Scope. The provisions of this article shall govern the minimum conditions and standards for safety relating to structures and exterior premises, including firesafety facilities and equipment to be provided.
Responsibility. The owner of the premises shall provide and maintain such firesafety facilities and equipment in compliance with these requirements. A person shall not occupy as owner-occupant or permit another person to occupy any premises that do not comply with the requirements of this article.
General. A safe, continuous and unobstructed means of egress shall be provided from the interior of a structure to a public way.
Exit capacity. The capacity of the exits serving a floor shall be sufficient for the occupant load thereof as determined by the building code listed in Article VIII.
Number of exits.
In nonresidential buildings, every occupied story more than six stories above grade shall be provided with not less than two independent exits. In residential buildings, every story exceeding two stories above grade shall be provided with not less than two independent exits. In stories where more than one exit is required, all occupants shall have access to at least two exits. Every occupied story which is both totally below grade and greater than 2,000 square feet (186 m2) shall be provided with not less than two independent exits.
Exceptions: A single exit is acceptable under any one of the following conditions:
Where the building is equipped throughout with an automatic sprinkler system and an automatic fire-detection system with smoke detectors located in all corridors, lobbies and common areas.
Where the building is equipped throughout with an automatic fire-detection system and the exit is an approved smokeproof enclosure or pressurized stairway.
Where an existing fire escape conforming to the building code listed in Article VIII is provided in addition to the single exit.
Arrangement. Exits from dwelling units, rooming units, guest rooms and dormitory units shall not lead through other such units, or through toilet rooms or bathrooms.
Exit signs. All means of egress shall be indicated with approved "Exit" signs where required by the building code listed in Article VIII. All "Exit" signs shall be maintained visible, and all illuminated "Exit" signs shall be illuminated at all times that the building is occupied.
All corridors serving an occupant load greater than 30 and the openings therein shall provide an effective barrier to resist the movement of smoke. All transoms, louvers, doors and other openings shall be closed or shall be self-closing.
Corridors in occupancies in other than Use Group H which are equipped throughout with an automatic sprinkler system.
Patient room doors in corridors in occupancies in Use Group 1-2 where smoke barriers are provided in accordance with the fire prevention code listed in Article VIII are not required to be self-closing.
Corridors in occupancies in Use Group E where each room that is occupied for instruction or assembly purposes has at least 1/2 of the required means of egress doors opening directly to the exterior of the building at ground level.
Dead-end travel distance. All corridors that serve more than one exit shall provide direct connection to such exits. The length of a dead-end corridor shall not exceed 35 feet (10668 mm) where the building is not equipped throughout with an automatic sprinkler system. The dead-end travel distance limitation shall be increased to 70 feet (21336 mm) where the building is equipped throughout with an automatic sprinkler system.
Aisles. Arrangements of chairs or tables and chairs shall provide for ready access by aisle accessways and aisles to each egress door. The minimum clear width of each aisle in occupancies in Use Groups A, E and I-2 shall be maintained in accordance with the requirements of the building code listed in Article VIII. In all other occupancies, aisles shall have a minimum required clear width of 44 inches (1117.6 mm) where serving an occupant load greater than 50, and 36 inches (914 mm) where serving an occupant load of 50 or less. The clear width of aisles shall not be obstructed by chairs, tables or other objects.
Stairways, handrails and guards. Every exterior and interior flight of stairs having more than four risers, and every open portion of a stair, landing, balcony, porch, deck, ramp or other walking surface which is more than 30 inches (762 mm) above the floor or grade below shall have guards. Handrails shall not be less than 30 inches (762 mm) nor more than 42 inches (1067 mm) high, measured vertically above the nosing of the tread or above the finished floor of the landing or walking surfaces. Guards shall not be less than 30 inches (762 mm) high above the floor of the landing, balcony, porch, deck, ramp or other walking surface.
A sign shall be provided at each floor landing in all interior stairways more than three stories above grade, designating the floor level above the floor of discharge. All elevator lobby call stations on all floor levels shall be identified by approved signs in accordance with the requirements for new buildings in the building code listed in Article VIII.
Locked doors. All means of egress doors shall be readily openable from the side from which egress is to be made without the need for keys, special knowledge or effort, except as provided for in § 186-40L.
Locks permitted. Locks or fasteners shall not be installed on egress doors except in accordance with the following conditions:
In mental, penal or other institutions where the security of inmates is necessary, in which case properly trained supervisory personnel shall be continuously on duty and approved provisions shall be made to remove occupants safely in case of fire or other emergency.
In problem security areas, special-purpose door alarms or locking devices shall be approved prior to installation. Manually operated edge or surface-molded flush bolts are prohibited.
Emergency escape. Every sleeping room located in a basement in an occupancy in Use Group 1-1 or R shall have at least one openable window or exterior door approved for emergency egress or rescue or shall have access to not less than two approved independent exits; exception: buildings equipped throughout with an automatic fire-suppression system.
Security. Bars, grilles or screens placed over emergency escape windows shall be releasable or removable from the inside without the use of a key, tool or force greater than that which is required for normal operation of the window.
Accumulations. Rubbish, garbage or other materials shall not be stored or allowed to accumulate in stairways, passageways, doors, windows, fire escapes or other means of egress.
Hazardous material. Combustible, flammable, explosive or other hazardous materials, such as paints, volatile oils and cleaning fluids, or combustible rubbish, such as wastepaper, boxes and rags, shall not be accumulated or stored unless such storage complies with the applicable requirements of the building code and the fire prevention code listed in Article VIII.
General. The fire-resistance rating of floors, walls, ceilings, and other elements and components shall be maintained.
Maintenance. All required fire doors and smoke barriers shall be maintained in good working order, including all hardware necessary for the proper operation thereof. Fire doors shall not be held open by door stops, wedges and other unapproved hold-open devices.
General. All systems, devices and equipment to detect a fire, actuate an alarm, or suppress or control a fire or any combination thereof shall be properly maintained.
Fire-suppression system. Fire-suppression systems shall be in proper operating condition at all times.
Valves. Control valves shall be in the fully open position.
Sprinklers. Sprinklers shall be clean and free from corrosion, paint and damage. Stock shall be at least 18 inches (457 mm) below sprinkler deflectors.
Piping. Piping shall be properly supported and shall not support any other loads.
Standpipe systems. Standpipe systems shall be in proper operating condition at all times.
Fire extinguishers. All portable fire extinguishers shall be visible, provided with ready access thereto, and maintained in an efficient and safe operating condition. Extinguishers shall be of an approved type.
Smoke detectors. A minimum of one approved single-station or multiple-station smoke detector shall be installed in each guest room, suite or sleeping area in occupancies in Use Groups R-1 and 1-1, and in dwelling units in the immediate vicinity of the bedrooms in occupancies in Use Groups R-2 and R-3. In all residential occupancies, smoke detectors shall be required on every story of the dwelling unit, including basements. In dwelling units with split levels and without an intervening door between the adjacent levels, a smoke detector installed on the upper level shall suffice for the adjacent lower level, provided that the lower level is less than one full story below the upper level.
Installation. All detectors shall be installed in accordance with the building code listed in Article VIII. When actuated, the smoke detectors shall provide an alarm suitable to warn the occupants within the individual room or dwelling unit.
Power source. The power source for smoke detectors shall either be an AC primary power source or a monitorized battery primary power source.
Tampering. Anyone tampering or interfering with the effectiveness of a smoke detector shall be in violation of this chapter.
Fire alarm systems. Fire alarm systems shall be in proper operating condition at all times.
Control panel. The "power on" indicator shall be lit. Alarm or trouble indicators shall not be illuminated.
Manual fire alarm boxes. All manual fire alarm boxes shall be operational and unobstructed.
Automatic fire detectors. All automatic fire detectors shall be operational and free from any obstructions that prevent proper operation, including smoke entry.
Records. A complete written record of all tests and inspections of fire protection systems shall be maintained on the premises by the owner or occupant in charge of said premises.
Required. All elevators having a travel distance of 25 feet (7620 mm) or more above or below the primary level of elevator access for emergency fire-fighting or rescue personnel shall conform to the requirements of Rule 211.3 of ASME A 17.1 listed in Article VIII.
Smoke and heat detection. Approved smoke or heat detectors shall be installed in return air ducts or plenums in each recirculating air system with a capacity of more than 2,000 cfm (0.94 m3/sec) and serving more than one floor in buildings that exceed six stories in height in accordance with the mechanical code listed in Article VIII. Actuation of the detector shall stop the fan(s) automatically and shall be of the manual-reset type. Automatic fan shutdown is not required where the system is part of an approved smoke control system.