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Existing interior vertical openings connecting two or more floors shall be enclosed with approved assemblies having a fire-resistance rating of not less than 1 hour with approved opening protectives.
Exceptions:
  1. Where vertical opening enclosure is not required by the International Building Code or the International Fire Code.
  2. Interior vertical openings other than stairways may be blocked at the floor and ceiling of the work area by installation of not less than 2 inches (51 mm) of solid wood or equivalent construction.
  3. The enclosure shall not be required where:
    3.1.  Connecting the main floor and mezzanines; or
    3.2.  All of the following conditions are met:
    3.2.1.  The communicating area has a low-hazard occupancy or has a moderate-hazard occupancy that is protected throughout by an automatic sprinkler system.
    3.2.2.  The lowest or next-to-the-lowest level is a street floor.
    3.2.3.  The entire area is open and unobstructed in a manner such that it is reasonable to assume that a fire in any part of the interconnected spaces will be readily obvious to all of the occupants.
    3.2.4.  Exit capacity is sufficient to provide egress simultaneously for all occupants of all levels by considering all areas to be a single floor area for the determination of required exit capacity.
    3.2.5.  Each floor level, considered separately, has not less than one-half of its individual required exit capacity provided by an exit or exits leading directly out of that level without having to traverse another communicating floor level or be exposed to the smoke or fire spreading from another communicating floor level.
  4. In Group A occupancies, a minimum 30-minute enclosure shall be provided to protect all vertical openings not exceeding three stories.
  5. In Group B occupancies, a minimum 30-minute enclosure shall be provided to protect all vertical openings not exceeding three stories. This enclosure, or the enclosure specified in Section 802.2.1, shall not be required in the following locations:
    5.1.  Buildings not exceeding 3,000 square feet (279 m2) per floor.
    5.2.  Buildings protected throughout by an approved automatic fire sprinkler system.
  6. In Group E occupancies, the enclosure shall not be required for vertical openings not exceeding three stories where the building is protected throughout by an approved automatic fire sprinkler system.
  7. In Group F occupancies, the enclosure shall not be required in the following locations:
    7.1.  Vertical openings not exceeding three stories.
    7.2.  Special-purpose occupancies where necessary for manufacturing operations and direct access is provided to not fewer than one protected stairway.
    7.3.  Buildings protected throughout by an approved automatic sprinkler system.
  8. In Group H occupancies, the enclosure shall not be required for vertical openings not exceeding three stories where necessary for manufacturing operations and every floor level has direct access to not fewer than two remote enclosed stairways or other approved exits.
  9. In Group M occupancies, a minimum 30-minute enclosure shall be provided to protect all vertical openings not exceeding three stories. This enclosure, or the enclosure specified in Section 802.2.1, shall not be required in the following locations:
    9.1.  Openings connecting only two floor levels.
    9.2.  Occupancies protected throughout by an approved automatic sprinkler system.
  10. In Group R-1 occupancies, the enclosure shall not be required for vertical openings not exceeding three stories in the following locations:
    10.1.  Buildings protected throughout by an approved automatic sprinkler system.
    10.2.  Buildings with less than 25 dwelling units or sleeping units where every sleeping room above the second floor is provided with direct access to a fire escape or other approved second exit by means of an approved exterior door or window having a sill height of not greater than 44 inches (1118 mm) and where both of the following conditions are met:
    10.2.1.  Any exit access corridor exceeding 8 feet (2438 mm) in length that serves two means of egress, one of which is an unprotected vertical opening, shall have not fewer than one of the means of egress separated from the vertical opening by a 1-hour fire barrier.
    10.2.2.  The building is protected throughout by an automatic fire alarm system, installed and supervised in accordance with the International Building Code.
  11. In Group R-2 occupancies, a minimum 30-minute enclosure shall be provided to protect all vertical openings not exceeding three stories. This enclosure, or the enclosure specified in Section 802.2.1, shall not be required in the following locations:
    11.1.  Vertical openings not exceeding two stories with not more than four dwelling units per floor.
    11.2.  Buildings protected throughout by an approved automatic sprinkler system.
    11.3.  Buildings with not more than four dwelling units per floor where every sleeping room above the second floor is provided with direct access to a fire escape or other approved second exit by means of an approved exterior door or window having a sill height of not greater than 44 inches (1118 mm) and the building is protected throughout by an automatic fire alarm system complying with Section 803.4.
  12. One- and two-family dwellings.
  13. Group S occupancies where connecting not more than two floor levels or where connecting not more than three floor levels and the structure is equipped throughout with an approved automatic sprinkler system.
  14. Group S occupancies where vertical opening protection is not required for open parking garages and ramps.

Related Code Sections

802.2.1 Alterations—Level 2, Existing Vertical Openings
Existing interior vertical openings connecting two or more floors shall be enclosed with approved assemblies having a fire-resistance rating ...
802.2.1 Alterations—Level 2, Existing Vertical Openings
Existing interior vertical openings connecting two or more floors shall be enclosed with approved assemblies having a fire-resistance rating ...
903.1 Alterations—Level 3, Existing Shafts and Vertical Openings
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903.1 Alterations—Level 3, Existing Shafts and Vertical Openings
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