Stairwell Signage

Q: With the new 2012 Life Safety Code adoption, my question is around the stairwell signage and 7.2.2.5.4.1. Hospitals are confused whether they have to replace all their signs to meet this new code requirement, or if they are grandfathered-in, and not have to comply. From what I interpret from the code, this would be for new stairwells only… is this correct?

A: No… This applies to all new enclosed stairs serving three stories or more, and all existing enclosed stairs serving five stories or more. There is no ‘Grandfathering’ in the Life Safety Code. There are requirements for new construction (Chapter 18) and there are requirements for existing conditions (Chapter 19), but other than that, there is no ‘Grandfathering’.

When new editions of the Life Safety Code are adopted, facilities must comply with new requirements that apply to existing conditions. Just because the building was compliant with the Life Safety Code at the time of original construction, does not permit the building a ‘pass’ on meeting new requirements that apply to existing conditions.

 

Strange Observations – Part 46

Continuing in a series of strange things that I have seen while consulting at hospitals…

The step up (or down) is more than 8-inches permitted for a riser. Steps will have to be made, and wood cannot be used.

Even existing conditions have to meet the maximum height requirement for risers, as referenced in section 7.2.2.2.1.1 (2) of the 2012 Life Safety Code.

Strange Observations – Part 41

Continuing in a series of strange things that I have seen while consulting at hospitals…

No… this picture is not an optical illusion. That step between the floor and the sill for the doorway is a doosey.

It definitely is more than the maximum 8-inches height for a riser for existing healthcare occupancy, or 9-inches in height for a riser in Industrial occupancy.

As I’ve said over and over… Mechanical rooms often have many non-compliant safety issues that an astute surveyor can find.

In a situation like this, steps with riser that do not exceed 7-inches (for new construction) need to be installed to access this doorway. And, the steps cannot be made of wood.