Preview Mode Links will not work in preview mode

May 30, 2022

Hello all! In this weeks episode we are talking about life safety and egress components. This solocast breaks down exit, exit acess, and exit discharge and the theory behind chapter 10 in the Internation Building Code. Tune in if you want to buff up on your life safety terminology. 


Visual Aid for Egress components


Patreon Link for more Solocasts



Hello. Welcome to the solo cast of fire code tech in these episodes. It's just gonna be me, your host, Gus Gagliardi. There's gonna be a range of topics, but I'm gonna talk about specific technologies, installation, standards, codes, and how they work as well as some other interesting topics that don't neatly fit inside of the context of a normal interview.

Hello, all welcome to episode 36 of the solo cast fire. Cut. On this episode, we're talking about means of egress. Yes. I wanted to give some consideration to life safety design and in specific discussing egress and egress components, as well as how does the building code address egress and what are important factors to be appraised?

When addressing life safety and or egress analysis, just want to take a moment to thank everybody for listening and say that I've really been enjoying producing the podcast and the interviews that's been happening recently. . If you have interest in suggesting a topic or have a recommendation for a guest for an interview episode, please drop me a

That's G G a G L I a R D Don't forget to hit that subscribe button. So you'd never miss an episode and give us a follow on social. Also, if you would like to do me a huge favor, go and give a five star rate and review on apple podcast. That would be awesome. Let's get into the show. So I want to talk about life safety today, but more in specifically, I wanna talk about means of egress means of egress is a portion of life safety design that is commonly performed by the architect.

After you've determined that the international building code is applicable for the facility that you're working on. And you've determined what addition of the building code is applicable for your facility. Then in the context of this solar cast episode, we're going to be talking about chapter 10, which is titled means of egress.

This chapter really goes over a lot of the common components of egress, egress sizing, and a number of key definitions for how to analyze the life safety components of a building life. Safety is a really broad topic in the same way that fire safety is a really broad topic. And so this is just one component of life safety.

Chapter 10 in the international building code has an about this chapter section. That I want to go over as a preface for a conversation. It reads chapter 10 provides general criteria for designing means of egress established as the primary method of protection of people in buildings by allowing timely relocation or evacuation of building occupants.

This first sentence is really interesting because it shows that the building code considers the exit components and means as egress as the primary component of protecting people in a building. This goes a long way to tell you how important this subject is and how it is a basic, fundamental and cornerstone of life safety for facilit.

both prescriptive and performance language is utilized in this chapter to provide a basic approach for the determination of safe exiting system. For all occupancies egress components are a common feature in which performance based design is used. We've talked about this in other episodes. Performance based design can sometimes be a very effective tool for facilities in which prescriptive design does not allow proper accommodations for, or there are tricky situations in which a engineer or an architect needs to apply some additional provisions of performance based design in order to make unique situations work.

This section goes on to read. The requirements detail, the size arrangement number and protection of means of egress components, functional and operational characteristics that will permit the safe use of components without special knowledge or effort are specified. So these are a couple of key factors.

The number arrangement. Size of these means of egress components. So if we just take a look at one aspect, this applies to many aspect, but let's take a look at doors. Number of doors, the size of doors, the arrangement of doors. These are all factors in the consideration of life safety and the means of egress.

This next section tells a little bit about how this chapter dovetails with the rest of the international building code and the general layout of chapter 10, since it is very detailed and dense, the means of egress protection requirements, work in coordination with other sections of the. Such as protection of vertical openings, C chapter seven interior finish C chapter eight, fire suppression and detection systems C chapter nine and numerous others all have impact on life safety.

This blurb speaks to how the broadness of fire and life safety applies to the rest of the building. , this is by no means an inclusive list of all the other chapters and sections that apply to the building code and fire and life safety. For instance, the chapter in the building code for elevator systems is not mentioned in this preliminary description of the means of egress chapter, which is chapter 10, chapter 10 is subdivided, and to four main sections.

The first one being general. Which is sections 1,003 through 1,015, the second exit access, which is sections 1016 through 1021. The third, which is exit sections, 1,022 verse, 1,027 and exit discharge section 1,020. Exit access, exit and exit discharge are both key terms that we will speak about in their literal definitions within the building code.

The about this chapter concludes itself with these following sentences, special allowances for the unique requirements for assembly spaces, section 1,029 and emergency escape in rescue openings. 1,030 complete this chapter. Chapter 10 of this code is duplicated in chapter 10 of the international fire code.

However, the international fire code contains one additional section on maintenance of the means of egress systems in existing buildings. So a topic I like to mention frequently is that the international building code is free and available online at a number of sources. Uh, for this episode, for my research purposes, I've used up code and the I's website for the digital version of the building code.

Okay. So I know I just took a long time to go over the preface to chapter 10, but I think it provides unique insight to how this chapter is laid out and the importance of the chapter. let's break down those definitions that we talked about before, exit exit access and exit discharge. The first definition is exit and I'm reading these definitions out of chapter two in the international building code, which is the definitions chapter.

In more specifically, I'm taking a look at the 2018 version of the international code. That portion of a means of egress system between the exit access and the exit discharge or public way. Exit components include exterior exit doors at the level of exit discharge, interior, exit stairways, and ramps, exit passageways, exterior, exit stairways, and ramps and horizontal exits.

So to me, this definition brings up about eight more questions about other definitions that are I. It mentions exit access, exit discharge, a public way. All of these terms are detailed and discussed in the definitions chapter of the international building code and are important to the understanding of what uh, means of egress is.

So the three main components of a egress system are the exit, the exit access and the exit discharge. So this last part of the definition, it tells you exactly what an exit is. It includes a door at the level of exit discharge, an interior exit stairway, a ramp, exit passageway, or exterior, exit stairways or ramps and horizontal exits.

All of these have their own definitions, but we're gonna keep on exit access and exit discharge. Exit access that portion of a means of egress that leads from any occupied portion of the building or structure to an exit. I find exit access and exit discharge to be a little bit less intuitive. I'll include a blog with a visual aid, so that if you want to look at a picture of these different components and how they interact with each other, you can go take a look.

And for me, that is a very critical learning tool for understanding how these pieces and components interface with each other. So go check the show notes and I'll drop a link to a blog. What. Visual representation of exit, exit access, and exit discharge. A couple of examples of exit access structures are rooms, interior, doorways, or corridors or hallways.

So if the exit is the portion of the facility, Leads to outside of the building, then exit access is the piece of the building that is leading up to that exit. Let's talk about exit discharge. This definition says that portion of a means of RIS system between the termination of an exit and a public way.

This portion of means of egress is the least intuitive. once you're through the exit and out of the building, this is the exit discharge from when you get out of the building to a public way, like a sidewalk or an area that is away from a building, just for a little bonus content will give you public way for definitions, a street alley, or parcel of land, open to the outside air, leading to a.

That has been deeded dedicated or otherwise permanently appropriated to the public for public use. And which has a clear width and height, not less than 10 feet. So this is a, so you are clear in a way of the facility with an open space that takes care of our introduction to means of egress. Topics I would be interested in covering in the future and intend to cover are more in depth, detailed calculation, and justification of egress component sizing, and talking about some of the location requirements.

Hope you guys enjoyed this episode and we will talk to you soon. Thanks for listening. Everybody. Be sure to share the episode with a friend, if you enjoyed it, don't forget that fire protection and life safety is serious business. The views and opinions expressed on this podcast are by no means a professional consultation or a codes and standards interpretation.

Be sure to contact a licensed professional. If you are getting involved with fire protection and or life. Thanks again, and we'll see you next time.