Loss of power to the elevator lobby electronic lock system unlocks the elevator lobby door assemblies.
  • (9)
    Once unlocked, the elevator lobby door assemblies remain unlocked until the building fire alarm system has been manually reset.
  • (10)
    Where the elevator lobby door assemblies remain latched after being unlocked, latch-releasing hardware in accordance with 7.2.1.5.10 is affixed to the door leaves.
  • (11)
    A two-way communication system is provided for communication between the elevator lobby and a central control point that is constantly staffed.
  • (12)
    The central control point staff required by 7.2.1.6.3(11) is capable, trained, and authorized to provide emergency assistance.
  • (13)
    The provisions of 7.2.1.6.1 for delayed-egress locking systems are not applied to the elevator lobby door assemblies.
  • (14)*
    The provisions of 7.2.1.6.2 for access-controlled egress door assemblies are not applied to the elevator lobby door assemblies.





7.2.1.7 Panic Hardware and Fire Exit Hardware.  

7.2.1.7.1    Where a door assembly is required to be equipped with panic or fire exit hardware, such hardware shall meet all of the following criteria:

  • (1)
    It shall consist of a cross bar or a push pad, the actuating portion of which extends across not less than one-half of the width of the door leaf.
  • (2)
    It shall be mounted as follows:

    • (a)
      New installations shall be not less than 34 in. (865 mm), and not more than 48 in. (1220 mm), above the floor.
    • (b)
      Existing installations shall be not less than 30 in. (760 mm), and not more than 48 in. (1220 mm), above the floor.

  • (3)
    It shall be constructed so that a horizontal force not to exceed 15 lbf (66 N) actuates the cross bar or push pad and latches.




7.2.1.7.2    Only approved panic hardware shall be used on door assemblies that are not fire-rated door assemblies. Only approved fire exit hardware shall be used on fire-rated door assemblies. New panic hardware and new fire exit hardware shall comply with ANSI/UL 305, Standard for Safety Panic Hardware, and ANSI/BHMA A156.3, Exit Devices.



7.2.1.7.3    Required panic hardware and fire exit hardware, in other than detention and correctional occupancies as otherwise provided in Chapters 22 and 23, shall not be equipped with any locking device, set screw, or other arrangement that prevents the release of the latch when pressure is applied to the releasing device.



7.2.1.7.4    Devices that hold the latch in the retracted position shall be prohibited on fire exit hardware, unless such devices are listed and approved for such a purpose.




7.2.1.8 Self-Closing Devices.  

7.2.1.8.1*    A door leaf normally required to be kept closed shall not be secured in the open position at any time and shall be self-closing or automatic-closing in accordance with 7.2.1.8.2, unless otherwise permitted by 7.2.1.8.3.



7.2.1.8.2    In any building of low or ordinary hazard contents, as defined in 6.2.2.2 and 6.2.2.3, or where approved by the authority having jurisdiction, door leaves shall be permitted to be automatic-closing, provided that all of the following criteria are met:

  • (1)
    Upon release of the hold-open mechanism, the leaf becomes self-closing.
  • (2)
    The release device is designed so that the leaf instantly releases manually and, upon release, becomes self-closing, or the leaf can be readily closed.
  • (3)
    The automatic releasing mechanism or medium is activated by the operation of approved smoke detectors installed in accordance with the requirements for smoke detectors for door leaf release service in NFPA 72 , National Fire Alarm and Signaling Code.
  • (4)
    Upon loss of power to the hold-open device, the hold-open mechanism is released and the door leaf becomes self-closing.
  • (5)
    The release by means of smoke detection of one door leaf in a stair enclosure results in closing all door leaves serving that stair.




7.2.1.8.3    The elevator car doors, and the associated hoistway enclosure doors, at the floor level designated for recall in accordance with the requirements of 9.4.3 shall be permitted to remain open during Phase I Emergency Recall Operation.




7.2.1.9* Powered Door Leaf Operation.   

7.2.1.9.1* General.   Where means of egress door leaves are operated by power upon the approach of a person or are provided with power-assisted manual operation, the design shall be such that, in the event of power failure, the leaves open manually to allow egress travel or close when necessary to safeguard the means of egress.


7.2.1.9.1.1    The forces required to manually open the door leaves specified in 7.2.1.9.1 shall not exceed those required in 7.2.1.4.5, except that the force required to set the leaf in motion shall not exceed 50 lbf (222 N).



7.2.1.9.1.2    The door assembly shall be designed and installed so that, when a force is applied to the door leaf on the side from which egress is made, it shall be capable of swinging from any position to provide full use of the required width of the opening in which it is installed. (See 7.2.1.4.)



7.2.1.9.1.3    A readily visible, durable sign in letters not less than 1 in. (25 mm) high on a contrasting background that reads as follows shall be located on the egress side of each door opening:
IN EMERGENCY, PUSH TO OPEN



7.2.1.9.1.4    Sliding, power-operated door assemblies in an exit access serving an occupant load of fewer than 50 that manually open in the direction of door leaf travel, with forces not exceeding those required in 7.2.1.4.5, shall not be required to have the swing-out feature required by 7.2.1.9.1.2. The required sign shall be in letters not less than 1 in. (25 mm) high on a contrasting background and shall read as follows:
IN EMERGENCY, SLIDE TO OPEN



7.2.1.9.1.5*    In the emergency breakout mode, a door leaf located within a two-leaf opening shall be exempt from the minimum 32 in. (810 mm) single-leaf requirement of 7.2.1.2.3.2(1), provided that the clear width of the single leaf is not less than 30 in. (760 mm).



7.2.1.9.1.6    For a biparting sliding door assembly in the emergency breakout mode, a door leaf located within a multiple-leaf opening shall be exempt from the minimum 32 in. (810 mm) single-leaf requirement of 7.2.1.2.3.2(1) if a clear opening of not less than 32 in. (810 mm) is provided by all leafs broken out.



7.2.1.9.1.7    Door assemblies complying with 7.2.1.14 shall be permitted to be used.



7.2.1.9.1.8    The requirements of 7.2.1.9.1 through 7.2.1.9.1.7 shall not apply in detention and correctional occupancies where otherwise provided in Chapters 22 and 23.




7.2.1.9.2 Self-Closing or Self-Latching Door Leaf Operation.   Where door leaves are required to be self-closing or self-latching and are operated by power upon the approach of a person, or are provided with power-assisted manual operation, they shall be permitted in the means of egress where they meet the following criteria:

  • (1)
    The door leaves can be opened manually in accordance with 7.2.1.9.1 to allow egress travel in the event of power failure.
  • (2)
    New door leaves remain in the closed position, unless actuated or opened manually.
  • (3)
    When actuated, new door leaves remain open for not more than 30 seconds.
  • (4)
    Door leaves held open for any period of time close — and the power-assist mechanism ceases to function — upon operation of approved smoke detectors installed in such a way as to detect smoke on either side of the door opening in accordance with the provisions of NFPA 72 , National Fire Alarm and Signaling Code.
  • (5)
    Door leaves required to be self-latching are either self-latching or become self-latching upon operation of approved smoke detectors per 7.2.1.9.2(4).
  • (6)
    New power-assisted swinging door assemblies comply with BHMA/ANSI A156.19, American National Standard for Power Assist and Low Energy Power Operated Doors.





7.2.1.10 Revolving Door Assemblies.  

7.2.1.10.1    Revolving door assemblies, whether used or not used in the means of egress, shall comply with all of the following:

  • (1)
    Revolving door wings shall be capable of being collapsed into a book-fold position, unless they are existing revolving doors approved by the authority having jurisdiction.
  • (2)
    When revolving door wings are collapsed into the book-fold position, the parallel egress paths formed shall provide an aggregate width of 36 in. (915 mm), unless they are approved existing revolving door assemblies.
  • (3)
    Revolving door assemblies shall not be used within 10 ft (3050 mm) of the foot or the top of stairs or escalators.
  • (4)
    A dispersal area acceptable to the authority having jurisdiction shall be located between stairs or escalators and the revolving door assembly.
  • (5)
    The revolutions per minute (rpm) of revolving door wings shall not exceed the values in Table 7.2.1.10.1.
  • (6)
    Each revolving door assembly shall have a conforming side-hinged swinging door assembly in the same wall as the revolving door within 10 ft (3050 mm) of the revolving door, unless one of the following conditions applies:

    • (a)
      Revolving door assemblies shall be permitted without adjacent swinging door assemblies, as required by 7.2.1.10.1(6), in street floor elevator lobbies, provided that no stairways or door openings from other parts of the building discharge through the lobby and the lobby has no occupancy other than as a means of travel between the elevators and street.
    • (b)
      The requirement of 7.2.1.10.1(6) shall not apply to existing revolving door assemblies where the number of revolving door assemblies does not exceed the number of swinging door assemblies within 20 ft (6100 mm) of the revolving door assembly.







Table 7.2.1.10.1
Revolving Door Assembly Maximum Speed






7.2.1.10.2    Where permitted in Chapters 11 through 43, revolving door assemblies shall be permitted as a component in a means of egress, provided that all of the following criteria are met:

  • (1)
    Revolving door openings shall not be given credit for more than 50 percent of the required egress capacity.
  • (2)
    Each revolving door opening shall not be credited with more than a 50-person capacity or, if of not less than a 9 ft (2745 mm) diameter, a revolving door assembly shall be permitted egress capacity based on the clear opening width provided when collapsed into a book-fold position.
  • (3)
    Revolving door wings shall be capable of being collapsed into a book-fold position when a force not exceeding 130 lbf (580 N) is applied to the wings within 3 in. (75 mm) of the outer edge.




7.2.1.10.3    Revolving door assemblies not used as a component of a means of egress shall have a collapsing force not exceeding 180 lbf (800 N) applied at a point 3 in. (75 mm) from the outer edge of the outer wing stile and 40 in. (1015 mm) above the floor.



7.2.1.10.4    The requirement of 7.2.1.10.3 shall not apply to revolving door assemblies, provided that the collapsing force is reduced to a force not to exceed 130 lbf (580 N) under all of the following conditions:

  • (1)
    Power failure, or removal of power to the device holding the wings in position
  • (2)
    Actuation of the automatic sprinkler system, where such a system is provided
  • (3)
    Actuation of a smoke detection system that is installed to provide coverage in all areas within the building that are within 75 ft (23 m) of the revolving door assemblies
  • (4)
    Actuation of a clearly identified manual control switch in an approved location that reduces the holding force to a force not to exceed 130 lbf (580 N)





7.2.1.11 Turnstiles.  

7.2.1.11.1    Turnstiles or similar devices that restrict travel to one direction or are used to collect fares or admission charges shall not be placed so as to obstruct any required means of egress, unless otherwise specified in 7.2.1.11.1.1 and 7.2.1.11.1.2.


7.2.1.11.1.1    Approved turnstiles not exceeding 39 in. (990 mm) in height that turn freely in the direction of egress travel shall be permitted where revolving door assemblies are permitted in Chapters 11 through 43.



7.2.1.11.1.2    Where turnstiles are approved by the authority having jurisdiction and permitted in Chapters 11 through 43, each turnstile shall be credited for a capacity of 50 persons, provided that such turnstiles meet all of the following criteria:

  • (1)
    They freewheel in the egress direction when primary power is lost, and freewheel in the direction of egress travel upon manual release by an employee assigned in the area.
  • (2)
    They are not given credit for more than 50 percent of the required egress width.
  • (3)
    They are not in excess of 39 in. (990 mm) in height and have a clear width of not less than 16 1/2 in. (420 mm).





7.2.1.11.2    Turnstiles exceeding 39 in. (990 mm) in height shall meet the requirements for revolving door assemblies in 7.2.1.10.



7.2.1.11.3    Turnstiles located in, or furnishing access to, required exits shall provide not less than 16 1/2 in. (420 mm) clear width at and below a height of 39 in. (990 mm) and at least 22 in. (560 mm) clear width at heights above 39 in. (990 mm).




7.2.1.12 Door Openings in Folding Partitions.   Where permanently mounted folding or movable partitions divide a room into smaller spaces, a swinging door leaf or open doorway shall be provided as an exit access from each such space, unless otherwise specified in 7.2.1.12.1 and 7.2.1.12.2.


7.2.1.12.1    A door leaf or opening in the folding partition shall not be required, provided that all of the following criteria are met:

  • (1)
    The subdivided space is not used by more than 20 persons at any time.
  • (2)
    The use of the space is under adult supervision.
  • (3)
    The partitions are arranged so that they do not extend across any aisle or corridor used as an exit access to the required exits from the story.
  • (4)
    The partitions conform to the interior finish and other requirements of this Code.
  • (5)
    The partitions are of an approved type, have a simple method of release, and are capable of being opened quickly and easily by experienced persons in case of emergency.




7.2.1.12.2    Where a subdivided space is provided with not less than two means of egress, the swinging door leaf in the folding partition specified in 7.2.1.12 shall not be required, and one such means of egress shall be permitted to be equipped with a horizontal-sliding door assembly complying with 7.2.1.14.




7.2.1.13 Balanced Door Assemblies.   If panic hardware is installed on balanced door leaves, the panic hardware shall be of the push-pad type, and the pad shall not extend more than approximately one-half the width of the door leaf, measured from the latch stile. [See 7.2.1.7.1(1).]



7.2.1.14 Horizontal-Sliding Door Assemblies.   Horizontal-sliding door assemblies shall be permitted in means of egress, provided that all of the following criteria are met:

  • (1)
    The door leaf is readily operable from either side without special knowledge or effort.
  • (2)
    The force that, when applied to the operating device in the direction of egress, is required to operate the door leaf is not more than 15 lbf (67 N).
  • (3)
    The force required to operate the door leaf in the direction of travel is not more than 30 lbf (133 N) to set the leaf in motion and is not more than 15 lbf (67 N) to close the leaf or open it to the minimum required width.
  • (4)
    The door leaf is operable using a force of not more than 50 lbf (222 N) when a force of 250 lbf (1100 N) is applied perpendicularly to the leaf adjacent to the operating device, unless the door opening is an existing horizontal-sliding exit access door assembly serving an area with an occupant load of fewer than 50.
  • (5)
    The door assembly complies with the fire protection rating, if required, and, where rated, is self-closing or automatic-closing by means of smoke detection in accordance with 7.2.1.8 and is installed in accordance with NFPA 80, Standard for Fire Doors and Other Opening Protectives.




7.2.1.15 Inspection of Door Openings.   

7.2.1.15.1*    Where required by Chapters 11 through 43, the following door assemblies shall be inspected and tested not less than annually in accordance with 7.2.1.15.2 through 7.2.1.15.8:

  • (1)
    Door leaves equipped with panic hardware or fire exit hardware in accordance with 7.2.1.7
  • (2)
    Door assemblies in exit enclosures
  • (3)
    Electrically controlled egress doors
  • (4)
    Door assemblies with special locking arrangements subject to 7.2.1.6




7.2.1.15.2    Fire-rated door assemblies shall be inspected and tested in accordance with NFPA 80, Standard for Fire Doors and Other Opening Protectives. Smoke door assemblies shall be inspected and tested in accordance with NFPA 105, Standard for Smoke Door Assemblies and Other Opening Protectives.



7.2.1.15.3    The inspection and testing interval for fire-rated and nonrated door assemblies shall be permitted to exceed 12 months under a written performance-based program in accordance with 5.2.2 of NFPA 80, Standard for Fire Doors and Other Opening Protectives.



7.2.1.15.4    A written record of the inspections and testing shall be signed and kept for inspection by the authority having jurisdiction.



7.2.1.15.5    Functional testing of door assemblies shall be performed by individuals who can demonstrate knowledge and understanding of the operating components of the type of door being subjected to testing.



7.2.1.15.6    Door assemblies shall be visually inspected from both sides of the opening to assess the overall condition of the assembly.



7.2.1.15.7    As a minimum, the following items shall be verified:

  • (1)
    Floor space on both sides of the openings is clear of obstructions, and door leaves open fully and close freely.
  • (2)
    Forces required to set door leaves in motion and move to the fully open position do not exceed the requirements in 7.2.1.4.5.
  • (3)
    Latching and locking devices comply with 7.2.1.5.
  • (4)
    Releasing hardware devices are installed in accordance with 7.2.1.5.10.1.
  • (5)
    Door leaves of paired openings are installed in accordance with 7.2.1.5.11.
  • (6)
    Door closers are adjusted properly to control the closing speed of door leaves in accordance with accessibility requirements.
  • (7)
    Projection of door leaves into the path of egress does not exceed the encroachment permitted by 7.2.1.4.3.
  • (8)
    Powered door openings operate in accordance with 7.2.1.9.
  • (9)
    Signage required by 7.2.1.4.1(3), 7.2.1.5.5, 7.2.1.6, and  7.2.1.9 is intact and legible.
  • (10)
    Door openings with special locking arrangements function in accordance with 7.2.1.6
  • (11)
    Security devices that impede egress are not installed on openings, as required by 7.2.1.5.12.




7.2.1.15.8    Door openings not in proper operating condition shall be repaired or replaced without delay.





7.2.2 Stairs.  

7.2.2.1 General.  

7.2.2.1.1    Stairs used as a component in the means of egress shall conform to the general requirements of Section 7.1 and to the special requirements of 7.2.2, unless otherwise specified in 7.2.2.1.2.



7.2.2.1.2    The requirement of 7.2.2.1.1 shall not apply to the following:

  • (1)
    Aisle stairs in assembly occupancies, as provided in Chapters 12 and 13
  • (2)
    Approved existing noncomplying stairs





7.2.2.2 Dimensional Criteria.  

7.2.2.2.1 Standard Stairs.  

7.2.2.2.1.1    Stairs shall meet the following criteria:

  • (1)
    New stairs shall be in accordance with Table 7.2.2.2.1.1(a) and 7.2.2.2.1.2.
  • (2)*
    Existing stairs shall be permitted to remain in use, provided that they meet the requirements for existing stairs shown in Table 7.2.2.2.1.1(b).
  • (3)
    Approved existing stairs shall be permitted to be rebuilt in accordance with the following:


  • (4)
    The requirements for new and existing stairs shall not apply to stairs located in industrial equipment access areas where otherwise provided in 40.2.5.2.






Table 7.2.2.2.1.1(a)
New Stairs








Table 7.2.2.2.1.1(b)
Existing Stairs






7.2.2.2.1.2 Minimum New Stair Width.   

(A)    Where the total occupant load of all stories served by the stair is fewer than 50, the minimum width clear of all obstructions, except projections not more than 4 1/2 in. (114 mm) at or below handrail height on each side, shall be 36 in. (915 mm).



(B)*    Where stairs serve occupant loads exceeding that permitted by 7.2.2.2.1.2(A), the minimum width clear of all obstructions, except projections not more than 4 1/2 in. (114 mm) at or below handrail height on each side, shall be in accordance with Table 7.2.2.2.1.2(B) and the requirements of 7.2.2.2.1.2(C), 7.2.2.2.1.2(D), 7.2.2.2.1.2(E), and 7.2.2.2.1.2(F).





Table 7.2.2.2.1.2(B)
New Stair Width






(C)    The total cumulative occupant load assigned to a particular stair shall be that stair’s prorated share of the total occupant load, as stipulated in 7.2.2.2.1.2(D) and 7.2.2.2.1.2(E), calculated in proportion to the stair width.



(D)    For downward egress travel, stair width shall be based on the total number of occupants from stories above the level where the width is measured.



(E)    For upward egress travel, stair width shall be based on the total number of occupants from stories below the level where the width is measured.



(F)    The clear width of door openings discharging from stairways required to be a minimum of 56 in. (1420 mm) wide in accordance with 7.2.2.2.1.2(B) shall be in accordance with 7.2.1.2.3.2(9).





7.2.2.2.2 Curved Stairs.  

7.2.2.2.2.1    New curved stairs shall be permitted as a component in a means of egress, provided that the depth of tread is not less than 11 in. (280 mm) at a point 12 in. (305 mm) from the narrower end of the tread and the smallest radius is not less than twice the stair width.



7.2.2.2.2.2    Existing curved stairs shall be permitted as a component in a means of egress, provided that the depth of tread is not less than 10 in. (255 mm) at a point 12 in. (305 mm) from the narrower end of the tread and the smallest radius is not less than twice the stair width.




7.2.2.2.3 Spiral Stairs.  

7.2.2.2.3.1    Where specifically permitted for individual occupancies by Chapters 11 through 43, spiral stairs shall be permitted as a component in a means of egress in accordance with 7.2.2.2.3.2 through 7.2.2.2.3.4.



7.2.2.2.3.2    Spiral stairs shall be permitted, provided that all of the following criteria are met:

  • (1)
    Riser heights shall not exceed 7 in. (180 mm).
  • (2)
    The stairway shall have a tread depth of not less than 11 in. (280 mm) for a portion of the stairway width sufficient to provide egress capacity for the occupant load served in accordance with 7.3.3.1.
  • (3)
    At the outer side of the stairway, an additional 10 1/2 in. (265 mm) of width shall be provided clear to the other handrail, and this width shall not be included as part of the required egress capacity.
  • (4)
    Handrails complying with 7.2.2.4 shall be provided on both sides of the spiral stairway.
  • (5)
    The inner handrail shall be located within 24 in. (610 mm), measured horizontally, of the point where a tread depth of not less than 11 in. (280 mm) is provided.
  • (6)
    The turn of the stairway shall be such that the outer handrail is at the right side of descending users.




7.2.2.2.3.3    Where the occupant load served does not exceed three, spiral stairs shall be permitted, provided that all of the following criteria are met:

  • (1)
    The clear width of the stairs shall be not less than 26 in. (660 mm).
  • (2)
    The height of risers shall not exceed 9 1/2 in. (240 mm).
  • (3)
    The headroom shall be not less than 6 ft 6 in. (1980 mm).
  • (4)
    Treads shall have a depth not less than 7 1/2 in. (190 mm) at a point 12 in. (305 mm) from the narrower edge.
  • (5)
    All treads shall be identical.
  • (6)
    Handrails shall be provided on both sides of the stairway.




7.2.2.2.3.4    Where the occupant load served does not exceed five, existing spiral stairs shall be permitted, provided that the requirements of 7.2.2.2.3.3(1) through (5) are met.




7.2.2.2.4* Winders.  

7.2.2.2.4.1    Where specified in Chapters 11 through 43, winders shall be permitted in stairs, provided that they meet the requirements of 7.2.2.2.4.2 and 7.2.2.2.4.3.



7.2.2.2.4.2    New winders shall have a tread depth of not less than 6 in. (150 mm) and a tread depth of not less than 11 in. (280 mm) at a point 12 in. (305 mm) from the narrowest edge.



7.2.2.2.4.3    Existing winders shall be permitted to be continued in use, provided that they have a tread depth of not less than 6 in. (150 mm) and a tread depth of not less than 9 in. (230 mm) at a point 12 in. (305 mm) from the narrowest edge.





7.2.2.3 Stair Details.  

7.2.2.3.1 Construction.  

7.2.2.3.1.1    All stairs serving as required means of egress shall be of permanent fixed construction, unless they are stairs serving seating that is designed to be repositioned in accordance with Chapters 12 and 13.



7.2.2.3.1.2    Each stair, platform, and landing, not including handrails and existing stairs, in buildings required in this Code to be of Type I or Type II construction shall be of noncombustible material throughout.




7.2.2.3.2 Landings.  

7.2.2.3.2.1    Stairs shall have landings at door openings, except as permitted in 7.2.2.3.2.5.



7.2.2.3.2.2    Stairs and intermediate landings shall continue with no decrease in width along the direction of egress travel.



7.2.2.3.2.3    In new buildings, every landing shall have a dimension, measured in the direction of travel, that is not less than the width of the stair.



7.2.2.3.2.4    Landings shall not be required to exceed 48 in. (1220 mm) in the direction of travel, provided that the stair has a straight run.



7.2.2.3.2.5    In existing buildings, a door assembly at the top of a stair shall be permitted to open directly to the stair, provided that the door leaf does not swing over the stair and the door opening serves an area with an occupant load of fewer than 50 persons.




7.2.2.3.3 Tread and Landing Surfaces.  

7.2.2.3.3.1    Stair treads and landings shall be solid, without perforations, unless otherwise permitted in 7.2.2.3.3.4.



7.2.2.3.3.2*    Stair treads and landings shall be free of projections or lips that could trip stair users.



7.2.2.3.3.3    If not vertical, risers on other than existing stairs shall be permitted to slope under the tread at an angle not to exceed 30 degrees from vertical, provided that the projection of the nosing does not exceed 1 1/2 in. (38 mm).



7.2.2.3.3.4    The requirement of 7.2.2.3.3.1 shall not apply to noncombustible grated stair treads and landings in the following occupancies:

  • (1)
    Assembly occupancies as otherwise provided in Chapters 12 and 13
  • (2)
    Detention and correctional occupancies as otherwise provided in Chapters 22 and 23
  • (3)
    Industrial occupancies as otherwise provided in Chapter 40
  • (4)
    Storage occupancies as otherwise provided in Chapter 42





7.2.2.3.4* Tread and Landing Slope.   The tread and landing slope shall not exceed 1/4 in./ft (21 mm/m) (a slope of 1 in 48).



7.2.2.3.5* Riser Height and Tread Depth.   Riser height shall be measured as the vertical distance between tread nosings. Tread depth shall be measured horizontally, between the vertical planes of the foremost projection of adjacent treads and at a right angle to the tread’s leading edge, but shall not include beveled or rounded tread surfaces that slope more than 20 degrees (a slope of 1 in 2.75). At tread nosings, such beveling or rounding shall not exceed 1/2 in. (13 mm) in horizontal dimension.



7.2.2.3.6* Dimensional Uniformity.  

7.2.2.3.6.1    Variation in excess of 3/16 in. (4.8 mm) in the sizes of adjacent tread depths or in the height of adjacent risers shall be prohibited, unless otherwise permitted in 7.2.2.3.6.3.



7.2.2.3.6.2    The variation between the sizes of the largest and smallest riser or between the largest and smallest tread depths shall not exceed 3/8 in. (9.5 mm) in any flight.



7.2.2.3.6.3    Where the bottom or top riser adjoins a sloping public way, walk, or driveway having an established finished ground level and serves as a landing, the bottom or top riser shall be permitted to have a variation in height of not more than 1 in. in every 12 in. (25 mm in every 305 mm) of stairway width.



7.2.2.3.6.4    The size of the variations addressed by 7.2.2.3.6.1, 7.2.2.3.6.2, and 7.2.2.3.6.3 shall be based on the nosing-to-nosing dimensions of the tread depths and riser heights, consistent with the measurement details set out in 7.2.2.3.5.



7.2.2.3.6.5*    All tread nosings of stairs utilizing the provision of 7.2.2.3.6.3 shall be marked in accordance with 7.2.2.5.4.3. Those portions of the marking stripe at locations where the riser height below the nosing is inconsistent by more than 3/16 in. (4.8 mm), relative to other risers in the stair flight, shall be distinctively colored or patterned, incorporating safety yellow, to warn descending users of the inconsistent geometry relative to other steps in the flight.



7.2.2.3.6.6    The variation in the horizontal projection of all nosings, including the projection of the landing nosing, shall not exceed 3/8 in. (9.5 mm) within each stair flight and, for other than existing nosings, shall not exceed 3/16 in. (4.8 mm) between adjacent nosings.





7.2.2.4 Guards and Handrails.  

7.2.2.4.1 Handrails.  

7.2.2.4.1.1    Stairs and ramps shall have handrails on both sides, unless otherwise permitted in 7.2.2.4.1.5 or 7.2.2.4.1.6.



7.2.2.4.1.2    In addition to the handrails required at the sides of stairs by 7.2.2.4.1.1, both of the following provisions shall apply:

  • (1)
    For new stairs, handrails shall be provided within 30 in. (760 mm) of all portions of the required egress width.
  • (2)
    For existing stairs, handrails shall meet the following criteria:

    • (a)
      They shall be provided within 44 in. (1120 mm) of all portions of the required egress width.
    • (b)
      Such stairs shall not have their egress capacity adjusted to a higher occupant load than permitted by the capacity factor in Table 7.3.3.1 if the stair’s clear width between handrails exceeds 60 in. (1525 mm).





7.2.2.4.1.3    Where new intermediate handrails are provided in accordance with 7.2.2.4.1.2, the minimum clear width between handrails shall be 20 in. (510 mm).



7.2.2.4.1.4*    The required egress width shall be provided along the natural path of travel.



7.2.2.4.1.5    If a single step or a ramp is part of a curb that separates a sidewalk from a vehicular way, it shall not be required to have a handrail.



7.2.2.4.1.6    Existing stairs, existing ramps, stairs within dwelling units and within guest rooms, and ramps within dwelling units and guest rooms shall be permitted to have a handrail on one side only.




7.2.2.4.2 Continuity.   Required guards and handrails shall continue for the full length of each flight of stairs. At turns of new stairs, inside handrails shall be continuous between flights at landings.



7.2.2.4.3 Projections.   The design of guards and handrails and the hardware for attaching handrails to guards, balusters, or walls shall be such that there are no projections that might engage loose clothing. Openings in guards shall be designed to prevent loose clothing from becoming wedged in such openings.



7.2.2.4.4* Handrail Details.  

7.2.2.4.4.1    New handrails on stairs shall be not less than 34 in. (865 mm), and not more than 38 in. (965 mm), above the surface of the tread, measured vertically to the top of the rail from the leading edge of the tread.



7.2.2.4.4.2    Existing required handrails shall be not less than 30 in. (760 mm), and not more than 38 in. (965 mm), above the surface of the tread, measured vertically to the top of the rail from the leading edge of the tread.



7.2.2.4.4.3    The height of required handrails that form part of a guard shall be permitted to exceed 38 in. (965 mm), but shall not exceed 42 in. (1065 mm), measured vertically to the top of the rail from the leading edge of the tread.



7.2.2.4.4.4*    Additional handrails that are lower or higher than the main handrail shall be permitted.



7.2.2.4.4.5    New handrails shall be installed to provide a clearance of not less than 2 1/4 in. (57 mm) between the handrail and the wall to which it is fastened.



7.2.2.4.4.6    Handrails shall include one of the following features:

  • (1)
    Circular cross section with an outside diameter of not less than 1 1/4 in. (32 mm) and not more than 2 in. (51 mm)
  • (2)*
    Shape that is other than circular with a perimeter dimension of not less than 4 in. (100 mm), but not more than 6 1/4 in. (160 mm), and with the largest cross-sectional dimension not more than 2 1/4 in. (57 mm), provided that graspable edges are rounded so as to provide a radius of not less than 1/8 in. (3.2 mm)




7.2.2.4.4.7    New handrails shall be continuously graspable along their entire length.



7.2.2.4.4.8    Handrail brackets or balusters attached to the bottom surface of the handrail shall not be considered to be obstructions to graspability, provided that both of the following criteria are met:

  • (1)
    They do not project horizontally beyond the sides of the handrail within 1 1/2 in. (38 mm) of the bottom of the handrail and provided that, for each additional 1/2 in. (13 mm) of handrail perimeter dimension greater than 4 in. (100 mm), the vertical clearance dimension of 1 1/2 in. (38 mm) is reduced by 1/8 in. (3.2 mm).
  • (2)
    They have edges with a radius of not less than 0.01 in. (0.25 mm).




7.2.2.4.4.9    New handrail ends shall be returned to the wall or floor or shall terminate at newel posts.



7.2.2.4.4.10    In other than dwelling units, new handrails that are not continuous between flights shall extend horizontally, at the required height, not less than 12 in. (305 mm) beyond the top riser and continue to slope for a depth of one tread beyond the bottom riser.



7.2.2.4.4.11    Within dwelling units, handrails shall extend, at the required height, to at least those points that are directly above the top and bottom risers.




7.2.2.4.5 Guard Details.   See 7.1.8 for guard requirements.


7.2.2.4.5.1    The height of guards required in 7.1.8 shall be measured vertically to the top of the guard from the surface adjacent thereto.



7.2.2.4.5.2    Guards shall be not less than 42 in. (1065 mm) high, except as permitted by one of the following:

  • (1)
    Existing guards within dwelling units shall be permitted to be not less than 36 in. (915 mm) high.
  • (2)
    The requirement of 7.2.2.4.5.2 shall not apply in assembly occupancies where otherwise provided in Chapters 12 and 13.
  • (3)*
    Existing guards on existing stairs shall be permitted to be not less than 30 in. (760 mm) high.




7.2.2.4.5.3*    Open guards, other than approved existing open guards, shall have intermediate rails or an ornamental pattern such that a sphere 4 in. (100 mm) in diameter is not able to pass through any opening up to a height of 34 in. (865 mm), and the following also shall apply:

  • (1)
    The triangular openings formed by the riser, tread, and bottom element of a guardrail at the open side of a stair shall be of such size that a sphere 6 in. (150 mm) in diameter is not able to pass through the triangular opening.
  • (2)
    In detention and correctional occupancies, in industrial occupancies, and in storage occupancies, the clear distance between intermediate rails, measured at right angles to the rails, shall not exceed 21 in. (535 mm).






7.2.2.5 Enclosure and Protection of Stairs.  

7.2.2.5.1 Enclosures.  

7.2.2.5.1.1    All inside stairs serving as an exit or exit component shall be enclosed in accordance with 7.1.3.2.



7.2.2.5.1.2    Inside stairs, other than those serving as an exit or exit component, shall be protected in accordance with Section 8.6.



7.2.2.5.1.3    In existing buildings, where a two-story exit enclosure connects the story of exit discharge with an adjacent story, the exit shall be permitted to be enclosed only on the story of exit discharge, provided that not less than 50 percent of the number and capacity of exits on the story of exit discharge are independent of such enclosures.




7.2.2.5.2* Exposures.  

7.2.2.5.2.1    Where nonrated walls or unprotected openings enclose the exterior of a stairway, other than an existing stairway, and the walls or openings are exposed by other parts of the building at an angle of less than 180 degrees, the building enclosure walls within 10 ft (3050 mm) horizontally of the nonrated wall or unprotected opening shall be constructed as required for stairway enclosures, including opening protectives.



7.2.2.5.2.2    Construction shall extend vertically from the finished ground level to a point 10 ft (3050 mm) above the topmost landing of the stairs or to the roofline, whichever is lower.



7.2.2.5.2.3    The fire resistance rating of the separation extending 10 ft (3050 mm) from the stairs shall not be required to exceed 1 hour where openings have a minimum 3/4-hour fire protection rating.




7.2.2.5.3* Usable Space.   Enclosed, usable spaces within exit enclosures shall be prohibited, including under stairs, unless otherwise permitted by 7.2.2.5.3.2.


7.2.2.5.3.1    Open space within the exit enclosure shall not be used for any purpose that has the potential to interfere with egress.



7.2.2.5.3.2    Enclosed, usable space shall be permitted under stairs, provided that both of the following criteria are met:

  • (1)
    The space shall be separated from the stair enclosure by the same fire resistance as the exit enclosure.
  • (2)
    Entrance to the enclosed, usable space shall not be from within the stair enclosure. (See also 7.1.3.2.3.)





7.2.2.5.4* Stairway Identification.  

7.2.2.5.4.1    New enclosed stairs serving three or more stories and existing enclosed stairs serving five or more stories shall comply with 7.2.2.5.4.1(A) through 7.2.2.5.4.1(M).


(A)    The stairs shall be provided with special signage within the enclosure at each floor landing.



(B)    The signage shall indicate the floor level.



(C)    The signage shall indicate the terminus of the top and bottom of the stair enclosure.



(D)    The signage shall indicate the identification of the stair enclosure.



(E)    The signage shall indicate the floor level of, and the direction to, exit discharge.



(F)    The signage shall be located inside the enclosure approximately 60 in. (1525 mm) above the floor landing in a position that is visible when the door is in the open or closed position.



(G)    The signage shall comply with 7.10.8.1 and 7.10.8.2 of this Code.



(H)    The floor level designation shall also be tactile in accordance with ICC/ANSI A117.1, American National Standard for Accessible and Usable Buildings and Facilities.



(I)    The signage shall be painted or stenciled on the wall or on a separate sign securely attached to the wall.



(J)    The stairway identification letter shall be located at the top of the sign in minimum 1 in. (25 mm) high lettering and shall be in accordance with 7.10.8.2.



(K)*    Signage that reads NO ROOF ACCESS and is located under the stairway identification letter shall designate stairways that do not provide roof access. Lettering shall be a minimum of 1 in. (25 mm) high and shall be in accordance with 7.10.8.2.



(L)    The floor level number shall be located in the middle of the sign in minimum 5 in. (125 mm) high numbers and shall be in accordance with 7.10.8.2. Mezzanine levels shall have the letter “M” or other appropriate identification letter preceding the floor number, while basement levels shall have the letter “B” or other appropriate identification letter preceding the floor level number.



(M)    Identification of the lower and upper terminus of the stairway shall be located at the bottom of the sign in minimum 1 in. (25 mm) high letters or numbers and shall be in accordance with 7.10.8.2.




7.2.2.5.4.2    Wherever an enclosed stair requires travel in an upward direction to reach the level of exit discharge, special signs with directional indicators showing the direction to the level of exit discharge shall be provided at each floor level landing from which upward direction of travel is required, unless otherwise provided in 7.2.2.5.4.2(A) and 7.2.2.5.4.2(B), and both of the following also shall apply:

  • (1)
    Such signage shall comply with 7.10.8.1 and 7.10.8.2.
  • (2)
    Such signage shall be visible when the door leaf is in the open or closed position.



(A)    The requirement of 7.2.2.5.4.2 shall not apply where signs required by 7.2.2.5.4.1 are provided.



(B)    The requirement of 7.2.2.5.4.2 shall not apply to stairs extending not more than one story below the level of exit discharge where the exit discharge is clearly obvious.




7.2.2.5.4.3* Stairway Tread Marking.    Where new contrasting marking is applied to stairs, such marking shall comply with all of the following:

  • (1)
    The marking shall include a continuous strip as a coating on, or as a material integral with, the full width of the leading edge of each tread.
  • (2)
    The marking shall include a continuous strip as a coating on, or as a material integral with, the full width of the leading edge of each landing nosing.
  • (3)
    The marking strip width, measured horizontally from the leading vertical edge of the nosing, shall be consistent at all nosings.
  • (4)
    The marking strip width shall be 1 in. to 2 in. (25 mm to 51 mm).




7.2.2.5.4.4*    Where new contrast marking is provided for stairway handrails, it shall be applied to, or be part of, at least the upper surface of the handrail; have a minimum width of 1/2 in. (13 mm); and extend the full length of each handrail. After marking, the handrail shall comply with 7.2.2.4.4. Where handrails or handrail extensions bend or turn corners, the stripe shall be permitted to have a gap of not more than 4 in. (100 mm).




7.2.2.5.5 Exit Stair Path Markings.   Where exit stair path markings are required in Chapters 11 through 43, such markings shall be installed in accordance with 7.2.2.5.5.1 through 7.2.2.5.5.11.


7.2.2.5.5.1 Exit Stair Treads.   Exit stair treads shall incorporate a marking stripe that is applied as a paint/coating or be a material that is integral with the nosing of each step. The marking stripe shall be installed along the horizontal leading edge of the step and shall extend the full width of the step. The marking stripe shall also meet all of the following requirements:

  • (1)
    The marking stripe shall be not more than 1/2 in. (13 mm) from the leading edge of each step and shall not overlap the leading edge of the step by more than 1/2 in. (13 mm) down the vertical face of the step.
  • (2)
    The marking stripe shall have a minimum horizontal width of 1 in. (25 mm) and a maximum width of 2 in. (51 mm).
  • (3)
    The dimensions and placement of the marking stripe shall be uniform and consistent on each step throughout the exit enclosure.
  • (4)
    Surface-applied marking stripes using adhesive-backed tapes shall not be used.




7.2.2.5.5.2 Exit Stair Landings.   The leading edge of exit stair landings shall be marked with a solid and continuous marking stripe consistent with the dimensional requirements for stair treads and shall be the same length as, and consistent with, the stripes on the steps.



7.2.2.5.5.3 Exit Stair Handrails.   All handrails and handrail extensions shall be marked with a solid and continuous marking stripe and meet all of the following requirements:

  • (1)
    The marking stripe shall be applied to the upper surface of the handrail or be a material integral with the upper surface of the handrail for the entire length of the handrail, including extensions.
  • (2)
    Where handrails or handrail extensions bend or turn corners, the marking stripe shall be permitted to have a gap of not more than 4 in. (100 mm).
  • (3)
    The marking stripe shall have a minimum horizontal width of 1 in. (25 mm), which shall not apply to outlining stripes listed in accordance with UL 1994, Standard for Luminous Egress Path Marking Systems.
  • (4)
    The dimensions and placement of the marking stripe shall be uniform and consistent on each handrail throughout the exit enclosure.




7.2.2.5.5.4 Perimeter Demarcation Marking.   Stair landings, exit passageways, and other parts of the floor areas within the exit enclosure shall be provided with a solid and continuous perimeter demarcation marking stripe on the floor or on the walls or a combination of both. The marking stripe shall also meet all of the following requirements:

  • (1)
    The marking stripe shall have a minimum horizontal width of 1 in. (25 mm) and a maximum width of 2 in. (51 mm), with interruptions not exceeding 4 in. (100 mm).
  • (2)
    The minimum marking stripe width of 1 in. (25 mm) shall not apply to outlining stripes listed in accordance with UL 1994, Standard for Luminous Egress Path Marking Systems.
  • (3)
    The dimensions and placement of the perimeter demarcation marking stripe shall be uniform and consistent throughout the exit enclosure.
  • (4)
    Surface-applied marking stripes using adhesive-backed tapes shall not be used.



(A)    Perimeter floor demarcation lines shall comply with all of the following:

  • (1)
    They shall be placed within 4 in. (100 mm) of the wall and extend to within 2 in. (51 mm) of the markings on the leading edge of landings.
  • (2)
    They shall continue across the floor in front of all doors.
  • (3)
    They shall not extend in front of exit doors leading out of an exit enclosure and through which occupants must travel to complete the egress path.




(B)    Perimeter wall demarcation lines shall comply with all of the following:

  • (1)
    They shall be placed on the wall with the bottom edge of the stripe not more than 4 in. (100 mm) above the finished floor.
  • (2)
    At the top or bottom of the stairs, they shall drop vertically to the floor within 2 in. (51 mm) of the step or landing edge.
  • (3)
    They shall transition vertically to the floor and then extend across the floor where a line on the floor is the only practical method of outlining the path.
  • (4)
    Where the wall line is broken by a door, they shall continue across the face of the door or transition to the floor and extend across the floor in front of such door.
  • (5)
    They shall not extend in front of doors leading out of an exit enclosure and through which occupants must travel to complete the egress path.
  • (6)
    Where a wall-mounted demarcation line transitions to a floor-mounted demarcation line, or vice versa, the wall-mounted demarcation line shall drop vertically to the floor to meet a complementary extension of the floor-mounted demarcation line, thus forming a continuous marking.





7.2.2.5.5.5* Obstacles.   Obstacles that are in the exit enclosure at or below 6 ft 6 in. (1980 mm) in height, and that project more than 4 in. (100 mm) into the egress path, shall be identified with markings not less than 1 in. (25 mm) in horizontal width comprised of a pattern of alternating equal bands of luminescent material and black; and with the alternating bands not more than 2 in. (51 mm) in horizontal width and angled at 45 degrees.



7.2.2.5.5.6 Doors Serving Exit Enclosure.   All doors serving the exit enclosure that swing out from the enclosure in the direction of egress travel shall be provided with a marking stripe on the top and sides of the door(s) frame(s). The marking stripe shall also meet all of the following requirements:

  • (1)
    The marking stripe shall have a minimum horizontal width of 1 in. (25 mm) and a maximum width of 2 in. (51 mm).
  • (2)
    Gaps shall be permitted in the continuity of door frame markings where a line is fitted into a corner or bend, but shall be as small as practicable, and in no case shall gaps be greater than 1 in. (25 mm).
  • (3)
    Where the door molding does not provide enough flat surface on which to locate the marking stripe, the marking stripe shall be located on the wall surrounding the frame.
  • (4)
    The dimensions and placement of the marking stripe shall be uniform and consistent on all doors in the exit enclosure.




7.2.2.5.5.7 Door Hardware Marking.   The door hardware for the doors serving the exit enclosure that swing out from the enclosure in the direction of egress travel shall be provided with a marking stripe. The marking stripe shall also meet the following requirements:

  • (1)*
    The door hardware necessary to release the latch shall be outlined with an approved marking stripe having a minimum width of 1 in. (25 mm).
  • (2)
    Where panic hardware is installed, both of the following criteria shall be met:

    • (a)
      The marking stripe shall have a minimum horizontal width of 1 in. (25 mm) and be applied to the entire length of the actuating bar or touch pad.
    • (b)
      The placement of the marking stripe shall not interfere with viewing of any instructions on the actuating bar or touch pad.





7.2.2.5.5.8 Emergency Exit Symbol.   An emergency exit symbol with a luminescent background shall be applied on all doors serving the exit enclosure that swing out from the enclosure in the direction of egress travel. The emergency exit symbol shall also meet both of the following requirements:

  • (1)
    The emergency exit symbol shall meet the requirements of NFPA 170, Standard for Fire Safety and Emergency Symbols.
  • (2)
    The emergency exit symbol applied on the door shall be a minimum of 4 in. (100 mm) in height and shall be applied on the door, centered horizontally, with the top of the symbol not higher than 18 in. (455 mm) above the finished floor.




7.2.2.5.5.9 Uniformity.   Placement and dimensions of the marking stripes shall be consistent and uniform throughout the same exit enclosure.



7.2.2.5.5.10 Materials.   Exit stair path markings shall be made of any material, including paint, provided that an electrical charge is not required to maintain the required luminescence. Such materials shall include, but shall not be limited to, self-luminous materials and photoluminescent materials. Materials shall comply with one of the following:

  • (1)
    ASTM E 2072, Standard Specification for Photoluminescent (Phosphorescent) Safety Markings, with the following exceptions:

    • (a)
      The charging source shall be 1 ft-candle (10.8 lux) of fluorescent illumination for 60 minutes.
    • (b)
      The minimum luminance shall be 5 millicandelas/m2 after 90 minutes.

  • (2)
    ANSI/UL 1994, Standard for Luminous Egress Path Marking Systems




7.2.2.5.5.11 Exit Stair Illumination.   Exit enclosures where photoluminescent materials are installed shall comply with all of the following:

  • (1)
    The exit enclosure shall be continuously illuminated for at least 60 minutes prior to periods when the building is occupied.
  • (2)
    The illumination shall remain on when the building is occupied.
  • (3)
    Lighting control devices provided for illumination within the exit enclosure shall meet all of the following requirements:

    • (a)
      Lighting control devices that automatically turn exit enclosure lighting on and off, based on occupancy, shall be permitted, provided that they turn on illumination for charging photoluminescent materials for at least 60 minutes prior to periods when the building is occupied.
    • (b)
      Lighting used to charge photoluminescent materials shall not be controlled by motion sensors.
    • (c)
      Lighting control devices that dim the lighting levels within the exit enclosure shall not be installed unless they provide a minimum of 1 ft-candle (10.8 lux) of illumination within the exit enclosure measured at the walking surface.







7.2.2.6 Special Provisions for Outside Stairs.  

7.2.2.6.1 Access.   Where approved by the authority having jurisdiction, outside stairs shall be permitted to lead to roofs of other sections of a building or an adjoining building where the construction is fire resistive and there is a continuous and safe means of egress from the roof. (See also 7.7.6.)



7.2.2.6.2* Visual Protection.   Outside stairs shall be arranged to avoid any impediments to their use by persons having a fear of high places. Outside stairs more than 36 ft (11 m) above the finished ground level, other than previously approved existing stairs, shall be provided with an opaque visual obstruction not less than 48. in. (1220 mm) in height.



7.2.2.6.3 Separation and Protection of Outside Stairs.  

7.2.2.6.3.1*    Outside stairs shall be separated from the interior of the building by construction with the fire resistance rating required for enclosed stairs with fixed or self-closing opening protectives, except as follows:

  • (1)
    Outside stairs serving an exterior exit access balcony that has two remote outside stairways or ramps shall be permitted to be unprotected.
  • (2)
    Outside stairs serving two or fewer adjacent stories, including the story where the exit discharges, shall be permitted to be unprotected where there is a remotely located second exit.
  • (3)
    In existing buildings, existing outside stairs serving three or fewer adjacent stories, including the story where the exit discharges, shall be permitted to be unprotected where there is a remotely located second exit.
  • (4)
    The fire resistance rating of a separation extending 10 ft (3050 mm) from the stairs shall not be required to exceed 1 hour where openings have a minimum 3/4-hour fire protection rating.
  • (5)
    Outside stairs in existing buildings protected throughout by an approved, supervised automatic sprinkler system in accordance with Section 9.7 shall be permitted to be unprotected.




7.2.2.6.3.2    Wall construction required by 7.2.2.6.3.1 shall extend as follows:

  • (1)
    Vertically from the finished ground level to a point 10 ft (3050 mm) above the topmost landing of the stairs or to the roofline, whichever is lower
  • (2)
    Horizontally for not less than 10 ft (3050 mm)




7.2.2.6.3.3    Roof construction required by 7.2.2.6.3.1 shall meet both of the following criteria:

  • (1)
    It shall provide protection beneath the stairs.
  • (2)
    It shall extend horizontally to each side of the stair for not less than 10 ft (3050 mm).





7.2.2.6.4 Protection of Openings.   All openings below an outside stair shall be protected with an assembly having a minimum 3/4-hour fire protection rating as follows:

  • (1)
    Where located in an enclosed court (see 3.3.51.1), the smallest dimension of which does not exceed one-third its height
  • (2)
    Where located in an alcove having a width that does not exceed one-third its height and a depth that does not exceed one-fourth its height




7.2.2.6.5* Water Accumulation.   Outside stairs and landings, other than existing outside stairs and landings, shall be designed to minimize water accumulation on their surfaces.



7.2.2.6.6 Openness.   Outside stairs, other than existing outside stairs, shall be not less than 50 percent open on one side. Outside stairs shall be arranged to restrict the accumulation of smoke.





7.2.3 Smokeproof Enclosures.  

7.2.3.1 General.   Where smokeproof enclosures are required in other sections of this Code, they shall comply with 7.2.3, unless they are approved existing smokeproof enclosures.



7.2.3.2 Performance Design.   An appropriate design method shall be used to provide a system that meets the definition of smokeproof enclosure (see 3.3.255). The smokeproof enclosure shall be permitted to be created by using natural ventilation, by using mechanical ventilation incorporating a vestibule, or by pressurizing the stair enclosure.



7.2.3.3 Enclosure.  

7.2.3.3.1    A smokeproof enclosure shall be continuously enclosed by barriers having a 2-hour fire resistance rating from the highest point to the level of exit discharge, except as otherwise permitted in 7.2.3.3.3.



7.2.3.3.2    Where a vestibule is used, it shall be within the 2-hour-rated enclosure and shall be considered part of the smokeproof enclosure.



7.2.3.3.3    A smokeproof enclosure comprised of an enclosed stair and serving floors below the level of exit discharge shall not be required to comply with 7.2.3.3.1 where the portion of the stairway below is separated from the stairway enclosure at the level of exit discharge by barriers with a 1-hour fire resistance rating.




7.2.3.4 Vestibule.   Where a vestibule is provided, the door opening into the vestibule shall be protected with an approved fire door assembly having a minimum 1 1/2-hour fire protection rating, and the fire door assembly from the vestibule to the smokeproof enclosure shall have a minimum 20-minute fire protection rating. Door leaves shall be designed to minimize air leakage and shall be self-closing or shall be automatic-closing by actuation of a smoke detector within 10 ft (3050 mm) of the vestibule door opening. New door assemblies shall be installed in accordance with NFPA 105, Standard for Smoke Door Assemblies and Other Opening Protectives.



7.2.3.5 Discharge.  

7.2.3.5.1    Every smokeproof enclosure shall discharge into a public way, into a yard or court having direct access to a public way, or into an exit passageway. Such exit passageways shall be without openings, other than the entrance to the smokeproof enclosure and the door opening to the outside yard, court, or public way. The exit passageway shall be separated from the remainder of the building by a 2-hour fire resistance rating.



7.2.3.5.2    The smokeproof enclosure shall be permitted to discharge through interior building areas, provided that all of the following criteria are met:

  • (1)
    The building shall be protected throughout by an approved, supervised automatic sprinkler system in accordance with Section 9.7.
  • (2)
    The discharge from the smokeproof enclosure shall lead to a free and unobstructed way to an exterior exit, and such way shall be readily visible and identifiable from the point of discharge from the smokeproof enclosure.
  • (3)
    Not more than 50 percent of the required number and capacity of exits comprised of smokeproof enclosures shall discharge through interior building areas in accordance with 7.7.2.





7.2.3.6 Access.   For smokeproof enclosures other than those consisting of a pressurized enclosure complying with 7.2.3.9, access to the smokeproof enclosure shall be by way of a vestibule or by way of an exterior balcony.



7.2.3.7 Natural Ventilation.   Smokeproof enclosures using natural ventilation shall comply with 7.2.3.3 and all of the following:

  • (1)
    Where access to the enclosure is by means of an open exterior balcony, the door assembly to the enclosure shall have a minimum 1 1/2-hour fire protection rating and shall be self-closing or shall be automatic-closing by actuation of a smoke detector.
  • (2)
    Openings adjacent to the exterior balcony specified in 7.2.3.7(1) shall be protected in accordance with 7.2.2.6.4.
  • (3)
    Every vestibule shall have a net area of not less than 16 ft2 (1.5 m2) of opening in an exterior wall facing an exterior court, yard, or public space not less than 20 ft (6100 mm) in width.
  • (4)
    Every vestibule shall have a minimum dimension of not less than the required width of the corridor leading to it and a dimension of not less than 6 ft (1830 mm) in the direction of travel.




7.2.3.8 Mechanical Ventilation.   Smokeproof enclosures using mechanical ventilation shall comply with 7.2.3.3 and the requirements of 7.2.3.8.1 through 7.2.3.8.4.


7.2.3.8.1    Vestibules shall have a dimension of not less than 44 in. (1120 mm) in width and not less than 6 ft (1830 mm) in the direction of travel.



7.2.3.8.2    The vestibule shall be provided with not less than one air change per minute, and the exhaust shall be 150 percent of the supply. Supply air shall enter and exhaust air shall discharge from the vestibule through separate tightly constructed ducts used only for such purposes. Supply air shall enter the vestibule within 6 in. (150 mm) of the floor level. The top of the exhaust register shall be located not more than 6 in. (150 mm) below the top of the trap and shall be entirely within the smoke trap area. Door leaves, when in the open position, shall not obstruct duct openings. Controlling dampers shall be permitted in duct openings if needed to meet the design requirements.



7.2.3.8.3    To serve as a smoke and heat trap and to provide an upward-moving air column, the vestibule ceiling shall be not less than 20 in. (510 mm) higher than the door opening into the vestibule. The height shall be permitted to be decreased where justified by engineering design and field testing.



7.2.3.8.4    The stair shall be provided with a dampered relief opening at the top and supplied mechanically with sufficient air to discharge at least 2500 ft3/min (70.8 m3/min) through the relief opening while maintaining a positive pressure of not less than 0.10 in. water column (25 N/m2) in the stair, relative to the vestibule with all door leaves closed.




7.2.3.9 Enclosure Pressurization.  

7.2.3.9.1*    Smokeproof enclosures using pressurization shall use an approved engineered system with a design pressure difference across the barrier of not less than 0.05 in. water column (12.5 N/m2) in sprinklered buildings, or 0.10 in. water column (25 N/m2) in nonsprinklered buildings, and shall be capable of maintaining these pressure differences under likely conditions of stack effect or wind. The pressure difference across door openings shall not exceed that which allows the door leaves to begin to be opened by a force of 30 lbf (133 N) in accordance with 7.2.1.4.5.



7.2.3.9.2    Equipment and ductwork for pressurization shall be located in accordance with one of the following specifications:

  • (1)
    Exterior to the building and directly connected to the enclosure by ductwork enclosed in noncombustible construction
  • (2)
    Within the enclosure with intake and exhaust air vented directly to the outside or through ductwork enclosed by a 2-hour fire-resistive rating
  • (3)
    Within the building under the following conditions:

    • (a)
      Where the equipment and ductwork are separated from the remainder of the building, including other mechanical equipment, by a 2-hour fire-resistive rating
    • (b)
      Where the building, including the enclosure, is protected throughout by an approved, supervised automatic sprinkler system installed in accordance with Section 9.7, and the equipment and ductwork are separated from the remainder of the building, including other mechanical equipment, by not less than a 1-hour fire-resistive rating





7.2.3.9.3    In all cases specified by 7.2.3.9.2(1) through (3), openings into the required fire resistance–rated construction shall be limited to those needed for maintenance and operation and shall be protected by self-closing fire protection–rated devices in accordance with 8.3.4.




7.2.3.10 Activation of Mechanical Ventilation and Pressurized Enclosure Systems.   

7.2.3.10.1    For both mechanical ventilation and pressurized enclosure systems, the activation of the systems shall be initiated by a smoke detector installed in an approved location within 10 ft (3050 mm) of each entrance to the smokeproof enclosure.



7.2.3.10.2    The required mechanical system shall operate upon the activation of the smoke detectors specified in 7.2.3.10.1 and by manual controls accessible to the fire department. The required system also shall be initiated by the following, if provided:

  • (1)
    Waterflow signal from a complete automatic sprinkler system
  • (2)
    General evacuation alarm signal (see 9.6.3.6)





7.2.3.11 Door Leaf Closers.   The activation of an automatic-closing device on any door leaf in the smokeproof enclosure shall activate all other automatic-closing devices on door leaves in the smokeproof enclosure.



7.2.3.12 Emergency Power Supply System (EPSS).   Power shall be provided as follows:

  • (1)
    A Type 60, Class 2, Level 2 EPSS for new mechanical ventilation equipment shall be provided in accordance with NFPA 110, Standard for Emergency and Standby Power Systems.
  • (2)
    A previously approved existing standby power generator installation with a fuel supply adequate to operate the equipment for 2 hours shall be permitted in lieu of 7.2.3.12(1).
  • (3)
    The generator shall be located in a room separated from the remainder of the building by fire barriers having a minimum 1-hour fire resistance rating.




7.2.3.13 Testing.   Before the mechanical equipment is accepted by the authority having jurisdiction, it shall be tested to confirm that it is operating in compliance with the requirements of 7.2.3. All operating parts of the system shall be tested semiannually by approved personnel, and a log shall be kept of the results.




7.2.4 Horizontal Exits.  

7.2.4.1 General.  

7.2.4.1.1    Where horizontal exits are used in the means of egress, they shall conform to the general requirements of Section 7.1 and the special requirements of 7.2.4.



7.2.4.1.2*    Horizontal exits shall be permitted to be substituted for other exits where the total egress capacity and the total number of the other exits (stairs, ramps, door openings leading outside the building) is not less than half that required for the entire area of the building or connected buildings, and provided that none of the other exits is a horizontal exit, unless otherwise permitted by 7.2.4.1.3.



7.2.4.1.3    The requirement of 7.2.4.1.2 shall not apply to the following:

  • (1)
    Health care occupancies as otherwise provided in Chapters 18 and 19
  • (2)
    Detention and correctional occupancies as otherwise provided in Chapters 22 and 23





7.2.4.2 Fire Compartments.  

7.2.4.2.1    Every fire compartment for which credit is permitted in connection with a horizontal exit(s) also shall have at least one additional exit, but not less than 50 percent of the required number and capacity of exits, that is not a horizontal exit, unless otherwise provided in 7.2.4.2.1.2.


7.2.4.2.1.1    Any fire compartment not having an exit leading outside shall be considered as part of an adjoining compartment with an exit leading to the outside.



7.2.4.2.1.2    The requirement of 7.2.4.2.1 shall not apply to the following:

  • (1)
    Health care occupancies as otherwise provided in Chapters 18 and 19
  • (2)
    Detention and correctional occupancies as otherwise provided in Chapters 22 and 23





7.2.4.2.2    Every horizontal exit for which credit is permitted shall be arranged so that there are continuously available paths of travel leading from each side of the exit to stairways or other means of egress leading to outside the building.



7.2.4.2.3    Wherever either side of a horizontal exit is occupied, the door leaves used in connection with the horizontal exit shall be unlocked from the egress side, unless otherwise permitted for the following:

  • (1)
    Health care occupancies as provided in Chapters 18 and 19
  • (2)
    Detention and correctional occupancies as provided in Chapters 22 and 23




7.2.4.2.4    The floor area on either side of a horizontal exit shall be sufficient to hold the occupants of both floor areas and shall provide at least 3 ft2 (0.28 m2) clear floor area per person, unless otherwise permitted for the following:

  • (1)
    Health care occupancies as provided in Chapters 18 and 19
  • (2)
    Detention and correctional occupancies as provided in Chapters 22 and 23





7.2.4.3 Fire Barriers.  

7.2.4.3.1    Fire barriers separating buildings or areas between which there are horizontal exits shall have a minimum 2-hour fire resistance rating, unless otherwise provided in 7.2.4.4.1, and shall provide a separation that is continuous to the finished ground level. (See also Section 8.3.)



7.2.4.3.2    Reserved.



7.2.4.3.3    Where a fire barrier provides a horizontal exit in any story of a building, such fire barrier shall not be required on other stories, provided that all of the following criteria are met:

  • (1)
    The stories on which the fire barrier is omitted are separated from the story with the horizontal exit by construction having a fire resistance rating at least equal to that of the horizontal exit fire barrier.
  • (2)
    Vertical openings between the story with the horizontal exit and the open fire area story are enclosed with construction having a fire resistance rating at least equal to that of the horizontal exit fire barrier.
  • (3)
    All required exits, other than horizontal exits, discharge directly to the outside.




7.2.4.3.4    Where fire barriers serving horizontal exits, other than existing horizontal exits, terminate at outside walls, and the outside walls are at an angle of less than 180 degrees for a distance of 10 ft (3050 mm) on each side of the horizontal exit, the outside walls shall have a minimum 1-hour fire resistance rating, with opening protectives having a minimum 3/4-hour fire protection rating, for a distance of 10 ft (3050 mm) on each side of the horizontal exit.



7.2.4.3.5    Fire barriers forming horizontal exits shall not be penetrated by ducts, unless one of the following criteria is met:

  • (1)
    The ducts are existing penetrations protected by approved and listed fire dampers.
  • (2)
    The building is protected throughout by an approved, supervised automatic sprinkler system in accordance with Section 9.7.
  • (3)
    The duct penetrations are those permitted in detention and correctional occupancies as otherwise provided in Chapters 22 and 23 and are protected by combination fire dampers/smoke leakage–rated dampers that meet the smoke damper actuation requirements of 8.5.5.




7.2.4.3.6    Any opening in the fire barriers specified in 7.2.4.3.5 shall be protected as provided in 8.3.4.



7.2.4.3.7    Door assemblies in horizontal exits shall comply with 7.2.1.4, unless they are sliding door assemblies in industrial or storage occupancies as otherwise provided in Chapters 40 and 42.



7.2.4.3.8    Unless otherwise specified in 7.2.4.3.8.1 and 7.2.4.3.8.2, swinging fire door assemblies shall be permitted in horizontal exits, provided that the criteria of both 7.2.4.3.8(1) and (2), or the criteria of both 7.2.4.3.8(1) and (3), are met as follows:

  • (1)
    The door leaves shall swing in the direction of egress travel.
  • (2)
    In other than sleeping room areas in detention and correctional occupancies, where a horizontal exit serves areas on both sides of a fire barrier, adjacent openings with swinging door leaves that open in opposite directions shall be provided, with signs on each side of the fire barrier identifying the door leaf that swings with the travel from that side.
  • (3)
    The door assemblies shall be of any other approved arrangement, provided that the door leaves always swing with any possible egress travel.



7.2.4.3.8.1    The requirements of 7.2.4.3.8 shall not apply to horizontal exit door leaf swing as provided in Chapters 19 and 23.



7.2.4.3.8.2    The requirements of 7.2.4.3.8 shall not apply to horizontal exit door assemblies in corridors not more than 6 ft (1830 mm) wide in existing buildings.




7.2.4.3.9    Door leaves in horizontal exits shall be designed and installed to minimize air leakage. New door assemblies in horizontal exits shall be installed in accordance with NFPA 105, Standard for Smoke Door Assemblies and Other Opening Protectives.



7.2.4.3.10*    All fire door assemblies in horizontal exits shall be self-closing or automatic-closing in accordance with 7.2.1.8.



7.2.4.3.11    Horizontal exit door assemblies located across a corridor, other than approved existing door assemblies, shall be automatic-closing in accordance with 7.2.1.8.2.




7.2.4.4 Bridges Serving Horizontal Exits Between Buildings.   The provisions of 7.2.4.4 shall apply to bridges serving horizontal exits between buildings and to the associated horizontal exit fire barrier.


7.2.4.4.1    The minimum 2-hour fire resistance–rated barrier required by 7.2.4.3.1 shall extend as follows:

  • (1)
    Vertically from the ground to a point 10 ft (3050 mm) above the bridge or to the roofline, whichever is lower
  • (2)
    Horizontally for not less than 10 ft (3050 mm) to each side of the bridge




7.2.4.4.2    Any opening in the fire barrier addressed in 7.2.4.4.1 shall be protected with fire door assemblies or fixed fire window assemblies having a 3/4-hour fire protection rating, unless otherwise provided in 7.2.4.4.3.



7.2.4.4.3    The requirement of 7.2.4.4.2 shall not apply to approved existing bridges.



7.2.4.4.4    Where the bridge serves as a horizontal exit in one direction, the horizontal exit door leaf shall be required to swing only in the direction of egress travel, unless the door leaf complies with the swing requirements for the following:

  • (1)
    Existing health care occupancies in Chapter 19
  • (2)
    Existing detention and correctional occupancies in Chapter 23




7.2.4.4.5    Where the bridge serves as a horizontal exit in both directions, door leaves shall be provided in pairs that swing in opposite directions, with only the door leaf swinging in the direction of egress travel included when determining egress capacity, unless otherwise provided in 7.2.4.4.5.1 through 7.2.4.4.5.3.


7.2.4.4.5.1    Approved existing door assemblies on both ends of the bridge shall be permitted to swing out from the building.



7.2.4.4.5.2    The requirement of 7.2.4.4.5 shall not apply to existing bridges if the bridge has sufficient floor area to accommodate the occupant load of either connected building or fire area based on 3 ft2 (0.28 m2) per person.



7.2.4.4.5.3    The requirement of 7.2.4.4.5 shall not apply to horizontal exit door leaf swing as provided for the following:

  • (1)
    Existing health care occupancies in Chapter 19
  • (2)
    Existing detention and correctional occupancies in Chapter 23





7.2.4.4.6    Every bridge shall be not less than the width of the door opening to which it leads and shall be not less than 44 in. (1120 mm) wide for new construction.



7.2.4.4.7    In climates subject to the accumulation of snow and ice, the bridge floor shall be protected to prevent the accumulation of snow and ice.



7.2.4.4.8    In existing buildings, one step not exceeding 8 in. (205 mm) shall be permitted below the level of the inside floor.





7.2.5 Ramps.  

7.2.5.1 General.   Every ramp used as a component in a means of egress shall conform to the general requirements of Section 7.1 and to the special requirements of 7.2.5.



7.2.5.2 Dimensional Criteria.   The following dimensional criteria shall apply to ramps:

  • (1)
    New ramps shall be in accordance with Table 7.2.5.2(a), unless otherwise permitted by the following:

    • (a)
      Table 7.2.5.2(a) shall not apply to industrial equipment access areas as provided in 40.2.5.2.
    • (b)
      The maximum slope requirement shall not apply to ramps in assembly occupancies as provided in Chapter 12.
    • (c)
      The maximum slope or maximum rise for a single ramp run shall not apply to ramps providing access to vehicles, vessels, mobile structures, and aircraft.

  • (2)
    Existing ramps shall be permitted to remain in use or be rebuilt, provided that they meet the requirements shown in Table 7.2.5.2(b), unless otherwise permitted by any of the following:

    • (a)
      The requirements of Table 7.2.5.2(b) shall not apply to industrial equipment access areas as provided in 40.2.5.2.
    • (b)
      The maximum slope or maximum height between landings for a single ramp run shall not apply to ramps providing access to vehicles, vessels, mobile structures, and aircraft.
    • (c)
      Approved existing ramps with slopes not steeper than 1 in 6 shall be permitted to remain in use.
    • (d)
      Existing ramps with slopes not steeper than 1 in 10 shall not be required to be provided with landings.







Table 7.2.5.2(a)
New Ramps








Table 7.2.5.2(b)
Existing Ramps






7.2.5.3 Ramp Details.  

7.2.5.3.1 Construction.   Ramp construction shall be as follows:

  • (1)
    All ramps serving as required means of egress shall be of permanent fixed construction.
  • (2)
    Each ramp in buildings required by this Code to be of Type I or Type II construction shall be any combination of noncombustible or limited-combustible material or fire-retardant-treated wood.
  • (3)
    Ramps constructed with fire-retardant-treated wood shall be not more than 30 in. (760 mm) high, shall have an area of not more than 3000 ft2 (277 m2), and shall not occupy more than 50 percent of the room area.
  • (4)
    The ramp floor and landings shall be solid and without perforations.




7.2.5.3.2 Landings.   Ramp landings shall be as follows:

  • (1)
    Ramps shall have landings located at the top, at the bottom, and at door leaves opening onto the ramp.
  • (2)
    The slope of the landing shall be not steeper than 1 in 48.
  • (3)
    Every landing shall have a width not less than the width of the ramp.
  • (4)
    Every landing, except as otherwise provided in 7.2.5.3.2(5), shall be not less than 60 in. (1525 mm) long in the direction of travel, unless the landing is an approved existing landing.
  • (5)
    Where the ramp is not part of an accessible route, the ramp landings shall not be required to exceed 48 in. (1220 mm) in the direction of travel, provided that the ramp has a straight run.
  • (6)
    Any changes in travel direction shall be made only at landings, unless the ramp is an existing ramp.
  • (7)
    Ramps and intermediate landings shall continue with no decrease in width along the direction of egress travel.




7.2.5.3.3 Drop-Offs.   Ramps and landings with drop-offs shall have curbs, walls, railings, or projecting surfaces that prevent people from traveling off the edge of the ramp. Curbs or barriers shall be not less than 4 in. (100 mm) in height.




7.2.5.4 Guards and Handrails.  

7.2.5.4.1    Guards complying with 7.2.2.4 shall be provided for ramps, unless otherwise provided in 7.2.5.4.4.



7.2.5.4.2    Handrails complying with 7.2.2.4 shall be provided along both sides of a ramp run with a rise greater than 6 in. (150 mm), unless otherwise provided in 7.2.5.4.4.



7.2.5.4.3    The height of handrails and guards shall be measured vertically to the top of the guard or rail from the walking surface adjacent thereto.



7.2.5.4.4    The requirements of 7.2.5.4.1 and 7.2.5.4.2 shall not apply to guards and handrails provided for ramped aisles in assembly occupancies as otherwise provided in Chapters 12 and 13.




7.2.5.5 Enclosure and Protection of Ramps.   Ramps in a required means of egress shall be enclosed or protected as a stair in accordance with 7.2.2.5 and 7.2.2.6.



7.2.5.6 Special Provisions for Outside Ramps.  

7.2.5.6.1* Visual Protection.   Outside ramps shall be arranged to avoid any impediments to their use by persons having a fear of high places. Outside ramps more than 36 ft (11 m) above the finished ground level shall be provided with an opaque visual obstruction not less than 48. in. (1220 mm) in height.



7.2.5.6.2* Water Accumulation.   Outside ramps and landings shall be designed to minimize water accumulation on their surfaces.





7.2.6* Exit Passageways.  

7.2.6.1* General.   Exit passageways used as exit components shall conform to the general requirements of Section 7.1 and to the special requirements of 7.2.6.



7.2.6.2 Enclosure.   An exit passageway shall be separated from other parts of the building as specified in 7.1.3.2, and the following alternatives shall be permitted:

  • (1)
    Fire windows in accordance with 8.3.3 shall be permitted to be installed in the separation in a building protected throughout by an approved, supervised automatic sprinkler system in accordance with Section 9.7.
  • (2)
    Existing fixed wired glass panels in steel sash shall be permitted to be continued in use in the separation in buildings protected throughout by an approved, supervised automatic sprinkler system in accordance with Section 9.7.




7.2.6.3 Stair Discharge.   An exit passageway that serves as a discharge from a stair enclosure shall have not less than the same fire resistance rating and opening protective fire protection rating as those required for the stair enclosure.



7.2.6.4 Width.  

7.2.6.4.1    The width of an exit passageway shall be sized to accommodate the aggregate required capacity of all exits that discharge through it, unless one of the following conditions applies:

  • (1)*
    Where an exit passageway serves occupants of the level of exit discharge as well as other stories, the capacity shall not be required to be aggregated.
  • (2)
    As provided in Chapters 36 and 37, an exit passageway in a mall building shall be permitted to accommodate occupant loads independently from the mall and the tenant spaces. (See 36.2.2.7.2 and 37.2.2.7.2 .)




7.2.6.4.2    In new construction, the minimum width of any exit passageway into which an exit stair discharges, or that serves as a horizontal transfer within an exit stair system, shall meet the following criteria:

  • (1)
    The minimum width of the exit passageway shall be not less than two-thirds of the width of the exit stair.
  • (2)
    Where stairs are credited with egress capacity in accordance with 7.3.3.2, the exit passageway width shall be sized to accommodate the same capacity as the stair, with such capacity determined by use of the capacity factors in Table 7.3.3.1.





7.2.6.5 Floor.   The floor shall be solid and without perforations.




7.2.7 Escalators and Moving Walks.   Escalators and moving walks shall not constitute a part of the required means of egress, unless they are previously approved existing escalators and moving walks.



7.2.8 Fire Escape Stairs.  

7.2.8.1 General.  

7.2.8.1.1    Fire escape stairs shall comply with the provisions of 7.2.8, unless they are approved existing fire escape stairs.



7.2.8.1.2    Fire escape stairs shall not constitute any of the required means of egress, unless otherwise provided in 7.2.8.1.2.1 and 7.2.8.1.2.2.


7.2.8.1.2.1    Fire escape stairs shall be permitted on existing buildings as provided in Chapters 11 through 43 but shall not constitute more than 50 percent of the required means of egress.



7.2.8.1.2.2    New fire escape stairs shall be permitted to be erected on existing buildings only where the authority having jurisdiction has determined that outside stairs are impractical. (See 7.2.2.)



7.2.8.1.2.3    New fire escape stairs permitted by 7.2.8.1.2.2 shall not incorporate ladders or access windows, regardless of occupancy classification or occupant load served.




7.2.8.1.3    Fire escape stairs of the return-platform type with superimposed runs, or of the straight-run type with a platform that continues in the same direction, shall be permitted. Either type shall be permitted to be parallel to, or at right angles to, buildings. Either type shall be permitted to be attached to buildings or erected independently of buildings and connected by walkways.




7.2.8.2 Protection of Openings.   Fire escape stairs shall be exposed to the smallest possible number of window and door openings, and each opening shall be protected with approved fire door or fire window assemblies where the opening or any portion of the opening is located as follows:

  • (1)
    Horizontally, within 15 ft (4570 mm) of any balcony, platform, or stairway constituting a component of the fire escape stair
  • (2)
    Below, within three stories or 36 ft (11 m) of any balcony, platform, walkway, or stairway constituting a component of the fire escape stair, or within two stories or 24 ft (7320 mm) of a platform or walkway leading from any story to the fire escape stair
  • (3)
    Above, within 10 ft (3050 mm) of any balcony, platform, or walkway, as measured vertically, or within 10 ft (3050 mm) of any stair tread surface, as measured vertically
  • (4)
    Facing a court served by a fire escape stair, where the least dimension of the court does not exceed one-third of the height to the uppermost platform of the fire escape stair, measured from the finished ground level
  • (5)
    Facing an alcove served by a fire escape stair, where the width of the alcove does not exceed one-third, or the depth of the alcove does not exceed one-fourth, of the height to the uppermost platform of the fire escape stair, measured from the finished ground level



7.2.8.2.1    The requirements of 7.2.8.2 shall not apply to openings located on the top story where stairs do not lead to the roof.



7.2.8.2.2    The requirements of 7.2.8.2 shall be permitted to be modified by the authority having jurisdiction where automatic sprinkler protection is provided, where the occupancy is limited to low hazard contents, or where other special conditions exist.



7.2.8.2.3    The requirements of 7.2.8.2 for the protection of window openings shall not apply where such window openings are necessary for access to existing fire escape stairs.




7.2.8.3 Access.  

7.2.8.3.1    Access to fire escape stairs shall be in accordance with 7.2.8.4 and 7.5.1.1.1 through 7.5.1.2.2.



7.2.8.3.2    Where access is permitted by way of windows, the windows shall be arranged and maintained so as to be easily opened. Screening or storm windows that restrict free access to the fire escape stair shall be prohibited.



7.2.8.3.3    Fire escape stairs shall extend to the roof in all cases where the roof is subject to occupancy or provides an area of safe refuge, unless otherwise provided in 7.2.8.3.4.



7.2.8.3.4    Where a roof has a pitch that does not exceed 1 to 6, fire escape ladders in accordance with 7.2.9 or alternating tread devices in accordance with 7.2.11 shall be permitted to provide access to the roof.



7.2.8.3.5    Access to a fire escape stair shall be directly to a balcony, landing, or platform; shall not exceed the floor or windowsill level; and shall not be more than 8 in. (205 mm) below the floor level or 18 in. (455 mm) below the windowsill level.




7.2.8.4 Stair Details.  

7.2.8.4.1 General.   Fire escape stairs shall comply with the requirements of Table 7.2.8.4.1(a). Replacement of fire escape stairs shall comply with the requirements of Table 7.2.8.4.1(b).





Table 7.2.8.4.1(a)
Fire Escape Stairs








Table 7.2.8.4.1(b)
Replacement Fire Escape Stairs






7.2.8.4.2 Slip Resistance.   Stair treads and landings of new or replacement fire escape stairs shall have slip-resistant surfaces.




7.2.8.5 Guards, Handrails, and Visual Enclosures.  

7.2.8.5.1    All fire escape stairs shall have walls or guards and handrails on both sides in accordance with 7.2.2.4.



7.2.8.5.2    Replacement fire escape stairs in occupancies serving more than 10 occupants shall have visual enclosures to avoid any impediments to their use by persons having a fear of high places. Fire escape stairs more than 36 ft (11 m) above the finished ground level shall be provided with an opaque visual obstruction not less than 48 in. (1220 mm) in height.




7.2.8.6 Materials and Strength.  

7.2.8.6.1    Noncombustible materials shall be used for the construction of all components of fire escape stairs.



7.2.8.6.2    The authority having jurisdiction shall be permitted to approve any existing fire escape stair that has been shown by load test or other satisfactory evidence to have adequate strength.




7.2.8.7* Swinging Stairs.  

7.2.8.7.1    A single swinging stair section shall be permitted to terminate fire escape stairs over sidewalks, alleys, or driveways where it is impractical to make the termination with fire escape stairs.



7.2.8.7.2    Swinging stair sections shall not be located over doors, over the path of travel from any other exit, or in any locations where there are likely to be obstructions.



7.2.8.7.3    The width of swinging stair sections shall be at least that of the fire escape stairs above.



7.2.8.7.4    The pitch of swinging stair sections shall not exceed the pitch of the fire escape stairs above.



7.2.8.7.5    Guards and handrails shall be provided in accordance with 7.2.2.4 and shall be similar in height and construction to those used with the fire escape stairs above. Guards and handrails shall be designed to prevent any possibility of injury to persons where stairs swing downward. The clearance between moving sections and any other portion of the stair system where hands have the potential to be caught shall be not less than 4 in. (100 mm).



7.2.8.7.6    If the distance from the lowest platform to the finished ground level is not less than 12 ft (3660 mm), an intermediate balcony not more than 12 ft (3660 mm) from the finished ground level and not less than 7 ft (2135 mm) in the clear underneath shall be provided, with width not less than that of the stairs and length not less than 48 in. (1220 mm).



7.2.8.7.7    Swinging stairs shall be counterbalanced about a pivot, and cables shall not be used. A weight of 150 lb (68 kg) located one step from the pivot shall not cause the stairs to swing downward, and a weight of 150 lb (68 kg) located one-quarter of the length of the swinging stairs from the pivot shall cause the stairs to swing down.



7.2.8.7.8    The pivot for swinging stairs shall be of a corrosion-resistant assembly or shall have clearances to prevent sticking due to corrosion.



7.2.8.7.9*    Devices shall not be installed to lock a swinging stair section in the up position.




7.2.8.8 Intervening Spaces.  

7.2.8.8.1    Where approved by the authority having jurisdiction, fire escape stairs shall be permitted to lead to an adjoining roof that is crossed before continuing downward travel. The direction of travel shall be clearly marked, and walkways with guards and handrails complying with 7.2.2.4 shall be provided.



7.2.8.8.2    Where approved by the authority having jurisdiction, fire escape stairs shall be permitted to be used in combination with inside or outside stairs complying with 7.2.2, provided that a continuous safe path of travel is maintained.





7.2.9 Fire Escape Ladders.  

7.2.9.1 General.   Fire escape ladders complying with 7.2.9.2 and 7.2.9.3 shall be permitted in the means of egress only where providing one of the following:

  • (1)
    Access to unoccupied roof spaces as permitted in 7.2.8.3.4
  • (2)
    Second means of egress from storage elevators as permitted in Chapter 42
  • (3)
    Means of egress from towers and elevated platforms around machinery or similar spaces subject to occupancy not to exceed three persons who are all capable of using the ladder
  • (4)
    Secondary means of egress from boiler rooms or similar spaces subject to occupancy not to exceed three persons who are all capable of using the ladder
  • (5)
    Access to the finished ground level from the lowest balcony or landing of a fire escape stair for small buildings as permitted in 7.2.8.4 where approved by the authority having jurisdiction




7.2.9.2 Construction and Installation.  

7.2.9.2.1    Fire escape ladders shall comply with ANSI A14.3, Safety Requirements for Fixed Ladders, unless one of the following criteria is met:

  • (1)
    Approved existing ladders complying with the edition of this Code that was in effect when the ladders were installed shall be permitted.
  • (2)
    Industrial stairs complying with the minimum requirements for fixed stairs of ANSI/ASSE A1264.1, Safety Requirements for Workplace Floor and Wall Openings, Stairs and Railing Systems, shall be permitted where fire escape ladders are permitted in accordance with Chapter 40.




7.2.9.2.2    Ladders shall be installed with a pitch that exceeds 75 degrees.




7.2.9.3 Access.   The lowest rung of any ladder shall not be more than 12 in. (305 mm) above the level of the surface beneath it.




7.2.10 Slide Escapes.  

7.2.10.1 General.  

7.2.10.1.1    A slide escape shall be permitted as a component in a means of egress where permitted in Chapters 11 through 43.



7.2.10.1.2    Each slide escape shall be of an approved type.




7.2.10.2 Capacity.  

7.2.10.2.1    Slide escapes, where permitted as a required means of egress, shall be rated at a capacity of 60 persons.



7.2.10.2.2    Slide escapes shall not constitute more than 25 percent of the required egress capacity from any building or structure or any individual story thereof, unless otherwise provided for industrial occupancies in Chapter 40.





7.2.11* Alternating Tread Devices.  

7.2.11.1    Alternating tread devices complying with 7.2.11.2 shall be permitted in the means of egress only where providing one of the following:

  • (1)
    Access to unoccupied roof spaces as permitted in 7.2.8.3.4
  • (2)
    Second means of egress from storage elevators as permitted in Chapter 42
  • (3)
    Means of egress from towers and elevated platforms around machinery or similar spaces subject to occupancy not to exceed three persons who are all capable of using the alternating tread device
  • (4)
    Secondary means of egress from boiler rooms or similar spaces subject to occupancy not to exceed three persons who are all capable of using the alternating tread device




7.2.11.2    Alternating tread devices shall comply with all of the following:

  • (1)
    Handrails shall be provided on both sides of alternating tread devices in accordance with 7.2.2.4.4, except as provided in 7.2.11.3.
  • (2)
    The clear width between handrails shall be not less than 17 in. (430 mm) and not more than 24 in. (610 mm).
  • (3)
    Headroom shall be not less than 6 ft 8 in. (2030 mm).
  • (4)
    The angle of the device shall be between 50 degrees and 68 degrees to horizontal.
  • (5)
    The height of the riser shall not exceed 9 1/2 in. (240 mm).
  • (6)
    Treads shall have a projected tread depth of not less than 5 4/5 in. (145 mm), measured in accordance with 7.2.2, with each tread providing 9 1/2 in. (240 mm) of depth, including tread overlap.
  • (7)
    A distance of not less than 6 in. (150 mm) shall be provided between the alternating tread device handrail and any other object.
  • (8)
    The initial tread of the alternating tread device shall begin at the same elevation as the platform, landing, or floor surface.
  • (9)
    The alternating treads shall not be laterally separated by a distance of more than 2 in. (51 mm).
  • (10)
    The occupant load served shall not exceed three.




7.2.11.3    Handrails of alternating tread devices shall comply with the following:

  • (1)
    The handrail height of alternating tread devices, measured above tread nosings, shall be uniform, not less than 30 in. (760 mm), and not more than 34 in. (865 mm).
  • (2)
    Handrails for alternating tread devices shall be permitted to terminate at a location vertically above the top and bottom risers.
  • (3)
    Handrails for alternating tread devices shall not be required to be continuous between flights or to extend beyond the top or bottom risers.
  • (4)
    Alternating tread device guards, with a top rail that also serves as a handrail, shall have a height of not less than 30 in. (760 mm), and not more than 34 in. (865 mm), measured vertically from the leading edge of the device tread nosing.
  • (5)
    Open guards of alternating tread devices shall have rails such that a sphere 21 in. (535 mm) in diameter is not able to pass through any opening.





7.2.12 Areas of Refuge.  

7.2.12.1 General.  


7.2.12.1.1    An area of refuge used as part of a required accessible means of egress in accordance with 7.5.4; consisting of a story in a building that is protected throughout by an approved, supervised automatic sprinkler system in accordance with Section 9.7; and having an accessible story that is one or more stories above or below a story of exit discharge shall meet the following criteria:

  • (1)
    Each elevator landing shall be provided with a two-way communication system for communication between the elevator landing and the fire command center or a central control point approved by the authority having jurisdiction.
  • (2)
    Directions for the use of the two-way communication system, instructions for summoning assistance via the two-way communication system, and written identification of the location shall be posted adjacent to the two-way communication system.
  • (3)
    The two-way communication system shall include both audible and visible signals.




7.2.12.1.2    An area of refuge used as part of a required accessible means of egress in accordance with 7.5.4 in other than a building that is protected throughout by an approved, supervised automatic sprinkler system in accordance with Section 9.7 shall meet both of the following criteria:

  • (1)
    The area of refuge shall meet the general requirements of Section 7.1.
  • (2)
    The area of refuge shall meet the requirements of 7.2.12.2 and 7.2.12.3.





7.2.12.2 Accessibility.  

7.2.12.2.1    Required portions of an area of refuge shall be accessible from the space they serve by an accessible means of egress.



7.2.12.2.2    Required portions of an area of refuge shall have access to a public way via an exit or an elevator without requiring return to the building spaces through which travel to the area of refuge occurred.



7.2.12.2.3*    Where the exit providing egress from an area of refuge to a public way that is in accordance with 7.2.12.2.2 includes stairs, the clear width of landings and stair flights, measured between handrails and at all points below handrail height, shall be not less than 48 in. (1220 mm), unless otherwise permitted by the following:

  • (1)
    The minimum 48 in. (1220 mm) clear width shall not be required where the area of refuge is separated from the remainder of the story by a horizontal exit meeting the requirements of 7.2.4. (See also 7.2.12.3.4.)
  • (2)
    Existing stairs and landings that provide a clear width of not less than 37 in. (940 mm), measured at and below handrail height, shall be permitted.




7.2.12.2.4*    Where an elevator provides access from an area of refuge to a public way that is in accordance with 7.2.12.2.2, all of the following criteria shall be met:

  • (1)
    The elevator shall be approved for fire fighters' emergency operations as provided in ASME A17.1/CSA B44, Safety Code for Elevators and Escalators.
  • (2)
    The power supply shall be protected against interruption from fire occurring within the building but outside the area of refuge.
  • (3)
    The elevator shall be located in a shaft system meeting the requirements for smokeproof enclosures in accordance with 7.2.3, unless otherwise provided in 7.2.12.2.4.1 and 7.2.12.2.4.2.



7.2.12.2.4.1    The smokeproof enclosure specified in 7.2.12.2.4(3) shall not be required for areas of refuge that are more than 1000 ft2 (93 m2) and that are created by a horizontal exit meeting the requirements of 7.2.4.



7.2.12.2.4.2    The smokeproof enclosure specified in 7.2.12.2.4(3) shall not be required for elevators complying with 7.2.13.




7.2.12.2.5    The area of refuge shall be provided with a two-way communication system for communication between the area of refuge and a central control point. The door opening to the stair enclosure or the elevator door and the associated portion of the area of refuge that the stair enclosure door opening or elevator door serves shall be identified by signage. (See 7.2.12.3.5.)



7.2.12.2.6*    Instructions for summoning assistance, via the two-way communication system, and written identification of the area of refuge location shall be posted adjacent to the two-way communication system.




7.2.12.3 Details.  

7.2.12.3.1*    Each area of refuge shall be sized to accommodate one wheelchair space of 30 in. × 48 in. (760 mm × 1220 mm) for every 200 occupants, or portion thereof, based on the occupant load served by the area of refuge. Such wheelchair spaces shall maintain the width of a means of egress to not less than that required for the occupant load served and to not less than 36 in. (915 mm).



7.2.12.3.2*    For any area of refuge that does not exceed 1000 ft2 (93 m2), it shall be demonstrated by calculation or test that tenable conditions are maintained within the area of refuge for a period of 15 minutes when the exposing space on the other side of the separation creating the area of refuge is subjected to the maximum expected fire conditions.



7.2.12.3.3    Access to any designated wheelchair space in an area of refuge shall not pass through more than one adjoining wheelchair space.



7.2.12.3.4*    Each area of refuge shall be separated from the remainder of the story by a barrier having a minimum 1-hour fire resistance rating, unless one of the following criteria applies:

  • (1)
    A greater rating is required in other provisions of this Code.
  • (2)
    The barrier is an existing barrier with a minimum 30-minute fire resistance rating.



7.2.12.3.4.1    New fire door assemblies serving an area of refuge shall be smoke leakage–rated in accordance with 8.2.2.4.



7.2.12.3.4.2    The barriers specified in 7.2.12.3.4, and any openings in them, shall minimize air leakage and resist the passage of smoke.



7.2.12.3.4.3    Door assemblies in the barriers specified in 7.2.12.3.4 shall have not less than a 20-minute fire protection rating, unless a greater rating is required in other provisions of this Code, and shall be either self-closing or automatic-closing in accordance with 7.2.1.8.



7.2.12.3.4.4    Ducts shall be permitted to penetrate the barrier specified in 7.2.12.3.4, unless prohibited in other provisions of this Code, and shall be provided with smoke-actuated dampers or other approved means to resist the transfer of smoke into the area of refuge.




7.2.12.3.5    Each area of refuge shall be identified by a sign that reads as the follows:
AREA OF REFUGE


7.2.12.3.5.1    The sign required by 7.2.12.3.5 shall conform to the requirements of ICC/ANSI A117.1, American National Standard for Accessible and Usable Buildings and Facilities, for such signage and shall display the international symbol of accessibility. Signs also shall be located as follows:

  • (1)
    At each door opening providing access to the area of refuge
  • (2)
    At all exits not providing an accessible means of egress, as defined in 3.3.170.1
  • (3)
    Where necessary to indicate clearly the direction to an area of refuge




7.2.12.3.5.2    Signs required by 7.2.12.3.5 shall be illuminated as required for exit signs where exit sign illumination is required.




7.2.12.3.6    Tactile signage complying with ICC/ANSI A117.1, American National Standard for Accessible and Usable Buildings and Facilities, shall be located at each door opening to an area of refuge.





7.2.13 Elevators.  

7.2.13.1* General.   An elevator complying with the requirements of Section 9.4 and 7.2.13 shall be permitted to be used as a second means of egress from a tower, as defined in 3.3.280, provided that all of the following criteria are met:

  • (1)
    The tower and any attached structure shall be protected throughout by an approved, supervised automatic sprinkler system in accordance with Section 9.7.
  • (2)
    The tower shall be subject to occupancy not to exceed 90 persons.
  • (3)
    Primary egress discharges shall be directly to the outside.
  • (4)
    No high hazard content areas shall exist in the tower or attached structure.
  • (5)
    One hundred percent of the egress capacity shall be provided independent of the elevators.
  • (6)
    An evacuation plan that specifically includes the elevator shall be implemented, and staff personnel shall be trained in operations and procedures for elevator emergency use in normal operating mode prior to fire fighter recall.
  • (7)
    The tower shall not be used by the general public.




7.2.13.2 Elevator Evacuation System Capacity.  

7.2.13.2.1    The elevator car shall have a capacity of not less than eight persons.



7.2.13.2.2    The elevator lobby shall have a capacity of not less than 50 percent of the occupant load of the area served by the lobby. The capacity shall be calculated based on 3 ft2 (0.28 m2) per person and shall also include one wheelchair space of 30 in. × 48 in. (760 mm × 1220 mm) for every 50 persons, or portion thereof, of the total occupant load served by that lobby.




7.2.13.3 Elevator Lobby.   Every floor served by the elevator shall have an elevator lobby. Barriers forming the elevator lobby shall have a minimum 1-hour fire resistance rating and shall be arranged as a smoke barrier in accordance with Section 8.5.



7.2.13.4 Elevator Lobby Door Assemblies.   Elevator lobby door assemblies shall have a minimum 1-hour fire protection rating. The transmitted temperature end point shall not exceed 450°F Δ (250°C Δ) above ambient at the end of 30 minutes of the fire exposure specified in the test method referenced in 8.3.3.2. Elevator lobby door leaves shall be self-closing or automatic-closing in accordance with 7.2.1.8.



7.2.13.5 Door Leaf Activation.   The elevator lobby door leaves shall close in response to a signal from a smoke detector located directly outside the elevator lobby adjacent to or on each door opening. Elevator lobby door leaves shall be permitted to close in response to a signal from the building fire alarm system. Where one elevator lobby door leaf closes by means of a smoke detector or a signal from the building fire alarm system, all elevator lobby door leaves serving that elevator evacuation system shall close.



7.2.13.6* Water Protection.   Building elements shall be used to restrict water exposure of elevator equipment.



7.2.13.7* Power and Control Wiring.   Elevator equipment, elevator communications, elevator machine room cooling, and elevator controller cooling shall be supplied by both normal and standby power. Wiring for power and control shall be located and properly protected to ensure a minimum 1 hour of operation in the event of a fire.



7.2.13.8* Communications.   Two-way communication systems shall be provided between elevator lobbies and a central control point and between elevator cars and a central control point. Communications wiring shall be protected to ensure a minimum 1 hour of operation in the event of fire.



7.2.13.9* Elevator Operation.   Elevators shall be provided with fire fighters' emergency operations in accordance with ASME A17.1/CSA B44, Safety Code for Elevators and Escalators.



7.2.13.10 Maintenance.   Where an elevator lobby is served by only one elevator car, the elevator evacuation system shall have a program of scheduled maintenance during times of building shutdown or low building activity. Repairs shall be performed within 24 hours of breakdown.



7.2.13.11 Earthquake Protection.   Elevators shall have the capability of orderly shutdowns during earthquakes at locations where such shutdowns are an option of ASME A17.1/CSA B44, Safety Code for Elevators and Escalators.



7.2.13.12 Signage.   Signage shall comply with 7.10.8.4.



7.3 Capacity of Means of Egress.[Bookmark][Notes][Print]

7.3.1 Occupant Load.  

7.3.1.1 Sufficient Capacity.  

7.3.1.1.1    The total capacity of the means of egress for any story, balcony, tier, or other occupied space shall be sufficient for the occupant load thereof.



7.3.1.1.2    For other than existing means of egress, where more than one means of egress is required, the means of egress shall be of such width and capacity that the loss of any one means of egress leaves available not less than 50 percent of the required capacity.




7.3.1.2* Occupant Load Factor.   The occupant load in any building or portion thereof shall be not less than the number of persons determined by dividing the floor area assigned to that use by the occupant load factor for that use as specified in Table 7.3.1.2, Figure 7.3.1.2(a), and Figure 7.3.1.2(b). Where both gross and net area figures are given for the same occupancy, calculations shall be made by applying the gross area figure to the gross area of the portion of the building devoted to the use for which the gross area figure is specified and by applying the net area figure to the net area of the portion of the building devoted to the use for which the net area figure is specified.





Table 7.3.1.2
Occupant Load Factor








FIGURE 7.3.1.2(a)
Mall Building Occupant Load Factors (U.S. Customary Units).








FIGURE 7.3.1.2(b)
Mall Building Occupant Load Factors (SI Units).






7.3.1.3 Occupant Load Increases.  

7.3.1.3.1    The occupant load in any building or portion thereof shall be permitted to be increased from the occupant load established for the given use in accordance with 7.3.1.2 where all other requirements of this Code are also met, based on such increased occupant load.



7.3.1.3.2    The authority having jurisdiction shall be permitted to require an approved aisle, seating, or fixed equipment diagram to substantiate any increase in occupant load and shall be permitted to require that such a diagram be posted in an approved location.




7.3.1.4 Exits Serving More than One Story.   Where an exit serves more than one story, only the occupant load of each story considered individually shall be used in computing the required capacity of the exit at that story, provided that the required egress capacity of the exit is not decreased in the direction of egress travel.



7.3.1.5 Capacity from a Point of Convergence.   Where means of egress from a story above and a story below converge at an intermediate story, the capacity of the means of egress from the point of convergence shall be not less than the sum of the required capacity of the two means of egress.



7.3.1.6 Egress Capacity from Balconies and Mezzanines.   Where any required egress capacity from a balcony or mezzanine passes through the room below, that required capacity shall be added to the required egress capacity of the room below.




7.3.2 Measurement of Means of Egress.  

7.3.2.1    The width of means of egress shall be measured in the clear at the narrowest point of the egress component under consideration, unless otherwise provided in 7.3.2.2 or 7.3.2.3.



7.3.2.2    Projections within the means of egress of not more than 4 1/2 in. (114 mm) on each side shall be permitted at a height of 38 in. (965 mm) and below. In the case of stair and landing handrails forming part of a guard, in accordance with 7.2.2.4.4.3, such projections shall be permitted at a height of 42 in. (1065 mm) and below.



7.3.2.3    In health care and ambulatory health care occupancies, projections shall be permitted in corridors in accordance with Chapters 18 through 21.




7.3.3* Egress Capacity.   

7.3.3.1    Egress capacity for approved components of means of egress shall be based on the capacity factors shown in Table 7.3.3.1, unless otherwise provided in 7.3.3.2 .





Table 7.3.3.1
Capacity Factors






7.3.3.2*    For stairways wider than 44 in. (1120 mm) and subject to the 0.3 in. (7.6 mm) width per person capacity factor, the capacity shall be permitted to be increased using the following equation:
equation
where:
C = capacity, in persons, rounded to the nearest integer
Wn = nominal width of the stair as permitted by 7.3.2.2 (in.)




7.3.3.3    The required capacity of a corridor shall be the occupant load that utilizes the corridor for exit access divided by the required number of exits to which the corridor connects, but the corridor capacity shall be not less than the required capacity of the exit to which the corridor leads.




7.3.4 Minimum Width.  

7.3.4.1    The width of any means of egress, unless otherwise provided in 7.3.4.1.1 through 7.3.4.1.3, shall be as follows:

  • (1)
    Not less than that required for a given egress component in this chapter or Chapters 11 through 43
  • (2)
    Not less than 36 in. (915 mm) where another part of this chapter and Chapters 11 through 43 do not specify a minimum width



7.3.4.1.1*    The width of exit access that is formed by furniture and movable partitions, that serves not more than six people, and that has a length not exceeding 50 ft (15 m) shall meet both of the following criteria:

  • (1)
    The width shall be not less than 18 in. (455 mm), at and below a height of 38 in. (965 mm), and not less than 28 in. (710 mm) above a height of 38 in. (965 mm).
  • (2)
    A width of not less than 36 in. (915 mm) for new exit access, and not less than 28 in. (710 mm) for existing exit access, shall be capable of being provided without moving permanent walls.




7.3.4.1.2    In existing buildings, the width of exit access shall be permitted to be not less than 28 in. (710 mm).



7.3.4.1.3    The requirement of 7.3.4.1 shall not apply to the following:

  • (1)
    Doors as otherwise provided for in 7.2.1.2
  • (2)
    Aisles and aisle accessways in assembly occupancies as otherwise provided in Chapters 12 and 13
  • (3)
    Industrial equipment access as otherwise provided in 40.2.5.2





7.3.4.2    Where a single exit access leads to an exit, its capacity in terms of width shall be not less than the required capacity of the exit to which it leads.



7.3.4.3    Where more than one exit access leads to an exit, each shall have a width adequate for the number of persons it accommodates.



7.4* Number of Means of Egress. [Bookmark][Notes][Print]

7.4.1 General.  

7.4.1.1    The number of means of egress from any balcony, mezzanine, story, or portion thereof shall be not less than two, except under one of the following conditions:

  • (1)
    A single means of egress shall be permitted where permitted in Chapters 11 through 43.
  • (2)
    A single means of egress shall be permitted for a mezzanine or balcony where the common path of travel limitations of Chapters 11 through 43 are met.




7.4.1.2    The number of means of egress from any story or portion thereof, other than for existing buildings as permitted in Chapters 11 through 43, shall be as follows:

  • (1)
    Occupant load more than 500 but not more than 1000 — not less than 3
  • (2)
    Occupant load more than 1000 — not less than 4




7.4.1.3    Accessible means of egress in accordance with 7.5.4 that do not utilize elevators shall be permitted to serve as any or all of the required minimum number of means of egress.



7.4.1.4    The occupant load of each story considered individually shall be required to be used in computing the number of means of egress at each story, provided that the required number of means of egress is not decreased in the direction of egress travel.



7.4.1.5    Doors other than the hoistway door; the elevator car door; and doors that are readily openable from the car side without a key, a tool, special knowledge, or special effort shall be prohibited at the point of access to an elevator car.



7.4.1.6 Elevator Landing and Lobby Exit Access.  

7.4.1.6.1    Each elevator landing and lobby shall have access to at least one exit.



7.4.1.6.2    The elevator landing and lobby exit access required by 7.4.1.6.1 shall not require the use of a key, a tool, special knowledge, or special effort, unless permitted by 7.4.1.6.3.



7.4.1.6.3    Doors separating the elevator lobby from the exit access required by 7.4.1.6.1 shall be permitted to be electronically locked in accordance with 7.2.1.6.3.





7.4.2 Spaces About Electrical Equipment.  

7.4.2.1 600 Volts, Nominal, or Less.   The minimum number of means of egress for working space about electrical equipment, other than existing electrical equipment, shall be in accordance with NFPA 70 , National Electrical Code, Section 110.26(C).



7.4.2.2 Over 600 Volts, Nominal.   The minimum number of means of egress for working space about electrical equipment, other than existing electrical equipment, shall be in accordance with NFPA 70 , National Electrical Code, Section 110.33(A).



7.5 Arrangement of Means of Egress.[Bookmark][Notes][Print]

7.5.1 General.  

7.5.1.1    Exits shall be located, and exit access shall be arranged, so that exits are readily accessible at all times.


7.5.1.1.1*    Where exits are not immediately accessible from an open floor area, continuous passageways, aisles, or corridors leading directly to every exit shall be maintained and shall be arranged to provide access for each occupant to not less than two exits by separate ways of travel, unless otherwise provided in 7.5.1.1.3 and 7.5.1.1.4.



7.5.1.1.2    Exit access corridors shall provide access to not less than two approved exits, unless otherwise provided in 7.5.1.1.3 and 7.5.1.1.4.



7.5.1.1.3    The requirements of 7.5.1.1.1 and 7.5.1.1.2 shall not apply where a single exit is permitted in Chapters 11 through 43



7.5.1.1.4    Where common paths of travel are permitted for an occupancy in Chapters 11 through 43, such common paths of travel shall be permitted but shall not exceed the limit specified.




7.5.1.2    Corridors shall provide exit access without passing through any intervening rooms other than corridors, lobbies, and other spaces permitted to be open to the corridor, unless otherwise provided in 7.5.1.2.1 and 7.5.1.2.2.


7.5.1.2.1    Approved existing corridors that require passage through a room to access an exit shall be permitted to continue to be used, provided that all of the following criteria are met:

  • (1)
    The path of travel is marked in accordance with Section 7.10.
  • (2)
    Doors to such rooms comply with 7.2.1.
  • (3)
    Such arrangement is not prohibited by the applicable occupancy chapter.




7.5.1.2.2    Corridors that are not required to be fire resistance rated shall be permitted to discharge into open floor plan areas.




7.5.1.3    Remoteness shall be provided in accordance with 7.5.1.3.1 through 7.5.1.3.7.


7.5.1.3.1    Where more than one exit, exit access, or exit discharge is required from a building or portion thereof, such exits, exit accesses, or exit discharges shall be remotely located from each other and be arranged to minimize the possibility that more than one has the potential to be blocked by any one fire or other emergency condition.



7.5.1.3.2*    Where two exits, exit accesses, or exit discharges are required, they shall be located at a distance from one another not less than one-half the length of the maximum overall diagonal dimension of the building or area to be served, measured in a straight line between the nearest edge of the exits, exit accesses, or exit discharges, unless otherwise provided in 7.5.1.3.3 through 7.5.1.3.5.



7.5.1.3.3    In buildings protected throughout by an approved, supervised automatic sprinkler system in accordance with Section 9.7, the minimum separation distance between two exits, exit accesses, or exit discharges, measured in accordance with 7.5.1.3.2, shall be not less than one-third the length of the maximum overall diagonal dimension of the building or area to be served.



7.5.1.3.4*    In other than high-rise buildings, where exit enclosures are provided as the required exits specified in 7.5.1.3.2 or 7.5.1.3.3 and are interconnected by not less than a 1-hour fire resistance–rated corridor, exit separation shall be measured along the shortest line of travel within the corridor.



7.5.1.3.5    In existing buildings, where more than one exit, exit access, or exit discharge is required, such exits, exit accesses, or exit discharges shall be exempt from the diagonal measurement separation distance criteria of 7.5.1.3.2 and 7.5.1.3.3, provided that such exits, exit accesses, or exit discharges are remotely located in accordance with 7.5.1.3.1.



7.5.1.3.6    In other than existing buildings, where more than two exits, exit accesses, or exit discharges are required, at least two of the required exits, exit accesses, or exit discharges shall be arranged to comply with the minimum separation distance requirement.



7.5.1.3.7    The balance of the exits, exit accesses, or exit discharges specified in 7.5.1.3.6 shall be located so that, if one becomes blocked, the others are available.




7.5.1.4    Interlocking or scissor stairs shall comply with 7.5.1.4.1 and 7.5.1.4.2.


7.5.1.4.1    New interlocking or scissor stairs shall be permitted to be considered only as a single exit.



7.5.1.4.2*    Existing interlocking or scissor stairs shall be permitted to be considered separate exits, provided that they meet all of the following criteria:

  • (1)
    They are enclosed in accordance with 7.1.3.2.
  • (2)
    They are separated from each other by 2-hour fire resistance–rated noncombustible construction.
  • (3)
    No protected or unprotected penetrations or communicating openings exist between the stair enclosures.





7.5.1.5*    Exit access shall be arranged so that there are no dead ends in corridors, unless permitted by, and limited to the lengths specified in, Chapters 11 through 43.



7.5.1.6    Exit access from rooms or spaces shall be permitted to be through adjoining or intervening rooms or areas, provided that such rooms or areas are accessory to the area served. Foyers, lobbies, and reception rooms constructed as required for corridors shall not be construed as intervening rooms. Exit access shall be arranged so that it is not necessary to pass through any area identified under Protection from Hazards in Chapters 11 through 43.




7.5.2 Impediments to Egress.   See also 7.1.9 and 7.2.1.5.


7.5.2.1*    Access to an exit shall not be through kitchens, storerooms other than as provided in Chapters 36 and 37, restrooms, workrooms, closets, bedrooms or similar spaces, or other rooms or spaces subject to locking, unless passage through such rooms or spaces is permitted for the occupancy by Chapter 18, 19, 22, or 23.



7.5.2.2*    Exit access and exit doors shall be designed and arranged to be clearly recognizable.


7.5.2.2.1    Hangings or draperies shall not be placed over exit doors or located so that they conceal or obscure any exit, unless otherwise provided in 7.5.2.2.2.



7.5.2.2.2    Curtains shall be permitted across means of egress openings in tent walls, provided that all of the following criteria are met:

  • (1)
    They are distinctly marked in contrast to the tent wall so as to be recognizable as means of egress.
  • (2)
    They are installed across an opening that is at least 6 ft (1830 mm) in width.
  • (3)
    They are hung from slide rings or equivalent hardware so as to be readily moved to the side to create an unobstructed opening in the tent wall that is of the minimum width required for door openings.






7.5.3 Exterior Ways of Exit Access.  

7.5.3.1    Exit access shall be permitted to be by means of any exterior balcony, porch, gallery, or roof that conforms to the requirements of this chapter.



7.5.3.2    The long side of the balcony, porch, gallery, or similar space shall be at least 50 percent open and shall be arranged to restrict the accumulation of smoke.



7.5.3.3    Exterior exit access balconies shall be separated from the interior of the building by walls and opening protectives as required for corridors, unless the exterior exit access balcony is served by at least two remote stairs that can be accessed without any occupant traveling past an unprotected opening to reach one of the stairs, or unless dead ends on the exterior exit access do not exceed 20 ft (6100 mm).



7.5.3.4    Exterior exit access shall be arranged so that there are no dead ends in excess of those permitted for dead-end corridors in Chapters 11 through 43.




7.5.4 Accessible Means of Egress.  

7.5.4.1*    Areas accessible to people with severe mobility impairment, other than in existing buildings, shall have not less than two accessible means of egress, unless otherwise provided in 7.5.4.1.2 through 7.5.4.1.4.


7.5.4.1.1    Access within the allowable travel distance shall be provided to not less than one accessible area of refuge or one accessible exit providing an accessible route to an exit discharge.



7.5.4.1.2    A single accessible means of egress shall be permitted from buildings or areas of buildings permitted to have a single exit.



7.5.4.1.3    Accessible means of egress shall not be required in health care occupancies protected throughout by an approved, supervised automatic sprinkler system in accordance with Section 9.7.



7.5.4.1.4    Exit access travel along the accessible means of egress shall be permitted to be common for the distances permitted as common paths of travel.




7.5.4.2    Where two accessible means of egress are required, the exits serving such means of egress shall be located at a distance from one another not less than one-half the length of the maximum overall diagonal dimension of the building or area to be served. This distance shall be measured in a straight line between the nearest edge of the exit doors or exit access doors, unless otherwise provided in 7.5.4.2.1 through 7.5.4.2.3.


7.5.4.2.1    Where exit enclosures are provided as the required exits specified in 7.5.4.2 and are interconnected by not less than a 1-hour fire resistance–rated corridor, exit separation shall be permitted to be measured along the line of travel within the corridor.



7.5.4.2.2    The requirement of 7.5.4.2 shall not apply to buildings protected throughout by an approved, supervised automatic sprinkler system in accordance with Section 9.7.



7.5.4.2.3    The requirement of 7.5.4.2 shall not apply where the physical arrangement of means of egress prevents the possibility that access to both accessible means of egress will be blocked by any one fire or other emergency condition as approved by the authority having jurisdiction.




7.5.4.3    Each required accessible means of egress shall be continuous from each accessible occupied area to a public way or area of refuge in accordance with 7.2.12.2.2.



7.5.4.4    Where an exit stair is used in an accessible means of egress, it shall comply with 7.2.12 and either shall incorporate an area of refuge within an enlarged story-level landing or shall be accessed from an area of refuge.



7.5.4.5    To be considered part of an accessible means of egress, an elevator shall be in accordance with 7.2.12.2.4.



7.5.4.6    To be considered part of an accessible means of egress, a smoke barrier in accordance with Section 8.5 with not less than a 1-hour fire resistance rating, or a horizontal exit in accordance with 7.2.4, shall discharge to an area of refuge in accordance with 7.2.12.



7.5.4.7    Accessible stories that are four or more stories above or below a story of exit discharge shall have not less than one elevator complying with 7.5.4.5, except as modified in 7.5.4.8.



7.5.4.8    Where elevators are required by 7.5.4.7, the smokeproof enclosure required by 7.2.12.2.4 shall not be required in buildings protected throughout by an approved, supervised automatic sprinkler system in accordance with 9.7.1.1(1).



7.5.4.9    An area of refuge used as part of a required accessible means of egress shall be in accordance with 7.2.12.



7.6* Measurement of Travel Distance to Exits.[Bookmark][Notes][Print]

7.6.1*    The travel distance to an exit shall be measured on the floor or other walking surface as follows:

  • (1)
    Along the centerline of the natural path of travel, starting from the most remote point subject to occupancy
  • (2)
    Curving around any corners or obstructions, with a 12 in. (305 mm) clearance therefrom
  • (3)
    Terminating at one of the following:

    • (a)
      Center of the doorway
    • (b)
      Other point at which the exit begins
    • (c)
      Smoke barrier in an existing detention and correctional occupancy as provided in Chapter 23





7.6.2    Where outside stairs that are not separated from the building are permitted as required exits, the travel distance shall be measured from the most remote point subject to occupancy to the leading nosing of the stair landing at the floor level under consideration.



7.6.3*    Where open stairways or ramps are permitted as a path of travel to required exits, the distance shall include the travel on the stairway or ramp and the travel from the end of the stairway or ramp to an outside door or other exit in addition to the distance traveled to reach the stairway or ramp.



7.6.4    Where any part of an exterior exit is within 10 ft (3050 mm) of horizontal distance of any unprotected building opening, as permitted by 7.2.2.6.3 for outside stairs, the travel distance to the exit shall include the length of travel to the finished ground level.



7.6.5    Where measurement includes stairs, the measurement shall be taken in the plane of the tread nosing.



7.6.6    The travel distance in any occupied space to not less than one exit, measured in accordance with 7.6.1 through 7.6.5, shall not exceed the limits specified in this Code. (See 7.6.7.)



7.6.7    Travel distance limitations shall be as provided in Chapters 11 through 43 and, for high hazard areas, shall be in accordance with Section 7.11.


7.7 Discharge from Exits.[Bookmark][Notes][Print]

7.7.1* Exit Termination.   Exits shall terminate directly, at a public way or at an exterior exit discharge, unless otherwise provided in 7.7.1.2 through 7.7.1.4.


7.7.1.1    Yards, courts, open spaces, or other portions of the exit discharge shall be of the required width and size to provide all occupants with a safe access to a public way.



7.7.1.2    The requirement of 7.7.1 shall not apply to interior exit discharge as otherwise provided in 7.7.2.



7.7.1.3    The requirement of 7.7.1 shall not apply to rooftop exit discharge as otherwise provided in 7.7.6.



7.7.1.4    Means of egress shall be permitted to terminate in an exterior area for detention and correctional occupancies as otherwise provided in Chapters 22 and 23.




7.7.2 Exit Discharge Through Interior Building Areas.   Exits shall be permitted to discharge through interior building areas, provided that all of the following are met:

  • (1)
    Not more than 50 percent of the required number of exits, and not more than 50 percent of the required egress capacity, shall discharge through areas on any level of discharge, except as otherwise permitted by one of the following:

    • (a)
      One hundred percent of the exits shall be permitted to discharge through areas on any level of discharge in detention and correctional occupancies as otherwise provided in Chapters 22 and 23.
    • (b)
      In existing buildings, the 50 percent limit on egress capacity shall not apply if the 50 percent limit on the required number of exits is met.

  • (2)
    Each level of discharge shall discharge directly outside at the finished ground level or discharge directly outside and provide access to the finished ground level by outside stairs or outside ramps.
  • (3)
    The interior exit discharge shall lead to a free and unobstructed way to the exterior of the building, and such way shall be readily visible and identifiable from the point of discharge from the exit.
  • (4)
    The interior exit discharge shall be protected by one of the following methods:

    • (a)
      The level of discharge shall be protected throughout by an approved automatic sprinkler system in accordance with Section 9.7, or the portion of the level of discharge used for interior exit discharge shall be protected by an approved automatic sprinkler system in accordance with Section 9.7 and shall be separated from the nonsprinklered portion of the floor by fire barriers with a fire resistance rating meeting the requirements for the enclosure of exits. (See 7.1.3.2.1.)
    • (b)
      The interior exit discharge area shall be in a vestibule or foyer that meets all of the following criteria:

      • i.
        The depth from the exterior of the building shall be not more than 10 ft (3050 mm), and the length shall be not more than 30 ft (9.1 m).
      • ii.
        The foyer shall be separated from the remainder of the level of discharge by construction providing protection not less than the equivalent of wired glass in steel frames or 45 minutes fire-resistive construction.
      • iii.
        The foyer shall serve only as means of egress and shall include an exit directly to the outside.


  • (5)
    The entire area on the level of discharge shall be separated from areas below by construction having a fire resistance rating not less than that required for the exit enclosure, unless otherwise provided in 7.7.2(6).
  • (6)
    Levels below the level of discharge in an atrium shall be permitted to be open to the level of discharge where such level of discharge is protected in accordance with 8.6.7.




7.7.3 Arrangement and Marking of Exit Discharge.  

7.7.3.1    Where more than one exit discharge is required, exit discharges shall be arranged to meet the remoteness criteria of 7.5.1.3.



7.7.3.2    The exit discharge shall be arranged and marked to make clear the direction of egress travel from the exit discharge to a public way.



7.7.3.3    Stairs and ramps shall be arranged so as to make clear the direction of egress travel from the exit discharge to a public way.



7.7.3.4*    Stairs and ramps that continue more than one-half story beyond the level of discharge shall be provided with an approved means to prevent or dissuade occupants from traveling past the level of discharge during emergency building evacuation.




7.7.4 Components of Exit Discharge.   Doors, stairs, ramps, corridors, exit passageways, bridges, balconies, escalators, moving walks, and other components of an exit discharge shall comply with the detailed requirements of this chapter for such components.



7.7.5 Signs.   See 7.2.2.5.4.



7.7.6 Discharge to Roofs.   Where approved by the authority having jurisdiction, exits shall be permitted to discharge to roofs or other sections of the building or an adjoining building where all of the following criteria are met:

  • (1)
    The roof/ceiling assembly construction has a fire resistance rating not less than that required for the exit enclosure.
  • (2)
    A continuous and safe means of egress from the roof is available.



7.8 Illumination of Means of Egress.[Bookmark][Notes][Print]

7.8.1 General.  

7.8.1.1*    Illumination of means of egress shall be provided in accordance with Section 7.8 for every building and structure where required in Chapters 11 through 43. For the purposes of this requirement, exit access shall include only designated stairs, aisles, corridors, ramps, escalators, and passageways leading to an exit. For the purposes of this requirement, exit discharge shall include only designated stairs, aisles, corridors, ramps, escalators, walkways, and exit passageways leading to a public way.



7.8.1.2    Illumination of means of egress shall be continuous during the time that the conditions of occupancy require that the means of egress be available for use, unless otherwise provided in 7.8.1.2.2.


7.8.1.2.1    Artificial lighting shall be employed at such locations and for such periods of time as are necessary to maintain the illumination to the minimum criteria values herein specified.



7.8.1.2.2    Unless prohibited by Chapters 11 through 43, automatic, motion sensor–type lighting switches shall be permitted within the means of egress, provided that the switch controllers comply with all of the following:

  • (1)
    The switch controllers are listed.
  • (2)
    The switch controllers are equipped for fail-safe operation and evaluated for this purpose.
  • (3)
    The illumination timers are set for a minimum 15-minute duration.
  • (4)
    The motion sensor is activated by any occupant movement in the area served by the lighting units.
  • (5)
    The switch controller is activated by activation of the building fire alarm system, if provided.




7.8.1.2.3*    Energy-saving sensors, switches, timers, or controllers shall be approved and shall not compromise the continuity of illumination of the means of egress required by 7.8.1.2.




7.8.1.3*    The floors and other walking surfaces within an exit and within the portions of the exit access and exit discharge designated in 7.8.1.1 shall be illuminated as follows:

  • (1)
    During conditions of stair use, the minimum illumination for new stairs shall be at least 10 ft-candle (108 lux), measured at the walking surfaces.
  • (2)
    The minimum illumination for floors and walking surfaces, other than new stairs during conditions of stair use, shall be to values of at least 1 ft-candle (10.8 lux), measured at the floor.
  • (3)
    In assembly occupancies, the illumination of the walking surfaces of exit access shall be at least 0.2 ft-candle (2.2 lux) during periods of performances or projections involving directed light.
  • (4)*
    The minimum illumination requirements shall not apply where operations or processes require low lighting levels.




7.8.1.4*    Required illumination shall be arranged so that the failure of any single lighting unit does not result in an illumination level of less than 0.2 ft-candle (2.2 lux) in any designated area.



7.8.1.5    The equipment or units installed to meet the requirements of Section 7.10 also shall be permitted to serve the function of illumination of means of egress, provided that all requirements of Section 7.8 for such illumination are met.




7.8.2 Sources of Illumination.  

7.8.2.1*    Illumination of means of egress shall be from a source considered reliable by the authority having jurisdiction.



7.8.2.2    Battery-operated electric lights and other types of portable lamps or lanterns shall not be used for primary illumination of means of egress. Battery-operated electric lights shall be permitted to be used as an emergency source to the extent permitted under Section 7.9.



7.9 Emergency Lighting.[Bookmark][Notes][Print]

7.9.1 General.  

7.9.1.1*    Emergency lighting facilities for means of egress shall be provided in accordance with Section 7.9 for the following:

  • (1)
    Buildings or structures where required in Chapters 11 through 43
  • (2)
    Underground and limited access structures as addressed in Section 11.7
  • (3)
    High-rise buildings as required by other sections of this Code
  • (4)
    Doors equipped with delayed-egress locks
  • (5)
    Stair shafts and vestibules of smokeproof enclosures, for which the following also apply:

    • (a)
      The stair shaft and vestibule shall be permitted to include a standby generator that is installed for the smokeproof enclosure mechanical ventilation equipment.
    • (b)
      The standby generator shall be permitted to be used for the stair shaft and vestibule emergency lighting power supply.

  • (6)
    New access-controlled egress doors in accordance with 7.2.1.6.2




7.9.1.2    For the purposes of 7.9.1.1, exit access shall include only designated stairs, aisles, corridors, ramps, escalators, and passageways leading to an exit. For the purposes of 7.9.1.1, exit discharge shall include only designated stairs, ramps, aisles, walkways, and escalators leading to a public way.



7.9.1.3    Where maintenance of illumination depends on changing from one energy source to another, a delay of not more than 10 seconds shall be permitted.




7.9.2 Performance of System.  

7.9.2.1*    Emergency illumination shall be provided for a minimum of 1 1/2 hours in the event of failure of normal lighting. Emergency lighting facilities shall be arranged to provide initial illumination that is not less than an average of 1 ft-candle (10.8 lux) and, at any point, not less than 0.1 ft-candle (1.1 lux), measured along the path of egress at floor level. Illumination levels shall be permitted to decline to not less than an average of 0.6 ft-candle (6.5 lux) and, at any point, not less than 0.06 ft-candle (0.65 lux) at the end of 1 1/2 hours. A maximum-to-minimum illumination uniformity ratio of 40 to 1 shall not be exceeded.



7.9.2.2    New emergency power systems for emergency lighting shall be at least Type 10, Class 1.5, Level 1, in accordance with NFPA 110, Standard for Emergency and Standby Power Systems.



7.9.2.3*    The emergency lighting system shall be arranged to provide the required illumination automatically in the event of any interruption of normal lighting due to any of the following:

  • (1)
    Failure of a public utility or other outside electrical power supply
  • (2)
    Opening of a circuit breaker or fuse
  • (3)
    Manual act(s), including accidental opening of a switch controlling normal lighting facilities




7.9.2.4    Emergency generators providing power to emergency lighting systems shall be installed, tested, and maintained in accordance with NFPA 110, Standard for Emergency and Standby Power Systems. Stored electrical energy systems, where required in this Code, other than battery systems for emergency luminaires in accordance with 7.9.2.5, shall be installed and tested in accordance with NFPA 111, Standard on Stored Electrical Energy Emergency and Standby Power Systems.



7.9.2.5    Unit equipment and battery systems for emergency luminaires shall be listed to ANSI/UL 924, Standard for Emergency Lighting and Power Equipment.



7.9.2.6*    Existing battery-operated emergency lights shall use only reliable types of rechargeable batteries provided with suitable facilities for maintaining them in properly charged condition. Batteries used in such lights or units shall be approved for their intended use and shall comply with NFPA 70 , National Electrical Code.



7.9.2.7    The emergency lighting system shall be either continuously in operation or shall be capable of repeated automatic operation without manual intervention.




7.9.3 Periodic Testing of Emergency Lighting Equipment.  

7.9.3.1    Required emergency lighting systems shall be tested in accordance with one of the three options offered by 7.9.3.1.1, 7.9.3.1.2, or 7.9.3.1.3.


7.9.3.1.1    Testing of required emergency lighting systems shall be permitted to be conducted as follows:

  • (1)
    Functional testing shall be conducted monthly, with a minimum of 3 weeks and a maximum of 5 weeks between tests, for not less than 30 seconds, except as otherwise permitted by 7.9.3.1.1(2).
  • (2)*
    The test interval shall be permitted to be extended beyond 30 days with the approval of the authority having jurisdiction.
  • (3)
    Functional testing shall be conducted annually for a minimum of 1 1/2 hours if the emergency lighting system is battery powered.
  • (4)
    The emergency lighting equipment shall be fully operational for the duration of the tests required by 7.9.3.1.1(1) and (3).
  • (5)
    Written records of visual inspections and tests shall be kept by the owner for inspection by the authority having jurisdiction.




7.9.3.1.2    Testing of required emergency lighting systems shall be permitted to be conducted as follows:

  • (1)
    Self-testing/self-diagnostic battery-operated emergency lighting equipment shall be provided.
  • (2)
    Not less than once every 30 days, self-testing/self-diagnostic battery-operated emergency lighting equipment shall automatically perform a test with a duration of a minimum of 30 seconds and a diagnostic routine.
  • (3)
    Self-testing/self-diagnostic battery-operated emergency lighting equipment shall indicate failures by a status indicator.
  • (4)
    A visual inspection shall be performed at intervals not exceeding 30 days.
  • (5)
    Functional testing shall be conducted annually for a minimum of 1 1/2 hours.
  • (6)
    Self-testing/self-diagnostic battery-operated emergency lighting equipment shall be fully operational for the duration of the 1 1/2-hour test.
  • (7)
    Written records of visual inspections and tests shall be kept by the owner for inspection by the authority having jurisdiction.




7.9.3.1.3    Testing of required emergency lighting systems shall be permitted to be conducted as follows:

  • (1)
    Computer-based, self-testing/self-diagnostic battery-operated emergency lighting equipment shall be provided.
  • (2)
    Not less than once every 30 days, emergency lighting equipment shall automatically perform a test with a duration of a minimum of 30 seconds and a diagnostic routine.
  • (3)
    The emergency lighting equipment shall automatically perform annually a test for a minimum of 1 1/2 hours.
  • (4)
    The emergency lighting equipment shall be fully operational for the duration of the tests required by 7.9.3.1.3(2) and (3).
  • (5)
    The computer-based system shall be capable of providing a report of the history of tests and failures at all times.





7.10 Marking of Means of Egress.[Bookmark][Notes][Print]

7.10.1 General.  

7.10.1.1 Where Required.   Means of egress shall be marked in accordance with Section 7.10 where required in Chapters 11 through 43.



7.10.1.2 Exits.  

7.10.1.2.1*    Exits, other than main exterior exit doors that obviously and clearly are identifiable as exits, shall be marked by an approved sign that is readily visible from any direction of exit access.



7.10.1.2.2*    Horizontal components of the egress path within an exit enclosure shall be marked by approved exit or directional exit signs where the continuation of the egress path is not obvious.




7.10.1.3 Exit Door Tactile Signage.   Tactile signage shall be provided to meet all of the following criteria, unless otherwise provided in 7.10.1.4:

  • (1)
    Tactile signage shall be located at each exit door requiring an exit sign.
  • (2)
    Tactile signage shall read as follows: EXIT.
  • (3)
    Tactile signage shall comply with ICC/ANSI A117.1, American National Standard for Accessible and Usable Buildings and Facilities.




7.10.1.4 Existing Exemption.   The requirements of 7.10.1.3 shall not apply to existing buildings, provided that the occupancy classification does not change.



7.10.1.5 Exit Access.  

7.10.1.5.1    Access to exits shall be marked by approved, readily visible signs in all cases where the exit or way to reach the exit is not readily apparent to the occupants.



7.10.1.5.2*    New sign placement shall be such that no point in an exit access corridor is in excess of the rated viewing distance or 100 ft (30 m), whichever is less, from the nearest sign.




7.10.1.6* Floor Proximity Exit Signs.   Where floor proximity exit signs are required in Chapters 11 through 43, such signs shall comply with 7.10.3, 7.10.4, 7.10.5, and 7.10.6 for externally illuminated signs and 7.10.7 for internally illuminated signs. Such signs shall be located near the floor level in addition to those signs required for doors or corridors. The bottom of the sign shall be not less than 6 in. (150 mm), but not more than 18 in. (455 mm), above the floor. For exit doors, the sign shall be mounted on the door or adjacent to the door, with the nearest edge of the sign within 4 in. (100 mm) of the door frame.



7.10.1.7* Floor Proximity Egress Path Marking.   Where floor proximity egress path marking is required in Chapters 11 through 43, an approved floor proximity egress path marking system that is internally illuminated shall be installed within 18 in. (455 mm) of the floor. Floor proximity egress path marking systems shall be listed in accordance with ANSI/UL 1994, Standard for Luminous Egress Path Marking Systems. The system shall provide a visible delineation of the path of travel along the designated exit access and shall be essentially continuous, except as interrupted by doorways, hallways, corridors, or other such architectural features. The system shall operate continuously or at any time the building fire alarm system is activated. The activation, duration, and continuity of operation of the system shall be in accordance with 7.9.2. The system shall be maintained in accordance with the product manufacturing listing.



7.10.1.8* Visibility.   Every sign required in Section 7.10 shall be located and of such size, distinctive color, and design that it is readily visible and shall provide contrast with decorations, interior finish, or other signs. No decorations, furnishings, or equipment that impairs visibility of a sign shall be permitted. No brightly illuminated sign (for other than exit purposes), display, or object in or near the line of vision of the required exit sign that could detract attention from the exit sign shall be permitted.



7.10.1.9 Mounting Location.   The bottom of new egress markings shall be located at a vertical distance of not more than 6 ft 8 in. (2030 mm) above the top edge of the egress opening intended for designation by that marking. Egress markings shall be located at a horizontal distance of not more than the required width of the egress opening, as measured from the edge of the egress opening intended for designation by that marking to the nearest edge of the marking.




7.10.2 Directional Signs.  

7.10.2.1*    A sign complying with 7.10.3, with a directional indicator showing the direction of travel, shall be placed in every location where the direction of travel to reach the nearest exit is not apparent.



7.10.2.2    Directional exit signs shall be provided within horizontal components of the egress path within exit enclosures as required by 7.10.1.2.2.




7.10.3* Sign Legend.  

7.10.3.1    Signs required by 7.10.1 and 7.10.2 shall read as follows in plainly legible letters, or other appropriate wording shall be used:
EXIT



7.10.3.2*    Where approved by the authority having jurisdiction, pictograms in compliance with NFPA 170, Standard for Fire Safety and Emergency Symbols, shall be permitted.




7.10.4* Power Source.   Where emergency lighting facilities are required by the applicable provisions of Chapters 11 through 43 for individual occupancies, the signs, other than approved self-luminous signs and listed photoluminescent signs in accordance with 7.10.7.2, shall be illuminated by the emergency lighting facilities. The level of illumination of the signs shall be in accordance with 7.10.6.3 or 7.10.7 for the required emergency lighting duration as specified in 7.9.2.1. However, the level of illumination shall be permitted to decline to 60 percent at the end of the emergency lighting duration.



7.10.5 Illumination of Signs.  

7.10.5.1* General.   Every sign required by 7.10.1.2, 7.10.1.5, or 7.10.8.1, other than where operations or processes require low lighting levels, shall be suitably illuminated by a reliable light source. Externally and internally illuminated signs shall be legible in both the normal and emergency lighting mode.



7.10.5.2* Continuous Illumination.  

7.10.5.2.1    Every sign required to be illuminated by 7.10.6.3, 7.10.7, and 7.10.8.1 shall be continuously illuminated as required under the provisions of Section 7.8, unless otherwise provided in 7.10.5.2.2.



7.10.5.2.2*    Illumination for signs shall be permitted to flash on and off upon activation of the fire alarm system.





7.10.6 Externally Illuminated Signs.  

7.10.6.1* Size of Signs.  

7.10.6.1.1    Externally illuminated signs required by 7.10.1 and 7.10.2, other than approved existing signs, unless otherwise provided in 7.10.6.1.2, shall read EXIT or shall use other appropriate wording in plainly legible letters sized as follows:

  • (1)
    For new signs, the letters shall be not less than 6 in. (150 mm) high, with the principal strokes of letters not less than 3/4 in. (19 mm) wide.
  • (2)
    For existing signs, the required wording shall be permitted to be in plainly legible letters not less than 4 in. (100 mm) high.
  • (3)
    The word EXIT shall be in letters of a width not less than 2 in. (51 mm), except the letter I, and the minimum spacing between letters shall be not less than 3/8 in. (9.5 mm).
  • (4)
    Sign legend elements larger than the minimum established in 7.10.6.1.1(1) through (3) shall use letter widths, strokes, and spacing in proportion to their height.




7.10.6.1.2    The requirements of 7.10.6.1.1 shall not apply to marking required by 7.10.1.3 and 7.10.1.7.




7.10.6.2* Size and Location of Directional Indicator.  

7.10.6.2.1    Directional indicators, unless otherwise provided in 7.10.6.2.2, shall comply with all of the following:

  • (1)
    The directional indicator shall be located outside of the EXIT legend, not less than 3/8 in. (9.5 mm) from any letter.
  • (2)
    The directional indicator shall be of a chevron type, as shown in Figure 7.10.6.2.1.
  • (3)
    The directional indicator shall be identifiable as a directional indicator at a distance of 40 ft (12 m).
  • (4)
    A directional indicator larger than the minimum established for compliance with 7.10.6.2.1(3) shall be proportionately increased in height, width, and stroke.
  • (5)
    The directional indicator shall be located at the end of the sign for the direction indicated.






FIGURE 7.10.6.2.1
Chevron-Type Indicator.






7.10.6.2.2    The requirements of 7.10.6.2.1 shall not apply to approved existing signs.




7.10.6.3* Level of Illumination.   Externally illuminated signs shall be illuminated by not less than 5 ft-candles (54 lux) at the illuminated surface and shall have a contrast ratio of not less than 0.5.




7.10.7 Internally Illuminated Signs.  

7.10.7.1 Listing.   Internally illuminated signs shall be listed in accordance with ANSI/UL 924, Standard for Emergency Lighting and Power Equipment, unless they meet one of the following criteria:

  • (1)
    They are approved existing signs.
  • (2)
    They are existing signs having the required wording in legible letters not less than 4 in. (100 mm) high.
  • (3)
    They are signs that are in accordance with 7.10.1.3 and 7.10.1.6.




7.10.7.2* Photoluminescent Signs.   The face of a photoluminescent sign shall be continually illuminated while the building is occupied. The illumination levels on the face of the photoluminescent sign shall be in accordance with its listing. The charging illumination shall be a reliable light source, as determined by the authority having jurisdiction. The charging light source, shall be of a type specified in the product markings.




7.10.8 Special Signs.  

7.10.8.1 Sign Illumination.  

7.10.8.1.1    Where required by other provisions of this Code, special signs shall be illuminated in accordance with 7.10.5, 7.10.6.3, and 7.10.7.



7.10.8.1.2    Where emergency lighting facilities are required by the applicable provisions of Chapters 11 through 43, the required illumination of special signs shall additionally be provided under emergency lighting conditions.




7.10.8.2 Characters.   Special signs, where required by other provisions of this Code, shall comply with the visual character requirements of ICC/ANSI A117.1, American National Standard for Accessible and Usable Buildings and Facilities.



7.10.8.3* No Exit.  

7.10.8.3.1    Any door, passage, or stairway that is neither an exit nor a way of exit access and that is located or arranged so that it is likely to be mistaken for an exit shall be identified by a sign that reads as follows:
NO
EXIT



7.10.8.3.2    The NO EXIT sign shall have the word NO in letters 2 in. (51 mm) high, with a stroke width of 3/8 in. (9.5 mm), and the word EXIT in letters 1 in. (25 mm) high, with the word EXIT below the word NO, unless such sign is an approved existing sign.




7.10.8.4 Elevator Signs.   Elevators that are a part of a means of egress (see 7.2.13.1) shall have both of the following signs with a minimum letter height of 5/8 in. (16 mm) posted in every elevator lobby:

  • (1)*
    Signs that indicate that the elevator can be used for egress, including any restrictions on use
  • (2)*
    Signs that indicate the operational status of elevators




7.10.8.5* Evacuation Diagram.   Where a posted floor evacuation diagram is required in Chapters 11 through 43, floor evacuation diagrams reflecting the actual floor arrangement and exit locations shall be posted and oriented in a location and manner acceptable to the authority having jurisdiction.




7.10.9 Testing and Maintenance.  

7.10.9.1 Inspection.   Exit signs shall be visually inspected for operation of the illumination sources at intervals not to exceed 30 days or shall be periodically monitored in accordance with 7.9.3.1.3.



7.10.9.2 Testing.   Exit signs connected to, or provided with, a battery-operated emergency illumination source, where required in 7.10.4, shall be tested and maintained in accordance with 7.9.3.



7.11 Special Provisions for Occupancies with High Hazard Contents.[Bookmark][Notes][Print] See Section 6.2.


7.11.1*    Where the contents are classified as high hazard, exits shall be provided and arranged to allow all occupants to escape from the building or structure, or from the hazardous area thereof, to the outside or to a place of safety with a travel distance of not more than 75 ft (23 m), measured as required in 7.6.1, unless otherwise provided in 7.11.2.



7.11.2    The requirement of 7.11.1 shall not apply to storage occupancies as otherwise provided in Chapter 42.



7.11.3    Egress capacity for high hazard contents areas shall be based on 0.7 in./person (18 mm/person) for stairs or 0.4 in./person (10 mm/person) for level components and ramps in accordance with 7.3.3.1.



7.11.4    Not less than two means of egress shall be provided from each building or hazardous area thereof, unless all of the following criteria are met:

  • (1)
    Rooms or spaces do not exceed 200 ft2 (18.6 m2).
  • (2)
    Rooms or spaces have an occupant load not exceeding three persons.
  • (3)
    Rooms or spaces have a travel distance to the room door not exceeding 25 ft (7620 mm).




7.11.5    Means of egress, for rooms or spaces other than those that meet the criteria of 7.11.4(1) through (3), shall be arranged so that there are no dead ends in corridors.



7.11.6    Doors serving high hazard contents areas with occupant loads in excess of five shall be permitted to be provided with a latch or lock only if the latch or lock is panic hardware or fire exit hardware complying with 7.2.1.7.


7.12 Mechanical Equipment Rooms, Boiler Rooms, and Furnace Rooms.[Bookmark][Notes][Print]

7.12.1    Mechanical equipment rooms, boiler rooms, furnace rooms, and similar spaces shall be arranged to limit common path of travel to a distance not exceeding 50 ft (15 m), unless otherwise permitted by the following:

  • (1)
    A common path of travel not exceeding 100 ft (30 m) shall be permitted in the following locations:

    • (a)
      In buildings protected throughout by an approved, supervised automatic sprinkler system in accordance with Section 9.7
    • (b)
      In mechanical equipment rooms with no fuel-fired equipment
    • (c)
      In existing buildings

  • (2)
    In an existing building, a common path of travel not exceeding 150 ft (46 m) shall be permitted, provided that all of the following criteria are met:

    • (a)
      The building is protected throughout by an approved, supervised automatic sprinkler system installed in accordance with Section 9.7.
    • (b)
      No fuel-fired equipment is within the space.
    • (c)
      The egress path is readily identifiable.

  • (3)
    The requirement of 7.12.1 shall not apply to rooms or spaces in existing health care occupancies complying with the arrangement of means of egress provisions of 19.2.5 and the travel distance limits of 19.2.6.




7.12.2    Stories used exclusively for mechanical equipment, furnaces, or boilers shall be permitted to have a single means of egress where the travel distance to an exit on that story is not in excess of the common path of travel limitations of 7.12.1.


7.13 Normally Unoccupied Building Service Equipment Support Areas.[Bookmark][Notes][Print]

7.13.1* Hazard of Contents.  

7.13.1.1    Unless prohibited by Chapters 11 through 43, the provisions of Section 7.13 shall apply, in lieu of the provisions of Sections 7.1 through 7.12, to normally unoccupied building service equipment support areas where such areas do not contain high hazard contents or operations.



7.13.1.2    Building service equipment support areas shall not contain fuel-fired equipment or be used for the storage of combustibles.




7.13.2 Egress Doors.  

7.13.2.1*    Egress from normally unoccupied building service equipment support areas shall be provided by doors complying with 7.2.1 where the normally unoccupied building service equipment support area exceeds 45,000 ft2 (4180 m2) in buildings not protected throughout by an approved, supervised automatic sprinkler system in accordance with 9.7.1.1(1).



7.13.2.2    Egress from normally unoccupied building service equipment support areas shall be provided by doors complying with 7.2.1 where the normally unoccupied building service equipment support area exceeds 90,000 ft2 (8370 m2) in buildings protected throughout by an approved, supervised automatic sprinkler system in accordance with 9.7.1.1(1).



7.13.2.3    The absence of sprinklers in the normally unoccupied building service equipment support area, as permitted by an exemption of NFPA 13, Standard for the Installation of Sprinkler Systems, shall not cause a building to be classified as nonsprinklered for purposes of applying the provisions of 7.13.2.2.




7.13.3 Means of Egress Path.  

7.13.3.1    A designated means of egress path shall be provided within the normally unoccupied building service equipment support area where the normally unoccupied area exceeds 45,000 ft2 (4180 m2) in buildings not protected throughout by an approved, supervised automatic sprinkler system in accordance with 9.7.1.1(1).



7.13.3.2    A designated means of egress path shall be provided within the normally unoccupied building service equipment support area where the normally unoccupied area exceeds 90,000 ft2 (8370 m2) in buildings protected throughout by an approved, supervised automatic sprinkler system in accordance with 9.7.1.1(1).



7.13.3.3    The absence of sprinklers in the normally unoccupied building service equipment support area, as permitted by an exemption of NFPA 13, Standard for the Installation of Sprinkler Systems, shall not cause a building to be classified as nonsprinklered for purposes of applying the provisions of 7.13.3.2.



7.13.3.4    Where a means of egress path is required, the path shall be a minimum of 28 in. (710 mm) clear width.



7.13.3.5    Where a means of egress path is required, minimum headroom shall be 6 ft 8 in. (2030 mm) along the entire designated means of egress path.



7.13.3.6    Exit signage shall not be required along the means of egress path within normally unoccupied building service equipment support areas.



7.13.3.7    Where two means of egress are required, the means of egress path shall connect the two required means of egress.



7.13.3.8    The designated means of egress path shall be within 25 ft (7.6 m) of any portion of the space where the only available access requires crossing over or under obstructions, unless the space is completely inaccessible.




7.13.4 Illumination.  

7.13.4.1    The minimum illumination of means of egress along the required means of egress path shall be 0.2 ft-candle (2.2 lux), except as otherwise provided in 7.13.4.2.



7.13.4.2    Illumination of means of egress shall not be required in normally unoccupied building service equipment support areas where illumination of means of egress is not required by the applicable occupancy chapter for the remainder of the building.




7.13.5 Number of Means of Egress.  

7.13.5.1    Two remotely located means of egress shall be provided within the normally unoccupied building service equipment suport area where the normally unoccupied area exceeds 45,000 ft2 (4180 m2) in buildings not protected throughout by an approved, supervised automatic sprinkler system in accordance with 9.7.1.1(1).



7.13.5.2    Two remotely located means of egress shall be provided within the normally unoccupied building service equipment support area where the normally unoccupied area exceeds 90,000 ft2 (8370 m2) in buildings protected throughout by an approved, supervised automatic sprinkler system in accordance with 9.7.1.1(1).



7.13.5.3    The absence of sprinklers in the normally unoccupied building service equipment support area, as permitted by an exemption of NFPA 13, Standard for the Installation of Sprinkler Systems, shall not cause a building to be classified as nonsprinklered for purposes of applying the provisions of 7.13.5.2.



7.14 Elevators for Occupant-Controlled Evacuation Prior to Phase I Emergency Recall Operations.[Bookmark][Notes][Print]

7.14.1 General.  

7.14.1.1*    Where passenger elevators for general public use are permitted to be used for occupant-controlled evacuation prior to Phase I Emergency Recall Operation mandated by the firefighters’ emergency operation provisions of ASME A17.1/CSA B44, Safety Code for Elevators and Escalators, the elevator system shall also comply with this section, except as otherwise permitted by 7.14.1.2.



7.14.1.2    The provisions of Section 7.14 shall not apply where the limited or supervised use of elevators for evacuation is part of a formal or informal evacuation strategy, including the relocation or evacuation of patients in health care occupancies and the relocation or evacuation of occupants with disabilities in other occupancies.



7.14.1.3    Occupant evacuation elevators in accordance with Section 7.14 shall not be permitted to satisfy requirements of this Code applicable to the following:

  • (1)
    Number of means of egress
  • (2)
    Capacity of means of egress
  • (3)
    Arrangement of means of egress





7.14.2 Occupant Information Features.  

7.14.2.1*    An emergency plan approved by the authority having jurisdiction shall be implemented, specifically including the procedures for occupant evacuation using the exit stairs and the occupant evacuation elevators.



7.14.2.2    Occupant evacuation elevators shall be marked with signage indicating the elevators are suitable for use by building occupants for evacuation during fires.



7.14.2.3 Conditions for Safe Continued Operation.  

7.14.2.3.1    Conditions necessary for the continued safe operation of the occupant evacuation elevators and the associated elevator lobbies and elevator machine rooms shall be continuously monitored and displayed at the building emergency command center by a standard emergency service interface system meeting the requirements of NFPA 72 , National Fire Alarm and Signaling Code, and NEMA SB 30, Fire Service Annunciator and Interface.



7.14.2.3.2    The monitoring and display required by 7.14.2.3.1 shall include all of the following:

  • (1)
    Floor location of each elevator car
  • (2)
    Direction of travel of each elevator car
  • (3)
    Status of each elevator car with respect to whether it is occupied
  • (4)
    Status of normal power to the elevator equipment, elevator controller cooling equipment, and elevator machine room ventilation and cooling equipment
  • (5)
    Status of standby or emergency power system that provides backup power to the elevator equipment, elevator controller cooling equipment, and elevator machine room ventilation and cooling equipment
  • (6)
    Activation of any fire alarm–initiating device in any elevator lobby, elevator machine room or machine space, or elevator hoistway





7.14.2.4    The building emergency command center location specified in 7.14.2.3 shall be provided with a means to override normal elevator operation and to initiate manually a Phase I Emergency Recall Operation of the occupant-controlled elevators in accordance with ASME A17.1/CSA B44, Safety Code for Elevators and Escalators.



7.14.2.5    Occupant evacuation elevator lobbies shall be equipped with a status indicator arranged to display the following:

  • (1)
    Illuminated green light and the message “Elevators available for occupant evacuation” while the elevators are operating under emergency conditions but before Phase I Emergency Recall Operation in accordance with the fire fighters’ emergency operation requirements of ASME A17.1/CSA B44, Safety Code for Elevators and Escalators
  • (2)
    Illuminated red light and the message “Elevators out of service, use exit stairs” once the elevators are under Phase I Emergency Recall Operation
  • (3)
    No illuminated light but the message “Elevators are operating normally” while the elevators are operating under nonemergency conditions





7.14.3 Fire Detection, Alarm, and Communication.  

7.14.3.1    The building shall be protected throughout by an approved fire alarm system in accordance with Section 9.6.



7.14.3.2*    The fire alarm system shall include an emergency voice/alarm communication system in accordance with NFPA 72 , National Fire Alarm and Signaling Code, with the ability to provide voice directions on a selective basis to any building floor.



7.14.3.3*    The emergency voice/alarm communication system shall be arranged so that intelligible voice instructions are audible in the elevator lobbies under conditions where the elevator lobby doors are in the closed position.



7.14.3.4 Two-way Communication System.    A two-way communication system shall be provided in each occupant evacuation elevator lobby for the purpose of initiating communication with the emergency command center or an alternative location approved by the fire department.


7.14.3.4.1 Design and Installation.    The two-way communication system shall include audible and visible signals and shall be designed and installed in accordance with the requirements of ICC/ANSI A117.1, American National Standard for Accessible and Usable Buildings and Facilities.



7.14.3.4.2 Instructions.    Instructions for the use of the two-way communication system, along with the location of the station, shall be permanently located adjacent to each station. Signage shall comply with the requirements of ICC/ANSI A117.1, American National Standard for Accessible and Usable Buildings and Facilities, for visual characters.





7.14.4 Sprinklers.  

7.14.4.1    The building shall be protected throughout by an approved, supervised automatic sprinkler system in accordance with 9.7.1.1(1), except as otherwise specified in 7.14.4.2.


7.14.4.1.1    A sprinkler control valve and a waterflow device shall be provided for each floor.



7.14.4.1.2    The sprinkler control valves and waterflow devices required by 7.14.4.1.1 shall be monitored by the building fire alarm system.




7.14.4.2*    Sprinklers shall not be installed in elevator machine rooms serving occupant evacuation elevators, and such prohibition shall not cause an otherwise fully sprinklered building to be classified as nonsprinklered.



7.14.4.3*    Where a hoistway serves occupant evacuation elevators, sprinklers shall not be installed at the top of the elevator hoistway or at other points in the hoistway more than 24 in. (610 mm) above the pit floor, and such prohibition shall not cause the building to be classified as nonsprinklered.




7.14.5 Elevator Installation.  

7.14.5.1    Except as modified by 7.14.5.2, occupant evacuation elevators shall be installed in accordance with ASME A17.1/CSA B44, Safety Code for Elevators and Escalators.



7.14.5.2*    Shunt breakers shall not be installed on elevator systems used for occupant evacuation.



7.14.5.3    Occupant evacuation elevators shall be limited to passenger elevators that are located in noncombustible hoistways and for which the car enclosure materials meet the requirements of ASME A17.1/CSA B44, Safety Code for Elevators and Escalators.




7.14.6 Elevator Machine Rooms.  

7.14.6.1*    Elevator machine rooms associated with occupant evacuation elevators shall be separated from all building areas, other than elevator hoistways, by minimum 2-hour fire resistance–rated construction.



7.14.6.2*    Elevator machine rooms associated with occupant evacuation elevators shall be used for no purpose other than elevator machine rooms.




7.14.7 Electrical Power and Control Wiring.  

7.14.7.1    The following features associated with occupant evacuation elevators shall be supplied by both normal power and Type 60, Class 2, Level 1 standby power:

  • (1)
    Elevator equipment
  • (2)
    Elevator machine room ventilation and cooling equipment
  • (3)
    Elevator controller cooling equipment




7.14.7.2*    Wiring for power of the elevators shall meet one of the following criteria:

  • (1)
    The wiring shall utilize Type CI cable with a minimum 1-hour fire resistance rating.
  • (2)
    The wiring shall be enclosed in a minimum 1-hour fire resistance construction.





7.14.8 Occupant Evacuation Shaft System.  

7.14.8.1    Occupant evacuation elevators shall be provided with an occupant evacuation shaft system consisting of all of the following:

  • (1)
    Elevator hoistway
  • (2)
    Enclosed elevator lobby outside the bank or group of hoistway doors on each floor served by the elevators, with the exception that elevator lobbies not be required to be enclosed where located either on the street floor or level of exit discharge
  • (3)
    Enclosed exit stair with doors to all floors, at and above grade level, served by the elevators




7.14.8.2 Elevator Lobby Size  

7.14.8.2.1*    Occupant evacuation elevator lobbies shall have minimum floor area, except as otherwise provided in 7.14.8.2.2, as follows:

  • (1)
    The elevator lobby floor area shall accommodate, at 3 ft2 (0.28 m2) per person, a minimum of 25 percent of the occupant load of the floor area served by the lobby.
  • (2)
    The elevator lobby floor area also shall accommodate one wheelchair space of 30 in. × 48 in. (760 mm × 1220 mm) for each 50 persons, or portion thereof, of the occupant load of the floor area served by the lobby.




7.14.8.2.2    The size of lobbies serving multiple banks of elevators shall be exempt from the requirement of 7.14.8.2.1(1), provided that the area of such lobbies is approved on an individual basis and is consistent with the building’s emergency plan.




7.14.8.3    Access to the exit stair required by 7.14.8.1(3) shall be directly from the enclosed elevator lobby on each floor.



7.14.8.4    The occupant evacuation shaft system shall be enclosed and separated from the remainder of the building by walls complying with the following:

  • (1)
    The shaft system walls shall be smoke barriers in accordance with Section 8.5.
  • (2)
    The shaft system walls separating the elevator lobby from the remainder of the building shall have a minimum 1-hour fire resistance rating and minimum 3/4-hour fire protection–rated opening protectives.
  • (3)
    The shaft system walls separating the elevator hoistway from the remainder of the building shall have a minimum 2-hour fire resistance rating and minimum 1 1/2-hour fire protection–rated opening protectives.
  • (4)
    The shaft system walls separating the enclosed exit stair from the remainder of the building shall have a minimum 2-hour fire resistance rating and minimum 1 1/2-hour fire protection–rated opening protectives.




7.14.8.5    Occupant evacuation shaft system enclosures shall be constructed to provide a minimum of classification Level 2 in accordance with ASTM C 1629/C 1629M, Standard Classification for Abuse-Resistant Nondecorated Interior Gypsum Panel Products and Fiber-Reinforced Cement Panels.



7.14.8.6*    An approved method to prevent water from infiltrating into the hoistway enclosure from the operation of the automatic sprinkler system outside the enclosed occupant evacuation elevator lobby shall be provided.



7.14.8.7*    Occupant evacuation shaft system elevator lobby doors shall have all of the following features:

  • (1)
    The doors shall have a fire protection rating of not less than 3/4 hour.
  • (2)
    The doors shall be smoke leakage–rated assemblies in accordance with NFPA 105, Standard for Smoke Door Assemblies and Other Opening Protectives.
  • (3)
    The doors shall have an automatic positioning bottom seal to resist the passage of water at floor level from outside the shaft system.




7.14.8.8    Occupant evacuation shaft system elevator lobby doors shall have the following features:

  • (1)
    Each door shall be automatic-closing in accordance with 7.2.1.8.2, as modified by 7.14.8.8(2).
  • (2)
    In addition to the automatic-closing means addressed by 7.2.1.8.2, the elevator lobby door on any floor shall also close in response to any alarm signal initiated on that floor.
  • (3)
    Each door shall be provided with a vision panel arranged to allow people within the lobby to view conditions on the other side of the door.




7.14.8.9    Each occupant evacuation shaft system exit stair enclosure door shall be provided with a vision panel arranged to allow people on either side of the door to view conditions on the other side of the door.