Stairwell storage Q&A

In a recent Q&A on the FacilityCare website, consultant Brad Keyes answered a question about stairwell storage

In a recent Q&A on the FacilityCare website, consultant Brad Keyes answered a question about stairwell storage. 

Q: I understand it is best to not affix something to the walls of the exit stairwell that protrudes into the path of egress, and so may interfere with egress. But we have two sets of stairwells, and in the middle of each floor is a landing that has an approximately seven-foot alcove going away from the path of egress on the landing. The path of egress does not use this alcove.

Can we store evacuation chairs in these alcoves? I can understand that affixing these items in the path of egress within the stairwell can interfere with egress, but these alcoves are clearly out of the way and not in the path of egress.

A: Let’s first take a look at section of the 2000 Life Safety Code (LSC), which says:

“There shall be no enclosed, usable space within an exit enclosure, including under the stairs, nor shall any open space within the enclosure be used for any purpose that has the potential to interfere with egress.”

What this section appears to say is you may store your evacuation chairs in the alcove of your stairwell since the alcove is not part of the egress, and the stored evacuation chairs would not interfere with egress. However, there are surveyors and authorities having jurisdiction (AHJs) that take a much more severe look at this issue.

Read the full answer. 


January 2, 2015

Topic Area: Safety

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