§ 13-196-084

Stairwell re-entry in existing buildings

a.

In buildings not required to comply with Chapter 13-76, every stairwell enclosure that serves more than four stories shall comply with one of the following requirements, as a minimum standard:

Option 1. The stairwell enclosure doors shall not be locked from the stairwell side at any time, in order to provide re-entry from the stair enclosure to the interior of the building; or

Option 2. The stairwell enclosure doors shall be equipped with a fail-safe electronic lock release system that is activated both manually, by a single switch accessible to building management and firefighting personnel, and automatically, either by approved smoke detectors or sprinkler waterflow devices, connected to an annunciator panel. If this option is selected, a telephone or other two-way communications system connected to an approved station shall be provided at not less than every fifth floor in each stairway where the doors to the stairway are locked, no later than January 1, 2005.

During the time necessary to install a lock release system under this Option 2, but in no event beyond December 31, 2004, the transitional measures listed as (A) through (E) below may be used. Doors on stair enclosures may be equipped with hardware that prevents re-entry into the interior of the building, provided that all of the following criteria are met:

A.

there shall be not less than two levels where doors leading to the building interior are permanently unlocked, permitting access to another exit stair; and

B.

there shall be not more than four stories intervening between stairwell enclosure doors that provide access to another exit stair; and

C.

re-entry to the building interior shall be possible at all times on the highest story or the second highest story, whichever allows access to another exit stair; and

D.

doors allowing re-entry shall be identified as such on the stair side of the door; and

E.

doors not allowing re-entry shall be provided with a sign on the stair side indicating the location of the nearest door, in each direction of travel, that allows re-entry or exit.

b.

Regardless of which option is selected under subsection (a) of this section, stairwell enclosure doors at the main egress level of the building shall remain unlocked from the stairwell enclosure side at all times.

c.

Every building of more than four stories, and having a height in excess of 80 feet above grade, shall comply with subsection (a) of this section upon this section’s taking effect. Every building of more than four stories, and having a height not exceeding 80 feet above grade, shall comply with subsection (a) of this section no later than January 1, 2005.

d.

No later than May 1, 2004, the executive director of the department of construction and permits and the fire commissioner shall issue guidelines for the approval of stations in buildings where Option 2 described in subsection (a) has been selected.

e.

Nothing in this section applies to any stairwell enclosure door which opens directly into a dwelling unit, provided the dwelling unit door has a self-closer, a latch, and no self-locking hardware. Where all doors in the stairwell meet these criteria, the stairwell shall be provided with either a two-way communication system as required by Option 2 above, or the stairwell shall be provided with readily operable windows that are operable according to ANSI A117.1-1998, Section 309 Operable Parts, on each landing or intermediate landing, no later than January 1, 2005.

(Added Coun. J. 11-19-03, p. 14365, § 1; Amend Coun. J. 12-17-03, p. 15806, § 1)

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