International Residential Code 2018 (IRC 2018)

Part I — Administrative

Part II — Definitions

Part III — Building Planning and Construction

Part IV — Energy Conservation

Part V — Mechanical

Part VI — Fuel Gas

Part VII — Plumbing

Part VIII — Electrical

Part IX — Referenced Standards

Heads up: There are no amended sections in this chapter.

The provisions contained in this appendix are not mandatory unless specifically referenced in the adopting ordinance.

User note:

About this appendix: Appendix M is intended to apply to scenarios where day care is provided to more than five children in dwellings that are under the scope of this code. The International Building Code®considers such structures R3 Residential occupancies and allows them to be constructed in accordance with this code. Although there are many general provisions in the body of the code that apply to home day care as well as other occupancies, this appendix contains the provisions that are specific to home day care.

This appendix shall apply to a home day care operated within a dwelling. It is to include buildings and structures occupied by persons of any age who receive custodial care for less than 24 hours by individuals other than parents or guardians or relatives by blood, marriage, or adoption, and in a place other than the home of the person cared for.

The following term shall, for the purposes of this appendix, have the meaning shown herein.

EXIT ACCESS. That portion of a means-of-egress system that leads from any occupied point in a building or structure to an exit.

If the occupant load of the residence is more than nine, including those who are residents, during the time of operation of the day care, two exits are required from the ground-level story. Two exits are required from a home day care operated in a manufactured home regardless of the occupant load. Exits shall comply with Section R311.

An exit access from the area of day care operation shall not pass through bathrooms, bedrooms, closets, garages, fenced rear yards or similar areas.

Exception: An exit may discharge into a fenced yard if the gate or gates remain unlocked during day care hours. The gates may be locked if there is an area of refuge located within the fenced yard and more than 50 feet (15 240 mm) from the dwelling. The area of refuge shall be large enough to allow 5 square feet (0.5 m2) per occupant.

If the basement of a dwelling is to be used in the day care operation, two exits are required from the basement regardless of the occupant load. One of the exits may pass through the dwelling and the other shall lead directly to the exterior of the dwelling.

An emergency and escape window used as the second means of egress from a basement shall comply with Sections R310 and AM103.1.1.

If the yard is to be used as part of the day care operation it shall be fenced.

The fence shall be of durable materials and be not less than 6 feet (1529 mm) tall, completely enclosing the area used for the day care operations. Each opening shall be a gate or door equipped with a self-closing and self-latching device to be installed at not less than 5 feet (1528 mm) above the ground.

Exception: The door of any dwelling that forms part of the enclosure need not be equipped with self-closing and self-latching devices.

Openings in the fence, wall or enclosure required by this section shall have intermediate rails or an ornamental pattern that do not allow a sphere 4 inches (102 mm) in diameter to pass through. In addition, the following criteria must be met:

  1. The maximum vertical clearance between grade and the bottom of the fence, wall or enclosure shall be 2 inches (51 mm).
  2. Solid walls or enclosures that do not have openings, such as masonry or stone walls, shall not contain indentations or protrusions, except for tooled masonry joints.
  3. Maximum mesh size for chain link fences shall be 11/4 inches (32 mm) square, unless the fence has slats at the top or bottom that reduce the opening to not more than 13/4 inches (44 mm). The wire shall be not less than 9 gage [0.148 inch (3.8 mm)].
Decks that are more than 12 inches (305 mm) above grade shall have a guard in compliance with Section R312.
The minimum width of a required exit is 36 inches (914 mm) with a net clear width of 32 inches (813 mm). The minimum height of a required exit is 6 feet, 8 inches (2032 mm).
Regardless of the occupant load served, exit doors shall be openable from the inside without the use of a key or any special knowledge or effort. Where the occupant load is 10 or less, a night latch, dead bolt or security chain may be used, provided that such devices are openable from the inside without the use of a key or tool, and are mounted at a height not to exceed 48 inches (1219 mm) above the finished floor.
Landings for stairways and doors shall comply with Section R311, except that landings shall be required for the exterior side of a sliding door where a home day care is being operated in a Group R-3 occupancy.
Smoke detectors shall be installed in dwelling units used for home day care operations. Detectors shall be installed in accordance with the approved manufacturer's instructions. If the current smoke detection system in the dwelling is not in compliance with the currently adopted code for smoke detection, it shall be upgraded to meet the currently adopted code requirements and Section AM103 before day care operations commence.
Required smoke detectors shall receive their primary power from the building wiring where that wiring is served from a commercial source and shall be equipped with a battery backup. The detector shall emit a signal when the batteries are low. Wiring shall be permanent and without a disconnecting switch other than those required for overcurrent protection. Required smoke detectors shall be interconnected such that if one detector is activated, all detectors are activated.
A detector shall be located in each bedroom and any room that is to be used as a sleeping room, and centrally located in the corridor, hallway or area giving access to each separate sleeping area. Where the dwelling unit has more than one story, and in dwellings with basements, a detector shall be installed on each story and in the basement. In dwelling units where a story or basement is split into two or more levels, the smoke detector shall be installed on the upper level, except that where the lower level contains a sleeping area, a detector shall be installed on each level. Where sleeping rooms are on the upper level, the detector shall be placed at the ceiling of the upper level in close proximity to the stairway. In dwelling units where the ceiling height of a room open to the hallway serving the bedrooms or sleeping areas exceeds that of the hallway by 24 inches (610 mm) or more, smoke detectors shall be installed in the hallway and the adjacent room. Detectors shall sound an alarm audible in all sleeping areas of the dwelling unit in which they are located.
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