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1028.17.3 Safe Areas
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The capacity of exits from safe areas shall be provided for all occupants of the safe area. Safe areas shall comply with the following requirements:
- When provided to serve Class 1 or 2 exit openings, safe areas shall be separated from assembly spaces by fire barriers constructed in accordance with Section 707 or horizontal assemblies constructed in accordance with Section 712, or both, each having a 2 hour fire-resistance rating. Such safe areas shall serve as transition areas in the line and direction of exit travel. They shall serve for normal entry to the assembly space and may be used as corridors, lobbies or lounges.
- No room or space classified in Occupancy Group H, S-1, F-1 or F-2 shall open upon a safe area.
- Safe areas shall be at a level not more than 6 feet (1829 mm) above or below the level at which egress is made from the assembly space.
- Ventilating systems for safe areas shall not be connected to systems serving any other spaces, unless separated from such systems by fire/smoke dampers actuated by smoke detectors.
- Collecting safe areas. Places of assembly having more than one assembly space may have a collecting safe area that receives the occupant load discharged into it by other safe areas. Collecting safe areas shall be located within 6 feet (1829 mm) above or below the assembly space nearest to grade.
- Occupant load. The occupant load of a safe area shall be the aggregate occupant load of all exit openings discharging directly into it. The occupant load of a collecting safe area shall be the aggregate occupant load of all exit openings discharging directly into it, plus 50 percent of the occupant load of other safe areas discharging into it.
- Dimensions. The clear unobstructed floor area of each safe area shall be sufficient to accommodate the total occupant load of the safe area on the basis of 3 square feet (0.28 m2) per person, not including space occupied by furniture or equipment. The minimum dimension of such unobstructed space shall be 8 feet (2438 mm). The width of the unobstructed space shall be measured at right angles to the direction of travel to an exit and shall not be less than required for the occupant load. The height of safe areas shall be at least 8 feet (2438 mm) at all points.
- Safe areas near grade. When a safe area provides egress to an open exterior space, either directly or through a vestibule, the safe area need not provide the floor area required by this section when the level of discharge from the safe area to the open exterior space is not more than 4 feet (1219 mm) above or below the grade of the open exterior space.
In addition to requirements of Section 1006, safe areas shall be artificially lighted by electrical means at all times during occupancy of a place of assembly so as to provide illumination of at least 5 foot-candles (54 lux) at the level of the floor and on the surface of all stairs, steps, ramps, and escalators within the safe area.