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Title: Section 305  •  Size: 17367

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305.1 Group E Occupancies Defined. Group E Occupancies shall be:

Division 1. Any building used for educational purposes through the 12th grade by 50 or more persons for more than 12 hours per week or four hours in any one day.

Division 2. Any building used for educational purposes through the 12th grade by less than 50 persons for more than 12 hours per week or four hours in any one day.

Division 3. Any building or portion thereof used for day-care purposes for more than six persons.

For occupancy separations, see Table 3-B.

305.2 Construction, Height and Allowable Area.

305.2.1 General. Buildings or parts of buildings classed in Group E because of the use or character of the occupancy shall be limited to the types of construction set forth in Table 5-B and shall not exceed, in area or height, the limits specified in Sections 504, 505 and 506, except that the area may be increased by 50 percent when the maximum travel distance specified in Section 1003.4 is reduced by 50 percent.

305.2.2 Atmospheric separation requirements.

305.2.2.1 Definitions. For the purpose of this chapter and Section 1017, the following definitions are applicable:

COMMON ATMOSPHERE. A common atmosphere exists between rooms, spaces or areas within a building which are not separated by an approved smoke- and draft-stop barrier.

SEPARATE ATMOSPHERE. A separate atmosphere exists between rooms, spaces or areas that are separated by an approved smoke barrier.

SMOKE BARRIER. A smoke barrier consists of walls, partitions, floors and openings therein as will prevent the transmission of smoke or gases through the construction. See Section 905.

305.2.2.2 General provisions. The provisions of this section apply when a separate exit system is required in accordance with Section 1017.

Walls, partitions and floors forming all or part of an atmospheric separation shall be as required by Section 905.2.3. Glass lights of approved wired glass set in steel frames may be installed in such walls or partitions.


All automatic-closing fire assemblies installed in the atmospheric separation shall be activated by approved smoke detectors.

The specific requirements of this section are not intended to prevent the design or use of other systems, equipment or techniques which will effectively prevent the products of combustion from breaching the atmospheric separation.

305.2.3 Special provisions. Rooms in Divisions 1 and 2 Occupancies used for kindergarten, first- or second-grade pupils, and Division 3 Occupancies shall not be located above or below the first story.

EXCEPTIONS: 1. Basements or stories having floor levels located within 4 feet (1219 mm), measured vertically, from adjacent ground level at the point of exit, provided the basement or story has exits directly to the exterior at that level.

2. In buildings equipped with an automatic sprinkler system throughout, rooms used for kindergarten, first- and second-grade children or for day-care purposes may be located on the second story, provided there are at least two exits directly to the exterior for the exclusive use of such occupants.

3. Division 3 Occupancies may be located above the first story in buildings of Type I construction and in Types II-F.R., II One-hour and III One-hour construction, subject to the limitation of Section 506 when:

3.1 Division 3 Occupancies with children under the age of seven or containing more than 12 children per story shall not be located above the fourth floor; and

3.2 The entire story in which the day-care facility is located is equipped with an approved manual fire alarm and smoke-detection system. (See the Fire Code.) Actuation of an initiating device shall sound an audible alarm throughout the entire story. When a building fire alarm system is required by other provisions of this code or the Fire Code, the alarm system shall be connected to the building alarm system.
An approved alarm signal shall sound at an approved location in the day-care occupancy to indicate a fire alarm or sprinkler flow condition in other portions of the building; and

3.3 The day-care facility, if more than 1,000 square feet (92.9 m²) in area, is divided into at least two compartments of approximately the same size by a smoke barrier with door openings protected by smoke- and draft-control assemblies having a fire-protection rating of not less than 20 minutes. Smoke barriers shall have a fire-resistive rating of not less than one hour. In addition to the requirements of Section 302, occupancy separations between Division 3 Occupancies and other occupancies shall be constructed as smoke barriers. Door openings in the smoke barrier shall be tight fitting with gaskets installed as required by Section 1005, and shall be automatic closing by actuation of the automatic sprinklers, fire alarm or smoke-detection system. Openings for ducts and other heating, ventilating and air-conditioning openings shall be equipped with a minimum Class I, 250°F. (121°C.) smoke damper as defined and tested in accordance with approved recognized standards. See Chapter 35, Part III. The damper shall close upon detection of smoke by an approved smoke detector located within the duct, or upon the activation of the fire alarm system; and

3.4 Each compartment formed by the smoke barrier has not less than two exits, one of which is permitted to pass through the adjoining compartment; and

3.5 At least one exit from the Division 3 Occupancy shall be into a separate exiting system as defined in Section 1017; and

3.6 The building is equipped with an automatic sprinkler system throughout.

Stages and platforms shall be constructed in accordance with Chapter 4. For attic space partitions and draft stops, see Section 708.

305.2.4 Special hazards. Laboratories, vocational shops and similar areas containing hazardous materials shall be separated from each other and from other portions of the building by not less than a one-hour fire-resistive occupancy separation. When the quantities of hazardous materials in such uses do not exceed those listed in Table 3-D or 3-E, the requirements of Sections 307.5.2 and 307.8 shall apply. When the quantities of hazardous materials in such uses exceed those listed in Table 3-D or 3-E, the use shall be classified as the appropriate Group H Occupancy.

See Section 1017.7 for exiting from laboratories in Group E Occupancies.

Equipment in rooms or groups of rooms sharing a common atmosphere where flammable liquids, combustible dust or hazardous materials are used, stored, developed or handled shall conform to the requirements of the Fire Code.

305.3 Location on Property. All buildings housing Group E Occupancies shall front directly on or have access to a public street not less than 20 feet (6096 mm) in width. The access to the public street shall be a minimum 20-foot-wide (6096 mm) right-of-way, unobstructed and maintained only as access to the public street. At least one required exit shall be located on the public street or on the access way.

For fire-resistive protection of exterior walls and openings, as determined by location on property, see Section 503 and Chapter 6.

305.4 Access and Exit Facilities. Exits shall be provided as specified in Chapter 10. (For special provisions see Section 1017.)

Access to, and egress from, buildings required to be accessible shall be provided as specified in Chapter 11.

305.5 Light, Ventilation and Sanitation. All portions of Group E Occupancies customarily occupied by human beings shall be provided with light and ventilation, either natural or artificial, as specified in Chapter 12. See Section 1012 for required exit illumination.

The number of urinals and drinking fountains shall be as specified in Section 2902.4.

305.6 Shaft and Exit Enclosures. Exits shall be enclosed as specified in Chapter 10. Elevator shafts, vent shafts and other vertical openings shall be enclosed, and the enclosure shall be as specified in Section 711.

305.7 Sprinkler and Standpipe Systems. When required by Section 904.2.1 or other provisions of this code, automatic sprinkler systems and standpipes shall be designed and installed as specified in Chapter 9.

305.8 Special Hazards. Chimneys and heating apparatus shall conform to the requirements of Chapter 31 of this code and the Mechanical Code.

Motion picture machine rooms shall conform to the requirements of Chapter 4.

All exterior openings in a boiler room or rooms containing central heating equipment, if located below openings in another story or if less than 10 feet (3048 mm) from other doors or windows of the same building, shall be protected by a fire assembly having a three-fourths-hour fire-protection rating. Such fire assemblies shall be fixed, automatic closing or self-closing.

Class I, II or III-A liquids shall not be placed, stored or used in Group E Occupancies, except in approved quantities as necessary in laboratories and classrooms and for operation and maintenance as set forth in the Fire Code.

305.9 Fire Alarm Systems. An approved fire alarm system shall be provided for Group E Occupancies with an occupant load of 50 or more persons. In Group E Occupancies provided with an automatic sprinkler or detection system, the operation of such system shall automatically activate the school fire alarm system, which shall include an alarm mounted on the exterior of the building.

See Chapter 10 for smoke-detection requirements.

For installation requirements, see the Fire Code.

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