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Title: Section 3407  •  Size: 10383

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SECTION 3407 - EXITS

3407.1 Number of Exits. Every floor above the first story used for human occupancy shall have access to at least two separate exits, one of which may be an exterior fire escape complying with Secton 3412.4. Subject to the approval of the building official, an approved ladder device may be used in lieu of a fire escape when the construction feature or location of the building on the property makes the installation of a fire escape impracticable.

EXCEPTION: In all occupancies, second stories with an occupant load of 10 or less may have one exit.

An exit ladder device when used in lieu of a fire escape shall conform with U.B.C. Standard 10-3 which is a part of this code (see Chapter 35) and the following:

1. Serves an occupant load of 10 or less or a single dwelling unit or guest room.

2. The building does not exceed three stories in height.

3. The access is adjacent to an opening as specified for emergency egress or rescue or from a balcony.

4. Shall not pass in front of any building opening below the unit being served.

5. The availability of activating the device for the ladder is accessible only from the opening or balcony served.

6. So installed that it will not cause a person using it to be within 6 feet (1829 mm) of exposed electrical wiring.

3407.2 Stair Construction. All required stairs shall have a minimum run of 9 inches (229 mm) and a maximum rise of 8 inches (203 mm) and shall have a minimum width of 30 inches (762 mm) exclusive of handrails. Every stairway shall have at least one handrail. A landing having a minimum 30-inch (762 mm) run in the direction of travel shall be provided at each point of access to the stairway.

EXCEPTION: Fire escapes as provided for in this section.

Exterior stairs shall be of noncombustible construction.

EXCEPTION: On buildings of Types III, IV and V, provided the exterior stairs are constructed of wood not less than 2-inch (51 mm) nominal thickness.

3407.3 Corridors. Corridors of Groups A, B, E, H, I and R, Division 1 Occupancies serving as an exit for an occupant load of 30 or more shall have walls and ceilings of not less than one-hour fire-resistive construction as required by this code. Existing walls surfaced with wood lath and plaster in good condition or 1/2-inch (12.7 mm) gypsum wallboard or openings with fixed wired glass set in steel frames are permitted for corridor walls and ceilings and occupancy separations when approved. Doors opening into such corridors shall be protected by 20-minute fire assemblies or solid wood doors not less than 1 3/4 inches (45 mm) thick. Where the existing frame will not accommodate the 1 3/4-inch-thick (45 mm) door, a 1 3/8-inch-thick (35 mm) (solid bonded wood-core door or equivalent insulated steel door shall be permitted. Doors shall be self-closing or automatic closing by smoke detection. Transoms and openings other than doors from corridors to rooms shall comply with Section 1005.8 of this code or shall be covered with a minimum of 3/4-inch (19.1 mm) plywood or 1/2-inch (12.7 mm) gypsum wallboard or equivalent material on the room side.

EXCEPTION: Existing corridor walls, ceilings and opening protection not in compliance with the above may be continued when such buildings are protected with an approved automatic sprinkler system throughout. Such sprinkler system may be supplied from the domestic water system if it is of adequate volume and pressure.

3407.4 Fire Escapes.

1. Existing fire escapes which, in the opinion of the building official, comply with the intent of this section may be used as one of the required exits. The location and anchorage of fire escapes shall be of approved design and construction.

2. Fire escapes shall comply with the following:

Access from a corridor shall not be through an intervening room.

All openings within 10 feet (3048 mm) shall be protected by three-fourths-hour fire assemblies. When located within a recess or vestibule, adjacent enclosure walls shall be of not less than one-hour fire-resistive construction.

Egress from the building shall be by a clear opening having a minimum dimension of not less than 29 inches (737 mm). Such openings shall be openable from the inside without the use of a key or special knowledge or effort. The sill of an opening giving access shall not be more than 30 inches (762 mm) above the floor of the building or balcony.

Fire escape stairways and balconies shall support the dead load plus a live load of not less than 100 pounds per square foot (4.79 kN/) and shall be provided with a top and intermediate handrail on each side. The pitch of the stairway shall not exceed 60 degrees with a minimum width of 18 inches (457 mm). Treads shall not be less than 4 inches (102 mm) in width and the rise between treads shall not exceed 10 inches (254 mm). All stair and balcony railings shall support a horizontal force of not less than 50 pounds per lineal foot (729.5 N/m) of railing.

Balconies shall not be less than 44 inches (1118 mm) in width with no floor opening other than the stairway opening greater than 5/8 inch (16 mm) in width. Stairway openings in such balconies shall not be less than 22 inches by 44 inches (599 mm by 1118 mm). The balustrade of each balcony shall not be less than 36 inches (914 mm) high with not more than 9 inches (229 mm) between balusters.

Fire escapes shall extend to the roof or provide an approved gooseneck ladder between the top floor landing and the roof when serving buildings four or more stories in height having roofs with less than 4 units vertical in 12 units horizontal (33.3% slope). Fire escape ladders shall be designed and connected to the building to withstand a horizontal force of 100 pounds per lineal foot (1459 N/m); each rung shall support a concentrated load of 500 pounds (2224 N) placed anywhere on the rung. All ladders shall be at least 15 inches (381 mm) wide, located within 12 inches (305 mm) of the building and shall be placed flatwise relative to the face of the building. Ladder rungs shall be 3/4 inch (19 mm) in diameter and shall be located 12 inches (305 mm) on center. Openings for roof access ladders through cornices and similar projections shall have minimum dimensions of 30 inches by 33 inches (762 mm by 838 mm).

The lowest balcony shall not be more than 18 feet (5486 mm) from the ground. Fire escapes shall extend to the ground or be provided with counterbalanced stairs reaching to the ground.

Fire escapes shall not take the place of stairways required by the codes under which the building was constructed.

Fire escapes shall be kept clear and unobstructed at all times and maintained in good working order.

3407.5 Exit and Fire Escape Signs. Exit signs shall be provided as required by this code.

EXCEPTION: The use of existing exit signs may be continued when approved by the building official.

All doors or windows providing access to a fire escape shall be provided with fire escape signs.

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