The fire code official is authorized to grant necessary extensions of time where it can be shown that the specified time periods are not physically practical or pose an undue hardship. The granting of an extension of time for compliance shall be based on the showing of good cause and subject to the filing of an acceptable systematic plan of correction with the fire code official.
The provisions of this chapter shall not be construed to allow the elimination of fire protection systems or a reduction in the level of fire safety provided in buildings constructed in accordance with previously adopted codes.
OCCUPANCY AND USE REQUIREMENTSa
R = The building is required to comply.
- Existing buildings shall comply with the sections identified as "Required" (R) based on occupancy classification or use, or both, whichever is applicable.
- Only applies to Group I-2, Condition 2 occupancies as established by the adopting ordinance or legislation of the jurisdiction.
- Only applies to Group A-2 occupancies where alcoholic beverages are consumed.
- Wood or metal studding with 5/8-inch fire rated (Type X) gypsum wall board on each side.
- Wood lathe and plaster.
- Six-inch or greater hollow or solid CMU (cinder block).
- Construction having a 1-hour listing by Underwriters Laboratories or other approved testing agency.
Existing buildings other than Group R-3, that do not have approved radio coverage for emergency responders in the building based on existing coverage levels of the public safety communication systems, shall be equipped with such coverage according to one of the following:
- Where an existing wired communication system cannot be repaired or is being replaced, or where not approved in accordance with Section 510.1, Exception 1.
- Within a time frame established by the adopting authority.
Existing elevators with a travel distance of 25 feet (7620 mm) or more above or below the main floor or other level of a building and intended to serve the needs of emergency personnel for fire-fighting or rescue purposes shall be provided with emergency operation in accordance with ASME A17.3.
- 1.1. The doors shall be provided with vision panels of approved fire protection rated glazing so located as to furnish clear vision of the approach to the elevator. Such glazing shall not exceed 100 square inches (0.065 m2) in area.
- 1.2. The doors shall be held open but be automatic-closing by activation of a fire alarm initiating device installed in accordance with the requirements of NFPA 72 as for Phase I Emergency Recall Operation, and shall be located at each floor served by the elevator; in the associated elevator machine room, control space, or control room; and in the elevator hoistway, where sprinklers are located in those hoistways.
- 1.3. The doors, when closed, shall have signs visible from the approach area stating: WHEN THESE DOORS ARE CLOSED OR IN FIRE EMERGENCY, DO NOT USE ELEVATOR. USE EXIT STAIRWAYS.
- Buildings without occupied floors located more than 55 feet (16 764 mm) above or 25 feet (7620 mm) below the lowest level of fire department vehicle access where provided with automatic sprinkler systems installed in accordance with Section 903.3.1.1 or 903.3.1.2.
- Freight elevators in buildings provided with both automatic sprinkler systems installed in accordance with Section 903.3.1.1 or 903.3.1.2 and not less than one ASME 17.3-compliant elevator serving the same floors.
Elimination of previously installed Phase I emergency recall or Phase II emergency in-car systems shall not be permitted.
In Group I-2 and I-3 occupancies, interior vertical openings connecting two or more stories shall be protected with 1-hour fire-resistance-rated construction.
- 1.1. The unenclosed vertical openings shall be separated from other unenclosed vertical openings serving other floors by a smoke barrier.
- 1.2. The unenclosed vertical openings shall be separated from corridors by smoke partitions.
- 1.3. The unenclosed vertical openings shall be separated from other fire or smoke compartments on the same floors by a smoke barrier.
- 1.4. On other than the lowest level, the unenclosed vertical openings shall not serve as a required means of egress.
- 2.1. For other than existing approved atriums with a smoke control system, where the atrium was constructed and is maintained in accordance with the code in effect at the time the atrium was created, the atrium shall have a smoke control system that is in compliance with Section 909.
- 18.104.22.168. Automatic sprinklers are provided along both sides of the separation wall and doors, or on the room side only if there is not a walkway or occupied space on the atrium side.
- 22.214.171.124. The sprinklers shall be not more than 12 inches (305 mm) away from the face of the glass and at intervals along the glass of not greater than 72 inches (1829 mm).
- 126.96.36.199. Windows in the glass wall shall be non-operating type.
- 188.8.131.52. The glass wall and windows shall be installed in a gasketed frame in a manner that the framing system deflects without breaking (loading) the glass before the sprinkler system operates.
- 184.108.40.206. The sprinkler system shall be designed so that the entire surface of the glass is wet upon activation of the sprinkler system without obstruction.
- 2.2.2. A fire barrier is not required where a glass-block wall assembly complying with Section 2110 of the International Building Code and having a 3/4-hour fire protection rating is provided.
- 2.3. Where doors are provided in the glass wall, they shall be either self-closing or automatic-closing and shall be constructed to resist the passage of smoke.
- In Group I-3 occupancies, exit stairways or ramps and exit access stairways or ramps constructed in accordance with Section 408 in the International Building Code.
In other than Group I-2 and I-3 occupancies, interior vertical openings connecting three to five stories shall be protected by either 1-hour fire-resistance-rated construction or an automatic sprinkler system shall be installed throughout the building in accordance with Section 903.3.1.1 or 903.3.1.2.
- Vertical opening protection is not required for Group R-3 occupancies.
- Vertical opening protection is not required for open parking garages.
- Vertical opening protection for escalators shall be in accordance with Section 1103.4.5, 1103.4.6 or 1103.4.7.
- Exit access stairways and ramps shall be in accordance with Section 1103.4.8.
In other than Group I-2 and I-3 occupancies, interior vertical openings connecting more than five stories shall be protected by 1-hour fire-resistance-rated construction.
- Vertical opening protection is not required for Group R-3 occupancies.
- Vertical opening protection is not required for open parking garages.
- Vertical opening protection for escalators shall be in accordance with Section 1103.4.5, 1103.4.6 or 1103.4.7.
- Exit access stairways and ramps shall be in accordance with Section 1103.4.8.
In other than Group I-2 and I-3 occupancies, interior vertical openings in a covered mall building or a building with an atrium shall be protected by either 1-hour fire-resistance-rated construction or an automatic sprinkler system shall be installed throughout the building in accordance with Section 903.3.1.1 or 903.3.1.2.
In other than Group I-2 and I-3 occupancies, floor openings containing exit access stairways or ramps that do not comply with one of the conditions listed in this section shall be protected by 1-hour fire-resistance-rated construction.
- Exit access stairways and ramps that serve, or atmospherically communicate between, only two stories. Such interconnected stories shall not be open to other stories.
- In Group R-1, R-2 or R-3 occupancies, exit access stairways and ramps connecting four stories or less serving and contained within an individual dwelling unit or sleeping unit or live/work unit.
- Exit access stairways and ramps in buildings equipped throughout with an automatic sprinkler system in accordance with Section 903.3.1.1, where the area of the vertical opening between stories does not exceed twice the horizontal projected area of the stairway or ramp, and the opening is protected by a draft curtain and closely spaced sprinklers in accordance with NFPA 13. In other than Group B and M occupancies, this provision is limited to openings that do not connect more than four stories.
- Exit access stairways and ramps within an atrium complying with the provisions of Section 404 of the International Building Code.
- Exit access stairways and ramps in open parking garages that serve only the parking garage.
- Exit access stairways and ramps serving open-air seating complying with the exit access travel distance requirements of Section 1029.7 of the International Building Code.
- Exit access stairways and ramps serving the balcony, gallery or press box and the main assembly floor in occupancies such as theaters, places of religious worship, auditoriums and sports facilities.
- Group I-2 occupancies, and
- High-rise buildings of Group R-2 occupancy.
- Basements in accordance with Section F-1103.5.7.
- Rooms used for storage where the floor area exceeds 120 square feet (11 m2).
- Trash and incinerator chutes and rooms in accordance with F-1103.4.9.
- Basements containing no occupancy or storage, excluding permanently installed building service equipment, but not excluding oil cooled electrical equipment.
- Group R-3 and Group U occupancies.
- Basements with openings meeting one of the following conditions:
- Doorway openings below grade that lead directly to ground level by an exterior stairway or outside ramp. The door openings shall be located in each 50 linear feet (15 240 mm) or fraction thereof, of exterior wall in the story on at least one side. The required openings shall be distributed such that the linear distance between adjacent openings does not exceed 50 feet (15 240mm), and all portions of the basement are located within 75 feet (22 860 mm) of a door opening.
- Openings entirely above the adjoining ground level totaling at least 20 square feet (1.86 m2) in each 50 linear feet (15 240 mm), or fraction thereof, of the exterior wall in the story on at least one side. The required openings shall be distributed such that the lineal distance between adjacent openings does not exceed 50 feet (15 240 mm) and all portions of the basement are located within 75 feet (22 860 mm) of an opening. The openings shall have a minimum dimension of not less than 30 inches (762 mm).
- Doorway openings with doors of metal or wood.
- Doorway or other openings covered by any of the following materials:
- Wood not exceeding 3/4 inches (1905 mm) in thickness.
- Glass, Plexiglas, fiberglass or plastic not exceeding 1/4 inches (6 mm) in thickness.
- Metal sheeting not exceeding 1/8 inches (3 mm) in thickness.
- The level of exit discharge.
- Open parking structures.
- Occupancies in Group F-2.
- Occupancies in Group R-2.
- Buildings where all exterior walls have a fire separation distance of 5 feet (1524 mm) or greater.
- A written description of the methods and schedule for compliance with this section.
- A site plan prepared by a registered design professional indicating that the fire separation distance of all exterior walls of the building are 5 feet (1524 mm) or greater and therefore the building is not subject to Section F-1103.5.8.
- An elevation plan prepared by a registered design professional indicating that the existing building does not have one or more occupied floors located 45 feet (13 716 mm) or more above the lowest level of fire department vehicle access.
- A statement sealed by a registered design professional indicating that the existing building meets an exception for occupancy and therefore the building is not subject to Section F- 1103.5.8.
- Proof that automatic sprinklers were previously installed in the areas required by Section F-1103.5.8 and have been certified pursuant to Section 901.
- In existing buildings having the highest occupied floors located not more than 75 feet (22 860 mm) above the lowest level of fire department vehicle access, Class I standpipe systems are permitted to be manual wet systems.
- Standpipe systems installed prior to January 1, 1995, that provide a residual pressure of 65 psi (448 kPa) or greater at the most remote hose connection are exempt from the requirement to provide a residual pressure of 100 psi (690 kPa) at the most remote hose connection.
- Standpipe systems with a residual pressure of less than 100 psi (690 kPa) at the most remote hose connection are permitted provided that the pressure is sufficient to fill the system and the building is in accordance with Conditions 3.1 through 3.3.
- The building existed prior to January 1, 2004.
- The building is equipped throughout with an automatic fire extinguishing system.
- The floor level of the highest floor is not more than 150 feet (45 720 mm) above the lowest level of fire department vehicle access.
An approved fire alarm system shall be installed in existing buildings and structures in accordance with Sections 1103.7.1 through 1103.7.6 and provide occupant notification in accordance with Section 907.5 unless other requirements are provided by other sections of this code.
- A manual fire alarm system is not required in a building with a maximum area of 1,000 square feet (93 m2) that contains a single classroom and is located not closer than 50 feet (15 240 mm) from another building.
- A manual fire alarm system is not required in Group E occupancies with an occupant load less than 50.
Exception: Where each sleeping room has a means of egress door opening directly to an exterior egress balcony that leads directly to the exits in accordance with Section 1021, and the building is not more than three stories in height.
A manual fire alarm system that activates the occupant notification system in accordance with Section 907.5 shall be installed in existing Group R-1 hotels and motels more than three stories or with more than 20 sleeping units.
- Buildings less than two stories in height where all sleeping units, attics and crawl spaces are separated by 1-hour fire-resistance-rated construction and each sleeping unit has direct access to a public way, egress court or yard.
An automatic smoke detection system that activates the occupant notification system in accordance with Section 907.5 shall be installed in existing Group R-1 hotels and motels throughout all interior corridors serving sleeping rooms not equipped with an approved, supervised automatic sprinkler system installed in accordance with Section 903.
Exception: An automatic smoke detection system is not required in buildings that do not have interior corridors serving sleeping units and where each sleeping unit has a means of egress door opening directly to an exit or to an exterior exit access that leads directly to an exit.
Exception: Buildings less than two stories in height where all sleeping units, attics and crawl spaces are separated by 1-hour fire-resistance-rated construction and each sleeping unit has direct access to a public way, egress court or yard.
An automatic smoke detection system that activates the occupant notification system in accordance with Section 907.5 shall be installed in existing Group R-1 boarding and rooming houses throughout all interior corridors serving sleeping units not equipped with an approved, supervised sprinkler system installed in accordance with Section 903.
Exception: Buildings equipped with single-station smoke alarms meeting or exceeding the requirements of Section 907.2.10.1 and where the fire alarm system includes not less than one manual fire alarm box per floor arranged to initiate the alarm.
A manual fire alarm system that activates the occupant notification system in accordance with Section 907.5 shall be installed in existing Group R-2 occupancies more than three stories in height or with more than 16 dwelling or sleeping units.
- Where each living unit is separated from other contiguous living units by fire barriers having a fire-resistance rating of not less than 3/4 hour, and where each living unit has either its own independent exit or its own independent stairway or ramp discharging at grade.
- A separate fire alarm system is not required in buildings that are equipped throughout with an approved supervised automatic sprinkler system installed in accordance with Section 903.3.1.1 or 903.3.1.2 and having a local alarm to notify all occupants.
- A fire alarm system is not required in buildings that do not have interior corridors serving dwelling units and are protected by an approved automatic sprinkler system installed in accordance with Section 903.3.1.1 or 903.3.1.2, provided that dwelling units either have a means of egress door opening directly to an exterior exit access that leads directly to the exits or are served by open-ended corridors designed in accordance with Section 1027.6, Exception 3.
- A fire alarm system is not required in buildings that do not have interior corridors serving dwelling units, do not exceed three stories in height and comply with both of the following:
Group 1220.127.116.11 Hard-Wired and Interconnected Smoke Alarms in Existing Group R-3 Congregate Living Facilities
- Buildings equipped with an automatic sprinkler system.
- Buildings equipped with hard-wired smoke alarms installed in compliance with the Building Code.
Existing Group I-1 and R occupancies shall be provided with single-station smoke alarms in accordance with Section 907.2.10. Interconnection and power sources shall be in accordance with Sections 1103.8.2 and 1103.8.3, respectively.
- Where the code that was in effect at the time of construction required smoke alarms and smoke alarms complying with those requirements are already provided.
- Where smoke alarms have been installed in occupancies and dwellings that were not required to have them at the time of construction, additional smoke alarms shall not be required provided that the existing smoke alarms comply with requirements that were in effect at the time of installation.
- Where smoke detectors connected to a fire alarm system have been installed as a substitute for smoke alarms.
- Smoke alarms are not required in sleeping rooms in existing Group R-2 occupancies in high-rise buildings equipped throughout with an automatic fire extinguishing system.
- Smoke alarms are not required in sleeping rooms in Group R-2 or R-3 occupancies in buildings built prior to January 1, 1988, and not classified as high-rise.
- Where a smoke alarm installed in the immediate vicinity of bedrooms would result in its installation within 3 feet (914 mm) of a door to a bathroom or kitchen, installation beyond the immediate vicinity is permitted, provided that it does not exceed 15 feet (4572 mm) from all bedroom doors.
Where more than one smoke alarm is required to be installed within an individual dwelling or sleeping unit, the smoke alarms shall be interconnected in such a manner that the activation of one alarm will activate all of the alarms in the individual unit. Physical interconnection of smoke alarms shall not be required where listed wireless alarms are installed and all alarms sound upon activation of one alarm. The alarm shall be clearly audible in all bedrooms over background noise levels with all intervening doors closed.
- Interconnection is not required in buildings that are not undergoing alterations, repairs or construction of any kind.
- Smoke alarms in existing areas are not required to be interconnected where alterations or repairs do not result in the removal of interior wall or ceiling finishes exposing the structure, unless there is an attic, crawl space or basement available that could provide access for interconnection without the removal of interior finishes.
- Interconnection is not required in buildings built prior to January 1, 1988, that are not undergoing alterations, repairs or construction of any kind.
- Smoke alarms in existing areas of buildings built prior to January 1, 1988, are not required to be interconnected where repairs do not result in the removal of interior wall or ceiling finishes exposing the structure, unless there is an attic, crawl space or basement available which could provide access for interconnection without the removal of interior finishes.
- Pursuant to the PA Uniform Construction Code, interconnected smoke alarms are not required in one-family and two-family dwellings constructed prior to January 1, 1988 undergoing alterations, repairs or additions. Non-interconnected battery-operated smoke alarms shall be installed in these dwellings. This exception does not apply to multiple single-family dwellings (townhouses).
Single-station smoke alarms shall receive their primary power from the building wiring provided that such wiring is served from a commercial source and shall be equipped with a battery backup. Smoke alarms with integral strobes that are not equipped with battery backup shall be connected to an emergency electrical system. Smoke alarms shall emit a signal when the batteries are low. Wiring shall be permanent and without a disconnecting switch other than as required for overcurrent protection.
- Smoke alarms are permitted to be solely battery operated in existing buildings where construction is not taking place.
- Smoke alarms are permitted to be solely battery operated in buildings that are not served from a commercial power source.
- Smoke alarms are permitted to be solely battery operated in existing areas of buildings undergoing alterations or repairs that do not result in the removal of interior walls or ceiling finishes exposing the structure, unless there is an attic, crawl space or basement available that could provide access for building wiring without the removal of interior finishes.
- Smoke alarms are permitted to be solely battery powered with 10-year non-removable (sealed) batteries in existing one- and two-family dwellings built prior to January 1, 1988, where no construction is taking place.
- Smoke alarms are permitted to be solely battery powered with 10-year non-removable (sealed) batteries in one- and two-family dwellings that are not served from a commercial power source.
- Smoke alarms are permitted to be solely battery powered with 10-year non-removal (sealed) batteries in existing one- and two-family dwellings built prior to January 1, 1988, undergoing alterations or repairs that do not result in the removal of interior walls or ceiling finishes exposing the structure, unless there is an attic, crawl space or basement available which could provide access for building wiring without the removal of interior finishes.
Carbon monoxide alarms shall be installed in existing dwelling units and sleeping units where those units include any of the conditions identified in Sections 915.1.2 through 915.1.6. The carbon monoxide alarms shall be installed in the locations specified in Section 915.2 and the installation shall be in accordance with Section 915.4.
- Carbon monoxide alarms are permitted to be solely battery operated where the code that was in effect at the time of construction did not require carbon monoxide detectors to be provided.
- Carbon monoxide alarms are permitted to be solely battery operated in dwelling units that are not served from a commercial power source.
- A carbon monoxide detection system in accordance with Section 915.5 shall be an acceptable alternative to carbon monoxide alarms.
Exit signs shall be internally or externally illuminated. The face of an exit sign illuminated from an external source shall have an intensity of not less than 5 foot-candles (54 lux). Internally illuminated signs shall provide equivalent luminance and be listed for the purpose.
Exception: Approved self-luminous signs that provide evenly illuminated letters shall have a minimum luminance of 0.06 foot-lamberts (0.21 cd/m2).
Where means of egress illumination is provided, the power supply for means of egress illumination shall normally be provided by the premises' electrical supply. In the event of power supply failure, illumination shall be automatically provided from an emergency system for the following occupancies where such occupancies require two or more means of egress:
- Group B buildings three or more stories in height, buildings with 100 or more occupants above or below a level of exit discharge serving the occupants or buildings with 1,000 or more total occupants.
- Group E in interior exit access and exit stairways and ramps, corridors, windowless areas with student occupancy, shops and laboratories.
- Group I.
Guards shall form a protective barrier not less than 42 inches (1067 mm) high.
Open guards shall have balusters or ornamental patterns such that a 6-inch-diameter (152 mm) sphere cannot pass through any opening up to a height of 34 inches (864 mm).
- At elevated walking surfaces for access to, and use of, electrical, mechanical or plumbing systems or equipment, guards shall have balusters or be of solid materials such that a sphere with a diameter of 21 inches (533 mm) cannot pass through any opening.
- In occupancies in Group I-3, F, H or S, the clear distance between intermediate rails measured at right angles to the rails shall not exceed 21 inches (533 mm).
- Approved existing open guards.
The required capacity of each door opening shall be sufficient for the occupant load thereof and shall provide a minimum clear opening width of 28 inches (711 mm). Where this section requires a minimum clear opening width of 28 inches (711 mm) and a door opening includes two door leaves without a mullion, one leaf shall provide a clear opening width of 28 inches (711 mm). The minimum clear opening height of doorways shall be 80 inches (2032 mm).
- The minimum and maximum width shall not apply to door openings that are not part of the required means of egress in occupancies in Group R-2 and R-3 units that are not required to be an Accessible Type A unit or Type B unit.
- Door openings to storage closets less than 10 square feet (0.93 m2) in area shall not be limited by the minimum clear opening width.
- The width of door leaves in revolving doors that comply with Section 1010.1.4.1 shall not be limited.
- The maximum width of door leaves in power-operated doors that comply with Section 1010.1.4.2 shall not be limited.
- Door openings within a dwelling unit shall have a minimum clear opening height of 78 inches (1981 mm).
- In dwelling and sleeping units that are not required to be Accessible units, Type A units or Type B units, exterior door openings, other than the required exit door, shall have a minimum clear opening height of 76 inches (1930 mm).
- Exit access doors serving a room not larger than 70 square feet (6.5 m2) shall have a minimum door leaf width of 24 inches (610 mm).
- The minimum clear opening width shall not apply to doors for nonaccessible showers or sauna compartments.
- The minimum clear opening width shall not apply to the doors for nonaccessible toilet stalls.
- Door closers and door stops shall be permitted to be 78 inches (1980 mm) minimum above the floor.
Revolving doors shall comply with the following:
- A revolving door shall not be located within 10 feet (3048 mm) of the foot or top of stairways or escalators. A dispersal area shall be provided between the stairways or escalators and the revolving doors.
- The revolutions per minute for a revolving door shall not exceed those shown in Table 1104.9.
- Each revolving door shall have a conforming side-hinged swinging door in the same wall as the revolving door and within 10 feet (3048 mm).
- A revolving door is permitted to be used without an adjacent swinging door for street-floor elevator lobbies provided that a stairway, escalator or door from other parts of the building does not discharge through the lobby and the lobby does not have any occupancy or use other than as a means of travel between elevators and a street.
- Existing revolving doors where the number of revolving doors does not exceed the number of swinging doors within 20 feet (6096 mm).
REVOLVING DOOR SPEEDS
For SI: 1 inch = 25.4 mm, 1 foot = 304.8 mm.
- Revolving doors shall not be given credit for more than 50 percent of the required egress capacity.
- Each revolving door shall be credited with not more than a 50-person capacity.
- Revolving doors shall be capable of being collapsed when a force of not more than 130 pounds (578 N) is applied within 3 inches (76 mm) of the outer edge of a wing.
FIRE ESCAPE BALCONY. A balcony that projects from the building face and is intended for use in conjunction with a fire escape, an exit stair or an area of refuge.
FIRE ESCAPE INSPECTION BUSINESS. A business entity that uses a Professional to perform inspections of fire escapes and fire escape balconies.
PROFESSIONAL. A professional engineer, licensed in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania and experienced in the practice of structural engineering.
SAFE. A condition of a fire escape or a fire escape balcony that is neither an Unsafe condition nor Safe with a Repair and Maintenance Program.
SAFE WITH A REPAIR AND MAINTENANCE PROGRAM. A condition of a fire escape or a fire escape balcony that is not determined to be Unsafe, at the time of inspection, but that requires maintenance or repair within a time period designated by a Professional in order to prevent further deterioration into an unsafe condition.
UNSAFE. A condition of any part of a fire escape or fire escape balcony that is dangerous to persons or property and requires prompt remedial action.
- Before conducting an inspection, the Professional shall review previous reports, inspections, and evidence of repairs made in the five (5) year period prior to the inspection, including confirmation that all areas previously determined to require repair (as noted in any previous report) have been addressed.
- The inspection shall be conducted by or under the supervision of the Professional.
- The Professional shall employ the appropriate Professional standard of care in order to detect structural defects, rust, corrosion or any other condition affecting the structural integrity of the fire escape and fire escape balconies. If a distressed condition is identified, the Professional shall order any other inspections or tests that may be required to determine the significance and cause of the distress as well as measures appropriate to remediate the distress.
- During the course of the inspection, photographs shall be taken or sketches made of the fire escape and fire escape balconies, including documentation of the location of all conditions that are Unsafe or Safe With a Repair and Maintenance Program.
- To be considered Safe or Safe With a Repair and Maintenance Program, the fire escape and fire escape balconies shall be capable of meeting or exceeding the load requirements of Section F-1104.16.5. This load requirement can be met by either an engineering analysis by the Professional or by conducting a load test. Any load test shall be witnessed by the Professional and shall comply with the applicable provisions of Chapter 17 of the Philadelphia Building Code.
- Upon discovery of any Unsafe condition, the Professional shall immediately notify the owner of the building by electronic mail or fax and shall within twelve (12) hours of such discovery, notify the fire code official, in writing, and in an electronic format determined by the fire code official.
- Once the Professional has determined that the condition is safe, the Professional shall post, upon the fire escape, a tag or placard (made of weatherresistant reflective material) that clearly and legibly states the date of the inspection and the date by which a new inspection is required (5 years after the date of inspection), and the name, address and telephone number of the Professional or fire escape inspection business on the tag or placard.
- The Professional who performs the inspection shall submit a written report to the owner of the building. The Professional shall also submit a summary of the written report to the fire code official in a form determined by the fire code official. The fire code official may by regulation impose a fee to cover the reasonable costs of processing that must be paid upon the submission of the summary of the written report. If the report identifies an unsafe condition, then within twenty-four (24) hours of the completion of the report, the Professional shall file the full report with the fire code official, in writing and in an electronic format to be determined by the fire code official. The owner or owner's agent shall retain all written reports submitted pursuant to this Section and keep them readily available for inspection by the fire code official.
- The report shall include, on the front page, the name and license number of the Professional and the date of the report, and shall include the following information:
- The address of the building.
- The name, mailing address and telephone number of the owner of the building, or where applicable, the owner's agent or person in charge, possession or control of the building.
- A description of the building, including the number of stories and height.
- The date of the start and completion of the inspection and a detailed description of the procedures used in making the inspection.
- A report of all conditions, including, but not limited to, significant deterioration, and movement, and mechanical operations. The report shall classify each such condition as Safe, Unsafe, or Safe with a Repair and Maintenance Program.
- The probable causes of the reported conditions.
- The status of ongoing maintenance efforts.
- For any conditions listed in any previously filed report, whether such conditions have been repaired or maintained as recommended in that report.
- Recommendations for repairs or maintenance, if appropriate, including the recommended time frame for the repairs or maintenance to be performed.
- The classification of the fire escape and fire escape balconies overall according to the following scheme:
- "Unsafe," if there is at least one unsafe condition.
- "Safe with a Repair and Maintenance Program," if there is a condition that is "Safe with Repair and Maintenance Program" and there are no Unsafe conditions.
- "Safe," in all cases other than a or b.
- Photographs or sketches documenting the locations of any conditions that are either Unsafe or Safe with a Repair and Maintenance Program.
- A statement by the Professional indicating which repairs or maintenance require work permits prior to their commencement.
- A statement signed by the owner or agent of the building, acknowledging receipt of a copy of the report and acknowledging any required repairs or maintenance and the recommended time frame for performing such repairs or maintenance.
- The Professional's certification that, to the best of his or her knowledge and belief, the physical inspection was performed in accordance with applicable rules and regulations, including the provisions of this Section, and within the appropriate professional standard of care.
- The Professional's seal and signature in accordance with the professional registration laws of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania.
- Such other matters as the code official may require by regulation.
- The Professional may submit an amended report. The amended report shall clearly identify any change from the initial report and all reasons for such changes.
- Within twenty-four (24) hours of being notified of an Unsafe condition by a Professional, the owner of the building shall take any and all actions necessary to protect public safety including, but not limited to, posting notice of the unsafe condition in a prominent location inside the building near every exit to an exterior fire escape. If the fire escape or fire escape balcony encroaches upon a public right-of-way, such notice shall be posted in a prominent location visible from the right-of-way and the right-of-way shall be protected by installation of a sidewalk shed or other approved means. Such actions shall be considered part of an effort to remedy an emergency situation, and applications for any required permit shall be filed with the Department of Licenses and Inspections within three (3) days of notification.
- Within ten (10) days of the receipt of a report identifying an unsafe condition, the owner of a building shall commence work to correct the condition, and work shall continue without interruption until the unsafe condition has been corrected. Within two (2) weeks after the unsafe condition has been corrected, the Professional shall re-inspect the fire escape and fire escape balconies and file with the fire code official a detailed amended report concerning their condition.
- When a fire escape or fire escape balcony is determined to be unsafe and such condition is considered imminently dangerous by the Professional, the Professional shall notify the fire code official immediately. Signage shall be posted by the owner at each entry point to the fire escape or fire escape balcony and at the lowest balcony. Where required, the building shall either be evacuated, or an approved fire watch shall be provided until the fire escape has been made safe and approved for use.
- Upon completion of the work necessary to correct the Unsafe condition, the Professional shall submit an amended inspection report to the owner and the Department reflecting the completion of the repairs and the reclassification to Safe.
Exception: For fire escape stairways serving 10 or fewer occupants, an approved fire escape ladder is allowed to serve as the termination.
Corridors serving an occupant load greater than 30 and the openings therein shall provide an effective barrier to resist the movement of smoke. Transoms, louvers, doors and other openings shall be kept closed or be self-closing. In Group I-2, corridors in areas housing patient sleeping or care rooms shall comply with Section 1105.5.
- Corridors in occupancies other than in Group H, that are equipped throughout with an approved automatic sprinkler system.
- Corridors in occupancies in Group E where each room utilized for instruction or assembly has not less than one-half of the required means of egress doors opening directly to the exterior of the building at ground level.
- Corridors that are in accordance with the International Building Code.
- Where 20-minute fire door assemblies are required, solid wood doors not less than 1.75 inches (44 mm) thick or insulated steel doors are allowed.
- Openings protected with fixed wire glass set in steel frames.
- Openings covered with 0.5-inch (12.7 mm) gypsum wallboard or 0.75-inch (19.1 mm) plywood on the room side.
- Opening protection is not required where the building is equipped throughout with an approved automatic sprinkler system.
- A dead-end corridor shall not be limited in length where the length of the dead-end corridor is less than 2.5 times the least width of the dead-end corridor.
- In existing buildings, existing dead-end corridors shall be permitted to comply with lengths established in Section 805.6 of the International Existing Building Code. Any newly constructed dead-end corridors within an existing building shall be limited to the lengths allowed by the International Building Code.
COMMON PATH, DEAD-END AND TRAVEL DISTANCE LIMITS (by occupancy)
|OCCUPANCY||COMMON PATH OF EGRESS |
|DEAD-END LIMIT||EGRESS ACCESS TRAVEL |
|Group F-1, S-1||75g||100||50||50||200c||250c, h|
|Group F-2, S-2||75g||100||50||50||300||400|
|Group I-2||Notes d, e, f||Notes d, e, f||Note e||Note e||150||200b|
NR = No Requirements.
For SI: 1 foot = 304.8 mm, 1 square foot = 0.0929 m2.
- See Section 1029.9.5 for dead-end aisles in Group A occupancies.
- This dimension is for the total travel distance, assuming incremental portions have fully utilized their allowable maximums. For travel distance within the room, and from the room exit access door to the exit, see the appropriate occupancy chapter.
- See Section 412.7 of the International Building Code for special requirements on spacing of doors in aircraft hangars.
- Separation of exit access doors within a care recipient sleeping room, or any suite that includes care recipient sleeping rooms, shall comply with Section 1105.5.6.
- Smoke compartments containing care recipient sleeping rooms and treatment rooms, dead-end corridors shall comply with Section 1105.6.5.
- In Group I-2, Condition 2, care recipient sleeping rooms or any suite that includes care recipient sleeping rooms shall comply with Section 1105.7.
- Where a tenant space in Group B, S and U occupancies has an occupant load of not more than 30, the length of a common path of egress travel shall not be more than 100 feet.
- Where the building, or portion of the building, is limited to one story and the height from the finished floor to the bottom of the ceiling or roof slab or deck is 24 feet or more, the exit access travel distance is increased to 400 feet.
- For covered and open malls, the exit access travel distance is increased to 400 feet.
- Separation from the interior of the building is not required for buildings that are two stories or less above grade where the level of exit discharge serving such occupancies is the first story above grade.
- Separation from the interior of the building is not required where the exterior stairway is served by an exterior balcony that connects two remote exterior stairways or other approved exits, with a perimeter that is not less than 50 percent open. To be considered open, the opening shall be not less than 50 percent of the height of the enclosing wall, with the top of the opening not less than 7 feet (2134 mm) above the top of the balcony.
- Separation from the interior of the building is not required for an exterior stairway located in a building or structure that is permitted to have unenclosed interior stairways in accordance with Section 1023.
- 4.1. The open-ended corridors comply with Section 1020.
- 4.2. The open-ended corridors are connected on each end to an exterior exit stairway complying with Section 1027.
- 4.3. At any location in an open-ended corridor where a change of direction exceeding 45 degrees (0.79 rad) occurs, a clear opening of not less than 35 square feet (3 m2) or an exterior stairway shall be provided. Where clear openings are provided, they shall be located so as to minimize the accumulation of smoke or toxic gases.
The minimum clear width of aisles shall comply with the following:
- Buildings existing, or where plans for the construction of the building were approved, prior to February 17, 2010, are exempt provided the building has a sprinkler system installed throughout and the exit signs and egress lighting are connected to a primary power supply and an emergency generator or other secondary power supply.
- Open, unenclosed stairwells in historic buildings designated as historical under a state or local historic preservation program.
- Where an existing exit enclosure is required to have a fire-resistance rating of up to one hour, existing self-closing and latching doors shall be accepted provided they are solid core wood with a minimum thickness of 1 3/4 inches (44 mm).
- Where an existing exit enclosure is required to have a one-hour fire-resistance rating, existing self-closing and latching panel doors (not hollow core) shall be accepted provided the panels on one side are filled with a non-combustible material (example: mineral wool) and the entire surface of the door on that side is covered with a sheathing to provide a minimum door thickness of 1 3/4 inches (44 mm) measured at the stiles.
- Stairway discharge doors shall be openable from the egress side and shall only be locked from the opposite side.
- Exit doors arranged in accordance with the current or a past edition of the Philadelphia Building Code.
- In stairways serving not more than 4 stories doors are permitted to be locked on the side opposite egress (stairway side).
- In stairways serving more than 4 stories the doors are permitted to be locked from the stairway side provided they unlock, but not un-latch, upon the loss of power to the door locks and are in accordance with 4.1 or 4.2:
- Unlock upon the activation of the building fire alarm system.
- Unlocked remotely from a constantly attended location, and telephones or a two-way communication system connected to the constantly attended location are installed in the stairway at not less than every fifth floor.
- A nonresidential building not exceeding 6 stories above grade.
- A residential building, other than Group R-3, not exceeding 3 stories above grade.
- A Group R-3 building of any height.
- A building equipped with a fire suppression system and fire alarm system throughout the building with smoke detectors in all corridors, lobbies and other common areas.
- A building equipped with an automatic fire alarm system with smoke detectors installed throughout the building (smoke alarms in dwelling units) and the single exit is a smokeproof enclosure (access to the stairway via a vestibule or open exterior balcony) or a pressurized stairway.
- Compliance with the current Philadelphia Building Code.
Existing Group I-2 shall meet all of the following requirements:
- The minimum fire safety requirements in Section 1103.
- The minimum mean of egress requirements in Section 1104.
- The additional egress and construction requirements in Section 1105.
Where the provisions of this chapter conflict with the construction requirements that applied at the time of construction, the most restrictive provision shall apply.
FLOOR LEVEL LIMITATIONS FOR GROUP I-2, CONDITION 2
|CONSTRUCTION TYPE||AUTOMATIC SPRINKLER SYSTEM||ALLOWABLE FLOOR LEVELa|
|1||2||3||4 or more|
P = Permitted; NP = Not Permitted.
Incidental uses associated with and located within existing single-occupancy or mixed-occupancy Group I-2 buildings and that generally pose a greater level of risk to such occupancies shall comply with the provisions of Sections 1105.4.1 through 118.104.22.168.1. Incidental uses in Group I-2 occupancies are limited to those listed in Table 1105.4.
INCIDENTAL USES IN EXISTING GROUP I-2 OCCUPANCIES
|ROOM OR AREA||SEPARATION AND/OR PROTECTION|
|Furnace room where any piece of equipment is over 400,000 Btu per hour|
|1 hour or provide automatic sprinkler system|
|Rooms with boilers where the largest piece of equipment is over 15 psi and 10 |
|1 hour or provide automatic sprinkler system|
|Refrigerant machinery room||1 hour or provide automatic sprinkler system|
|Hydrogen fuel gas rooms, not classified as Group H||2 hours|
|Incinerator rooms||2 hours and provide automatic sprinkler system|
|Paint shops not classified as Group H||2 hours; or 1 hour and provide automatic sprinkler system|
|Laboratories and vocational shops, not classified as Group H||1 hour or provide automatic sprinkler system|
|Laundry rooms over 100 square feet||1 hour or provide automatic sprinkler system|
|Patient rooms equipped with padded surfaces||1 hour or provide automatic sprinkler system|
|Physical plant maintenance shops||1 hour or provide automatic sprinkler system|
|Waste and linen collection rooms with containers with total volume of 10 |
cubic feet or greater
|1 hour or provide automatic sprinkler system|
|Storage rooms greater than 100 square feet||1 hour or provide automatic sprinkler system|
|Stationary storage battery systems having a liquid electrolyte capacity of more |
than 50 gallons for flooded lead-acid, nickel cadmium or VRLA, or more than1,000 pounds for lithium-ion and lithium metal polymer used for facility
standby power, emergency power or uninterruptable power supplies
For SI: 1 square foot = 0.0929 m2, 1 pound per square inch (psi) = 6.9 kPa, 1 British thermal unit (Btu) per hour = 0.293 watts, 1 horsepower = 746 watts, 1 gallon = 3.785 L.
Corridor walls shall extend from the top of the foundation or floor below to one of the following:
- The underside of the floor or roof sheathing, deck or slab above.
- The underside of a ceiling above where the ceiling membrane is constructed to limit the passage of smoke.
- The underside of a lay-in ceiling system where the ceiling system is constructed to limit the passage of smoke and where the ceiling tiles weigh not less than 1 pound per square foot (4.88 kg/m2) of tile.
Windows in corridor walls shall be sealed to limit the passage of smoke, or the window shall be automatic-closing upon detection of smoke, or the window opening shall be protected by an automatic closing device that closes upon detection of smoke.
Doors in corridor walls shall not include louvers, transfer grills or similar openings.
Exception: Doors shall be permitted to have louvers, transfer grills or similar openings at toilet rooms or bathrooms; storage rooms that do not contain storage of flammable or combustible material; and storage rooms that are not required to be separated as incidental uses.
Doors in corridor walls shall limit the transfer of smoke by complying with the following:
- Frames for side-hinged swinging doors shall have stops on the sides and top to limit transfer of smoke.
- Where provided, vision panels in doors shall be a fixed glass window assembly installed to limit the passage of smoke. Existing wired glass panels with steel frames shall be permitted to remain in place.
- Door undercuts shall not exceed 1 inch (25 mm).
- Doors shall be positive latching with devices that resist not less than 5 pounds (22.2 N). Roller latches are prohibited.
- Mail slots or similar openings shall be permitted in accordance with Section 122.214.171.124.
The space around a duct penetrating a smoke partition shall be filled with an approved material to limit the passage of smoke. Air transfer openings in smoke partitions shall be provided with a smoke damper complying with Section 7126.96.36.199 of the International Building Code.
Exception: Where the installation of a smoke damper will interfere with the operation of a required smoke control system in accordance with Section 909, approved alternative protection shall be utilized.
Means of egress doors used for the movement of patients in beds shall provide a minimum clear width of 411/2 inches (1054 mm). The height of the door opening shall be not less than 80 inches (2032 mm).
In Group I-2, where a door serves as an opening protective in a fire barrier, smoke barrier or fire wall and where the door is equipped with a hold-open device, such door shall automatically close upon any of the following conditions:
Refuge areas shall be provided within each smoke compartment. The size of the refuge area shall accommodate the occupants and care recipients from the adjoining smoke compartment. Where a smoke compartment is adjoined by two or more smoke compartments, the minimum area of the refuge area shall accommodate the largest occupant load of the adjoining compartments.
The size of the refuge area shall provide the following:
- Not less than 30 net square feet (2.8 m2) for each care recipient confined to a bed or stretcher.
- Not less than 15 square feet (1.4 m2) for each resident in a Group I-2 using mobility assistance devices.
- Not less than 6 square feet (0.56 m2) for each occupant not addressed in Items 1 and 2.
Areas of spaces permitted to be included in the calculation of the refuge area are corridors, sleeping areas, treatment rooms, lounge or dining areas and other low-hazard areas.
Exception: Where existing duct and air transfer openings in smoke barriers exist without smoke dampers, they shall be permitted to remain. Any changes to existing smoke dampers shall be submitted for review and approved in accordance with Section 717 of the International Building Code.
An automatic sprinkler system installed in accordance with Section 903.3.1.1 shall be provided throughout the floor containing the Group I-2 fire area. The sprinkler system shall be provided throughout the floor where the Group I-2 occupancy is located, on all floors between the Group I-2 occupancy fire area and the level of exit discharge, the level of exit discharge, and all floors below the level of exit discharge.
Exception: Floors classified as an open parking garage are not required to be sprinklered.
Exception: Manual fire alarm boxes in patient sleeping areas shall not be required at exits if located at all nurses' control stations or other constantly attended staff locations, provided such that manual fire alarm boxes are visible, are provided with ready access, and travel distances required in Section 907.4.2.1 are not exceeded.