Heads up: There are no amended sections in this chapter.
The provisions of this chapter shall apply to life safety requirements for all existing mercantile buildings. Specific requirements shall apply to suboccupancy groups, such as Class A, Class B, and Class C mercantile occupancies; mall structures; and bulk merchandising retail buildings, and are contained in paragraphs pertaining thereto.
When a change in mercantile occupancy subclassification occurs, either of the following requirements shall be met:
Where construction, alteration, or demolition operations are conducted, the provisions of 18.104.22.168 shall apply.
Mercantile occupancies shall be subclassified as follows:
- Class A, all mercantile occupancies having an aggregate gross area of more than 30,000 ft2 (2800 m2) or occupying more than three stories for sales purposes
- Class B, as follows:
- All mercantile occupancies of more than 3000 ft2 (280 m2), but not more than 30,000 ft2 (2800 m2), aggregate gross area and occupying not more than three stories for sales purposes
- All mercantile occupancies of not more than 3000 ft2 (280 m2) gross area and occupying two or three stories for sales purposes
- Class C, all mercantile occupancies of not more than 3000 ft2 (280 m2) gross area used for sales purposes and occupying one story only, excluding mezzanines
The aggregate gross area shall be the total gross area of all floors used for mercantile purposes.
Where a mercantile occupancy is divided into sections, regardless of fire separation, the aggregate gross area shall include the area of all sections used for sales purposes.
Areas of floors not used for sales purposes, such as an area used only for storage and not open to the public, shall not be counted for the purposes of the classifications in 22.214.171.124.1(1), (2), and (3), but means of egress shall be provided for such nonsales areas in accordance with their occupancy, as specified by other chapters of this Code.
Where a number of tenant spaces under different management are located in the same building, the aggregate gross area for subclassification shall be one of the following:
- Where tenant spaces are not separated, the aggregate gross floor area of all such tenant spaces shall be used in determining classification per 126.96.36.199.1.
- Where individual tenant spaces are separated by fire barriers with a 1-hour fire resistance rating, each tenant space shall be individually classified.
- The tenant spaces in a mall structure in accordance with 37.4.4 shall be classified individually.
In other than bulk merchandising mercantile occupancies, atrium walls in accordance with 188.8.131.52.6 shall be permitted to serve as part of the separation required by 184.108.40.206.1 for creating separated occupancies on a story-by-story basis from nonhazardous spaces in assembly, educational, day care, health care, ambulatory health care, residential, residential board and care occupancies, and business occupancies.
Openings in the fire barrier required by 220.127.116.11.1 shall not be required to be protected with fire protection-rated opening protectives in enclosed parking structures that are protected throughout by an approved, supervised automatic sprinkler system in accordance with 18.104.22.168(1), or in open parking structures, provided that all of the following conditions are met:
- The openings do not exceed 25 percent of the area of the fire barrier in which they are located.
- The openings are used as a public entrance and for associated sidelight functions.
- The building containing the mercantile occupancy is protected throughout by an approved, supervised automatic sprinkler system in accordance with 22.214.171.124(1).
- *Means are provided to prevent spilled fuel from accumulating adjacent to the openings and entering the building.
- Physical means are provided to prevent vehicles from being parked or driven within 10 ft (3050 mm) of the openings.
- The openings are protected as a smoke partition in accordance with Section 8.4, with no minimum fire protection rating required.
A list of special terms used in this chapter follows:
- Anchor Building. See 126.96.36.199.
- Bulk Merchandising Retail Building. See 188.8.131.52.
- Enclosed Mall Concourse. See 184.108.40.206.
- Gross Leasable Area. See 220.127.116.11.
- Major Tenant. See 3.3.174.
- Mall Concourse. See 3.3.175.
- Mall Structure. See 3.3.282.4.
- Open Mall Concourse. See 18.104.22.168.
- Open-Air Mercantile Operation. See 3.3.205.
Mercantile occupancies classified as high hazard in accordance with Section 6.2 shall meet all of the following additional requirements:
The occupant load, in number of persons for whom means of egress and other provisions are required, shall be determined on the basis of the occupant load factors of Table 22.214.171.124 that are characteristic of the use of the space, or shall be determined as the maximum probable population of the space under consideration, whichever is greater.
Escalators and moving walks complying with 7.2.7 shall be permitted.
Means of egress shall comply with all of the following, except as otherwise permitted by 126.96.36.199 through 188.8.131.52:
A single means of egress shall be permitted in a Class C mercantile occupancy, provided that the travel distance to the exit or to a mall concourse does not exceed 100 ft (30 m), and the story on which the occupancy is located, and all communicating levels that are traversed to reach the exit or mall concourse, are protected throughout by an approved, supervised automatic sprinkler system in accordance with 184.108.40.206(1).
A single means of egress to an exit or to a mall concourse shall be permitted from a mezzanine within any Class A, Class B, or Class C mercantile occupancy, provided that the common path of travel does not exceed 75 ft (23 m), or does not exceed 100 ft (30 m) if protected throughout by an approved, supervised automatic sprinkler system in accordance with 220.127.116.11(1).
Dead-end corridors shall not exceed 50 ft (15 m).
In buildings not complying with 18.104.22.168.1, common paths of travel shall not exceed 75 ft (23 m).
Required aisles shall be not less than 28 in. (710 mm) in clear width.
In mercantile occupancies other than bulk merchandising retail buildings, if the only means of customer entrance is through one exterior wall of the building, one-half of the required egress width from the street floor shall be located in such wall. Means of egress from floors above or below the street floor shall be arranged in accordance with Section 7.5.
Not less than one-half of the required exits shall be located so as to be reached without passing through checkout stands.
Where wheeled carts or buggies are used by customers, adequate provision shall be made for the transit and parking of such carts to minimize the possibility that they might obstruct means of egress.
Exit access in Class A mercantile occupancies that are protected throughout by an approved, supervised automatic sprinkler system in accordance with 22.214.171.124(1), and exit access in all Class B and Class C mercantile occupancies, shall be permitted to pass through storerooms, provided that all of the following conditions are met:
- Not more than 50 percent of exit access shall be provided through the storeroom.
- The storeroom shall not be subject to locking.
- The main aisle through the storeroom shall be not less than 44 in. (1120 mm) wide.
- The path of travel through the storeroom shall be defined, direct, and continuously maintained in an unobstructed condition.
In buildings not complying with 126.96.36.199, the travel distance shall not exceed 150 ft (46 m).
Any vertical opening shall be protected in accordance with Section 8.6, except under any of the following conditions:
- In Class A or Class B mercantile occupancies protected throughout by an approved, supervised automatic sprinkler system in accordance with 188.8.131.52(1), unprotected vertical openings shall be permitted at one of the following locations:
- In Class C mercantile occupancies, unprotected openings shall be permitted between the street floor and the mezzanine.
- The draft stop and closely spaced sprinkler requirements of NFPA 13 shall not be required for unenclosed vertical openings permitted in 36.3.1(1) and (2).
- Unenclosed vertical openings in accordance with 184.108.40.206 shall be permitted.
High hazard contents areas, as classified in Section 6.2, shall meet all of the following criteria:
- The area shall be separated from other parts of the building by fire barriers having a minimum 1-hour fire resistance rating, with all openings therein protected by self-closing fire door assemblies having a minimum 3/4-hour fire protection rating.
- The area shall be protected by an automatic extinguishing system in accordance with 220.127.116.11(1) or 18.104.22.168.
Commercial cooking operations shall be protected in accordance with 9.2.3, unless the cooking equipment is one of the following types:
- Outdoor equipment
- Equipment used only for food warming
Initiation of the required fire alarm system shall be by one of the following means:
- Manual means in accordance with 22.214.171.124(1)
- Approved automatic fire detection system in accordance with 126.96.36.199(2) that provides protection throughout the building and the provision of 188.8.131.52 shall apply.
- Approved automatic sprinkler system in accordance with 184.108.40.206(3) that provides protection throughout the building and the provision of 220.127.116.11 shall apply.
During all times that the mercantile occupancy is occupied, the required fire alarm system, once initiated, shall perform one of the following functions:
- It shall activate an alarm in accordance with 9.6.3 throughout the mercantile occupancy, and both of the following also shall apply:
- Occupant notification shall be made via a voice communication or public address system in accordance with 18.104.22.168.2.
Emergency forces notification shall be provided and shall include notifying both of the following:
- Fire department in accordance with 9.6.4
- Local emergency organization, if provided
Mercantile occupancies, other than one-story buildings that meet the requirements of a street floor, as defined in 3.3.281, shall be protected by an approved automatic sprinkler system in accordance with 22.214.171.124(1) in any of the following specified locations:
- Throughout all mercantile occupancies with a story over 15,000 ft2 (1400 m2) in area
- Throughout all mercantile occupancies exceeding 30,000 ft2 (2800 m2) in gross area
- Throughout stories below the level of exit discharge where such stories have an area exceeding 2500 ft2 (232 m2) and are used for the sale, storage, or handling of combustible goods and merchandise
- Throughout multiple occupancies protected as mixed occupancies in accordance with 6.1.14 where the conditions of 126.96.36.199(1), (2), or (3) apply to the mercantile occupancy
(No special requirements.)
(No additional requirements.)
Open-air mercantile operations, such as open-air markets, gasoline filling stations, roadside stands for the sale of farm produce, and other outdoor mercantile operations, shall be arranged and conducted to maintain free and unobstructed ways of travel at all times.
Ways of travel shall allow prompt escape from any point of danger in case of fire or other emergency, with no dead ends in which persons might be trapped due to display stands, adjoining buildings, fences, vehicles, or other obstructions.
Mercantile operations that are conducted in roofed-over areas shall be treated as mercantile buildings, provided that canopies over individual small stands to protect merchandise from the weather are not construed as constituting buildings for the purpose of this Code.
The following is a list of special terms used in this chapter:
- Anchor Building. A building housing any occupancy having low- or ordinary-hazard contents and having direct access to a mall structure, but having all required means of egress independent of the mall concourse. (See 188.8.131.52.)
- Food Court. A public seating area located in a mall concourse that serves adjacent food preparation tenant spaces. (See 184.108.40.206.)
- Gross Leasable Area. Fifty percent of major tenant areas, and 100 percent of all other floor areas designated for tenant occupancy and exclusive use, including storage areas. The area of tenant occupancy is measured from the centerlines of joint partitions to the outside of the tenant walls. (See 220.127.116.11)
- Mall Concourse. A common pedestrian area within a mall structure that serves as access for two or more tenants and does not exceed three levels that are open to each other. (See 3.3.175.)
- * Open Mall Concourse. A mall concourse that either (1) has 50 percent or more of the total area of the solid mall concourse perimeter walls and solid roof area open to the atmosphere with openings distributed uniformly over the length of the mall concourse, or (2) has an approved open mall concourse engineering analysis.
- Enclosed Mall Concourse. A mall concourse that does not meet the definition of open mall concourse.
- *Mall Structure. A single building enclosing a number of tenants and occupancies wherein two or more tenants have a main entrance into one or more mall concourses. For the purpose of this chapter, anchor buildings shall not be considered as a part of the mall structure. (See 3.3.282.4.)
- Major Tenant. A tenant space, in a mall structure, with one or more main entrances from the exterior that also serve as exits and are independent of the mall concourse. (See 3.3.174.)
The mall structure shall be treated as a single building for the purpose of calculation of means of egress and shall be subject to the requirements for appropriate occupancies, except as modified by the provisions of 37.4.4, and the mall concourse shall be of a clear width not less than that needed to accommodate egress requirements as set forth in other sections of this Code.
A mall concourse shall be permitted to be classified as an open mall concourse where an approved engineering analysis demonstrates that the mall concourse is designed to keep the smoke layer interface at 6 ft (1830 mm) above the highest walking level surface open to the mall concourse, for a period equal to 1.5 times the calculated egress time or 20 minutes, whichever is greater.
An additional 200 ft (61 m) shall be permitted for travel through the enclosed mall concourse or 300 ft (91 m) for travel through the open mall concourse, provided that all the following requirements are met:
- *The mall concourse shall be of a clear width not less than that needed to accommodate egress requirements, as set forth in other sections of this chapter, but shall be not less than 20 ft (6100 mm) wide in its narrowest dimension.
- On each side of the mall floor area, the mall concourse shall be provided with an unobstructed exit access of not less than 10 ft (3050 mm) in clear width parallel to, and adjacent to, the mall tenant front.
- *The exit access specified in 18.104.22.168.2(2) shall lead to an exit having a width of not less than 66 in. (1675 mm).
- The mall concourse, and all buildings connected thereto, except open parking structures, shall be protected throughout by an approved, supervised automatic sprinkler system in accordance with 22.214.171.124(1).
- Walls dividing tenant spaces from each other shall extend from the floor to the underside of the roof deck, to the floor deck above, to a ceiling that is constructed to limit the transfer of smoke or to the ceiling where the wall is constructed with a fire resistance rating of not less than 1 hour and all of the following also shall apply:
- *Malls with a floor opening connecting more than two levels shall be provided with a smoke control system.
During all times that the mall concourse is occupied, the required fire alarm system, once initiated, shall perform one of the following functions:
Rooms housing building service equipment, janitor closets, and service elevators shall be permitted to open directly onto exit passageways, provided that all of the following criteria are met:
- The required fire resistance rating between such rooms or areas and the exit passageway shall be maintained in accordance with 126.96.36.199.
- Such rooms or areas shall be protected by an approved automatic sprinkler system in accordance with 188.8.131.52(1), but the exceptions in NFPA 13 allowing the omission of sprinklers from such rooms shall not be permitted.
- Service elevators opening into the exit passageway shall not open into areas other than exit passageways.
- Where exit stair enclosures discharge into the exit passageway, the provisions of 184.108.40.206.8 shall apply, regardless of the number of stories served.
Within every store or level, and from sidewall to sidewall of each tenant space facing the mall concourse, plastic signs shall comply with all of the following:
- Plastic signs shall not exceed 20 percent of the wall area facing the mall concourse.
- Plastic signs shall not exceed a height of 36 in. (915 mm), except if the sign is vertical, in which case the height shall not exceed 8 ft (2440 mm) and the width shall not exceed 36 in. (915 mm).
- Plastic signs shall be located a minimum distance of 18 in. (455 mm) from adjacent tenants.
- Plastics, other than foamed plastics, shall meet one of the following criteria:
- They shall be light-transmitting plastics.
- They shall have a self-ignition temperature of 650°F (343°C) or greater when tested in accordance with ASTM D1929, Standard Test Method for Determining Ignition Temperatures of Plastic, and a flame spread index not greater than 75 and a smoke developed index not greater than 450 when tested in the manner intended for use in accordance with ASTM E84, Standard Test Method for Surface Burning Characteristics of Building Materials, or ANSI/UL 723, Standard for Test for Surface Burning Characteristics of Building Materials.
- The edges and backs of plastic signs in the mall concourse shall be fully encased in metal.
- Foamed plastics shall have a maximum heat release rate of 150 kW when tested in accordance with ANSI/UL 1975, Standard for Fire Tests for Foamed Plastics Used for Decorative Purposes, or in accordance with NFPA 289 using the 20 kW ignition source.
- Foamed plastics shall comply with all of the following:
- The density of foamed plastic signs shall be not less than 20 lb/ft3 (320 kg/m3).
- The thickness of foamed plastic signs shall be not greater than 1/2 in. (13 mm).
Kiosks and similar structures (temporary or permanent) shall not be considered as tenant spaces and shall meet all of the following requirements:
- Combustible kiosks and similar structures shall be constructed of any of the following materials:
- Fire-retardant-treated wood complying with the requirements for fire-retardant-impregnated wood in NFPA 703
- Light-transmitting plastics complying with the building code
- Foamed plastics having a maximum heat release rate not greater than 100 kW when tested in accordance with ANSI/UL 1975, Standard for Fire Tests for Foamed Plastics Used for Decorative Purposes, or in accordance with NFPA 289, using the 20 kW ignition source
- Metal composite material (MCM) having a flame spread index not greater than 25 and a smoke developed index not greater than 450 in accordance with ASTM E84, Standard Test Method for Surface Burning Characteristics of Building Materials, or ANSI/UL 723, Standard for Test for Surface Burning Characteristics of Building Materials, when tested as an assembly in the maximum thickness intended for use
- Textiles and films meeting the flame propagation performance criteria contained in Test Method 1 or Test Method 2, as appropriate, of NFPA 701
- The minimum horizontal separation between kiosks, or groups of kiosks, and other structures within the mall concourse shall be 20 ft (6100 mm).
- Each kiosk, or group of kiosks, or similar structure shall have a maximum area of 300 ft2 (27.8 m2).
The storage, arrangement, protection, and quantities of hazardous commodities shall be in accordance with the applicable provisions of the following:
- The fire code (see 3.3.99)
- NFPA 13, Standard for the Installation of Sprinkler Systems
- NFPA 30, Flammable and Combustible Liquids Code
- NFPA 30B, Code for the Manufacture and Storage of Aerosol Products
- NFPA 400, Hazardous Materials Code, Chapter 14, for organic peroxide formulations
- NFPA 400, Hazardous Materials Code, Chapter 15, for oxidizer solids and liquids
- NFPA 400, Hazardous Materials Code, various chapters, depending on characteristics of a particular pesticide
During all times that the mercantile occupancy is occupied, the required fire alarm system, once initiated, shall perform one of the following functions:
Bulk merchandising retail buildings shall be protected throughout by an approved, supervised automatic sprinkler system in accordance with 220.127.116.11(1) and the applicable provisions of the following:
All employees shall be instructed and periodically drilled with respect to their duties under the plan.
Alcohol-based hand-rub dispensers in accordance with 18.104.22.168 shall be permitted.
Heating, ventilating, and air-conditioning equipment shall comply with the provisions of Section 9.2.
Elevators, escalators, and conveyors shall comply with the provisions of Section 9.4.
Waste chutes, incinerators, and laundry chutes shall comply with the provisions of Section 9.5.
Employees of mercantile occupancies shall be periodically instructed in the use of portable fire extinguishers.
The provisions of 10.3.2 shall not apply to upholstered furniture and mattresses.
The requirements of 10.3.8 for containers for waste, or linen with a capacity of 20 gal (75.7 L) or more shall not apply.