About this chapter: Chapter 19 provides guidance by which egress systems for buildings and facilities are designed, evaluated and maintained. This chapter and Section 701 contain the same provisions. It was determined that both Part II and Part III ultimately have the same objectives with regard to egress. It was decided to duplicate the objectives and functional statements in both Parts II and III and to reference the reader from Section 701.3 to Chapter 19 for the performance requirements, primarily because Part III is always intended to be adopted. Because the provisions in Chapter 19 also relate to existing situations, it is more appropriate for those provisions to be found in this chapter.
To protect people during egress and rescue operations.
Enable occupants to exit the building, facility and premises or reach a safe place as appropriate to the design performance level determined in Chapter 3.
The construction, arrangement and number of means of egress, exits and safe places for buildings shall be appropriate to the travel distance, number of occupants, occupant characteristics, building height, and safety systems and features.
Means of egress shall be clearly identified, provided with adequate illumination and be easy and safe to use.
Means of egress shall provide an unobstructed path of travel from each safe place to not less than one exit.
Each safe place shall provide adequate protection from untenable conditions, an appropriate communication system and adequate space for the intended occupants.
Means of egress shall enable reasonable use by the occupants in the building with due regard to human biomechanics and expectation of consistency.
Suitable means of egress shall be provided in satisfactory arrangement throughout all buildings, facilities and premises, regardless of when they were constructed, based on the number and character of occupants, length of travel, provision of existing alternative paths, timeline of emergency detection and response, risk level, time to exit and safety systems provided.
Means of egress shall be maintained without obstructions or reductions in capacity that would hinder the ability of the occupants to egress safely.
Means of egress shall be readily identifiable. Buildings shall be operated and maintained in a manner that does not interfere with the identification of exits.
Means of egress shall be maintained and operated in such a manner to ensure that all egress facilities are readily openable and available without special knowledge or effort consistent with the use or occupancy characteristics.
Means of egress shall be maintained and operated in such a manner to ensure that adequate lighting to facilitate safe egress is available.