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Section 1019 Vertical Exit Enclosures

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1019.1 Enclosures Required
Interior exit stairways and interior exit ramps shall be enclosed with fire barriers. Exit enclosures shall have a fire-resistance rating of not less than 2 hours where connecting four stories or more and not less than 1 hour where connecting less than four stories. The number of stories connected by the shaft enclosure shall include any basements but not any mezzanines. An exit enclosure shall not be used for any purpose other than means of egress. Enclosures shall be constructed as fire barriers in accordance with Section 706.
  Exceptions:
  1. In other than Group H and I occupancies, a stairway serving an occupant load of less than 10 and not more than one story above the level of exit discharge is not required to be enclosed.
  2. Exits in buildings of Group A-5 where all portions of the means of egress are essentially open to the outside need not be enclosed.
  3. Stairways serving and contained within a single residential dwelling unit or sleeping unit in occupancies in Group R-1, R-2 or R-3 are not required to be enclosed.
  4. Stairways that are not a required means of egress element are not required to be enclosed where such stairways comply with Section 707.2.
  5. Stairways in open parking structures which serve only the parking structure are not required to be enclosed.
  6. Stairways in occupancies in Group I-3 shall be permitted to have glazing installed in doors and interior walls as provided for in Section 408.3.6.
  7. Means of egress stairways as required by Section 410.5.4 are not required to be enclosed.
  8. In other than occupancy Groups H and I, a maximum of 50 percent of egress stairways serving one adjacent floor are not required to be enclosed, provided at least two means of egress are provided from both floors served by the unenclosed stairways. Any two such interconnected floors shall not be open to other floors.
  9. In other than occupancy Groups H and I, interior egress stairways serving only the first and second stories of a building equipped throughout with an automatic sprinkler system in accordance with Section 903.3.1.1 are not required to be enclosed, provided at least two means of egress are provided from both floors served by the unenclosed stairways. Such interconnected stories shall not be open to other stories.
  10. In Group R-1 and R-2 occupancies, where exit enclosures are required to have a fire-resistance rating of 2 hours, such enclosures shall be constructed of masonry or masonry equivalent. Wall assemblies constituting masonry equivalent shall be constructed in accordance with department rules.
1019.1.1 Openings
Exit enclosure opening protectives shall be in accordance with the requirements of Section 715.
  Except as permitted in Section 402.4.6, openings in exit enclosures other than unexposed exterior openings shall be limited to those necessary for exit access to the enclosure from normally occupied spaces and for egress from the enclosure.
  Where interior exit enclosures are extended to the exterior of a building by an exit passageway, the door assembly from the exit enclosure to the exit passageway shall be protected by a fire door conforming to the requirements in Section 715.3. Fire door assemblies in exit enclosures shall comply with Section 715.3.4.
1019.1.2 Penetrations
Penetrations into and openings through an exit enclosure are prohibited except for required exit doors, equipment and ductwork necessary for independent pressurization, sprinkler piping, standpipes, electrical raceway for Fire Department communication and electrical raceway serving the exit enclosure and terminating at a steel box not exceeding 16 square inches (0.010m2). Such penetrations shall be protected in accordance with Section 712. There shall be no penetrations or communication openings, whether protected or not, between adjacent exit enclosures.
1019.1.3 Ventilation
Equipment and ductwork for exit enclosure ventilation necessary for independent pressurization shall comply with one of the following items:
  1. Such equipment and ductwork shall be located exterior to the building and shall be directly connected to the exit enclosure by ductwork enclosed in construction as required for shafts.
  2. Where such equipment and ductwork is located within the exit enclosure, the intake air shall be taken directly from the outdoors and the exhaust air shall be discharged directly to the outdoors, or such air shall be conveyed through ducts enclosed in construction as required for shafts.
  3. Where located within the building, such equipment and ductwork shall be separated from the remainder of the building, including other mechanical equipment, with construction as required for shafts. In each case, openings into the fire-resistance-rated construction shall be limited to those needed for maintenance and operation and shall be protected by self-closing fire-resistance-rated devices in accordance with Chapter 7 for enclosure wall opening protectives. Exit enclosure ventilation systems shall be independent of other building ventilation systems.
1019.1.4 Vertical Enclosure Exterior Walls
Exterior walls of a vertical exit enclosure shall comply with the requirements of Section 704 for exterior walls. Where nonrated walls or unprotected openings enclose the exterior of the stairway and the walls or openings are exposed to other parts of the building at an angle of less than 180 degrees (3.14 rad), the building exterior walls within 10 feet (3048 mm) horizontally of a nonrated wall or unprotected opening shall be constructed as required for a minimum 1-hour fire-resistance rating with 3/4 -hour opening protectives. This construction shall extend vertically from the ground to a point 10 feet (3048 mm) above the topmost landing of the stairway or to the roof line, whichever is lower.
1019.1.5 Enclosures Under Stairways
The walls and soffits within enclosed usable spaces under enclosed and unenclosed stairways shall be protected by 1-hour fire-resistance-rated construction, or the fire-resistance rating of the stairway enclosure, whichever is greater. Access to the enclosed usable space shall not be directly from within the stair enclosure.
  Exception: Spaces under stairways serving and contained within a single residential dwelling unit in Group R-2 or R-3.
  There shall be no enclosed usable space under exterior exit stairways unless the space is completely enclosed in 1-hour fire-resistance-rated construction. The open space under exterior stairways shall not be used for any purpose.
1019.1.6 Discharge Identification
A stairway in an exit enclosure shall not continue below the level of exit discharge unless an approved barrier is provided at the level of exit discharge to prevent persons from unintentionally continuing into levels below. Directional exit signs shall be provided as specified in Section 1011. An approved barrier shall consist of one-hour rated construction separating the portion of the vertical exit above grade from the portion below grade, with a three-quarter hour rated self-closing door, opening in the direction of exit travel from the floors below grade.
  Exception: Such barrier separating the above grade portion of the vertical exit from the portion below grade shall not be required in Group E and R-3 occupancies.
1019.1.7 Stairway Floor Number and Identification Signs
A sign shall be provided at each floor landing in interior vertical exit enclosures connecting more than three stories designating the floor level, the terminus of the top and bottom of the stair enclosure and the identification of the stair. The signage shall also state the story of, and the direction to the exit discharge and the availability of roof access from the stairway for the Fire Department. Each stair shall be identified by an alphabetic letter. Stairway identification signs shall be provided on both sides of each stair door. The signs shall be located 5 feet (1524 mm) above the floor landing in a position which is readily visible when the doors are in the open and closed positions.
1019.1.8 Smokeproof Enclosures
In buildings required to comply with Section 403.13 or 405.8.2, each of the exits of a building that serves stories where the floor surface is located more than 75 feet (22 860 mm) above the lowest level of Fire Department vehicle access or more than 30 feet (9144 mm) below the level of exit discharge serving such floor levels shall be a smokeproof enclosure or pressurized stairway in accordance with Section 909.20.
1019.1.8.1 Enclosure Exit
A smokeproof enclosure or pressurized stairway shall exit into a public way or into an exit passageway, yard or open space having direct access to a public way. The exit passageway shall be without other openings and shall be separated from the remainder of the building by 2-hour fire-resistance-rated construction.
  Exceptions:
  1. Openings in the exit passageway serving a smokeproof enclosure are permitted where the exit passageway is protected and pressurized in the same manner as the smokeproof enclosure, and openings are protected as required for access from other floors.
  2. Openings in the exit passageway serving a pressurized stairway are permitted where the exit passageway is protected and pressurized in the same manner as the pressurized stairway.
  3. A smokeproof enclosure or pressurized stairway shall be permitted to egress through areas on the level of discharge or vestibules as permitted by Section 1023.
1019.1.8.2 Enclosure Access
Access to the stairway within a smokeproof enclosure shall be by way of a vestibule or an open exterior balcony.
  Exceptions: Access is not required by way of a vestibule or exterior balcony for stairways using the pressurization alternative complying with Section 909.20.5.

Related Code Sections

Section 1019 Means of Egress, Vertical Exit Enclosures
Exterior walls of a vertical exit enclosure shall comply with the requirements of Section 704 ...
408.3.6 Special Detailed Requirements Based on Use and Occupancy, Vertical Exit Enclosures
One of the required vertical exit enclosures in each building shall be permitted to have glazing installed in doors and interior walls at each ...
1019.1.2 Means of Egress, Penetrations
Penetrations into and openings through an exit enclosure are prohibited except for required exit doors, equipment and ductwork necessary ...
1019.1.3 Means of Egress, Ventilation
Equipment and ductwork for exit enclosure ventilation necessary for independent pressurization shall comply with one of the following items ...