Means Of Egress - Building & Construction - DIY Chatroom Home Improvement Forum
Advertisement


Go Back   DIY Chatroom Home Improvement Forum > Home Improvement > Building & Construction

CLICK HERE AND JOIN OUR COMMUNITY TODAY...IT'S FREE!

Reply
 
Thread Tools
Display Modes
Old 06-14-2016, 07:34 PM   #1
Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2013
Location: Washington, DC
Posts: 122
Rewards Points: 222
Default

Means of Egress


Hello,

I am working on a unit in a multifamily property and am curious if I can have the fire escape be accessible through a bathroom. Though I can find lots of code advice for office buildings and the like, I am unclear if this is acceptable in a residential unit.

In that vein, the item I was concerned about is the locking door. Its a small unit, so i was considering just not having a locking door, or something that only presents nominal difficulty in obtaining access.

Another thought was I have seen other places where there is breakable glass that provides access to the fire escape from other units.

This is in Maryland. Any insights would be helpful
DIYHero is offline   Reply With Quote
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
Old 06-14-2016, 08:57 PM   #2
Member
 
Join Date: May 2012
Location: Sarasota,Florida
Posts: 4,070
Rewards Points: 1,042
Default

Re: Means of Egress


You should pose your question to the local building dept.
Canarywood1 is offline   Reply With Quote
The Following User Says Thank You to Canarywood1 For This Useful Post:
GBrackins (06-24-2016)
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
Old 06-15-2016, 12:29 AM   #3
Member
 
Join Date: Nov 2015
Location: Utah
Posts: 517
Rewards Points: 1,036
Default

Re: Means of Egress


I am pretty sure you have to have 2 means of egress from any bedroom. i dont have time now to look up the specific section of code but if i do later i will post it up. there are are other factors that come into play like whether or not the building is equipped with fire sprinklers.
Mingledtrash is offline   Reply With Quote
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
Old 06-15-2016, 08:40 AM   #4
Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2013
Location: Washington, DC
Posts: 122
Rewards Points: 222
Default

Re: Means of Egress


Quote:
Originally Posted by Mingledtrash View Post
I am pretty sure you have to have 2 means of egress from any bedroom. i dont have time now to look up the specific section of code but if i do later i will post it up. there are are other factors that come into play like whether or not the building is equipped with fire sprinklers.
No sprinklers. The bedroom has the door and several large windows. There is the main stairwell, then the fire escape which i am proposing be accessible through a bathroom.
DIYHero is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-15-2016, 10:31 AM   #5
Licensed P.E./Home Insp
 
Aggie67's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2008
Location: New Jersey
Posts: 757
Rewards Points: 844
Default

Re: Means of Egress


You really should be posing this to the building department. Did you submit a permit yet? Fire escapes are a big deal in multi-family buildings.
Aggie67 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-15-2016, 10:58 AM   #6
Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2013
Location: Washington, DC
Posts: 122
Rewards Points: 222
Default

Re: Means of Egress


Quote:
Originally Posted by Aggie67 View Post
You really should be posing this to the building department. Did you submit a permit yet? Fire escapes are a big deal in multi-family buildings.
No, we're looking to do a light remodelling on an existing unit, though there's been concern the access to the fire escape isn't legal. Were a little worried about raising the issue.
DIYHero is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-15-2016, 11:36 AM   #7
Member
 
Join Date: Nov 2015
Location: Maine
Posts: 8,776
Rewards Points: 7,680
Default

Re: Means of Egress


Failure to raise the issue while doing a remodel could make you liable if a problem occurs or even if the issue comes up for other reason at a later time. At what point with a renovation you are obligated to bring all things up to current code is a question only the local code office can answer. You certainly would not want a fire to trap someone in that room as the fire inspectors would certainly take notice.

I have turned down many jobs because the home owners wanted to just slide by without proper permits.

Bud
Bud9051 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-15-2016, 12:29 PM   #8
Licensed P.E./Home Insp
 
Aggie67's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2008
Location: New Jersey
Posts: 757
Rewards Points: 844
Default

Re: Means of Egress


Quote:
Originally Posted by DIYHero View Post
No, we're looking to do a light remodelling on an existing unit, though there's been concern the access to the fire escape isn't legal. Were a little worried about raising the issue.
From experience, the best path I can recommend for you is to bring this up with the building code official. The risk and consequences are extremely high when you start messing around with means of egress. God forbid there was a fire a few years from now. Guess who will be named in the insurance company's lawsuit? Nothing is worth that risk, imho.
Aggie67 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-15-2016, 04:43 PM   #9
Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2013
Location: Washington, DC
Posts: 122
Rewards Points: 222
Default

Re: Means of Egress


welp, bit the bullet and called the city.

It is permitted, on the condition that the access needs to be available (ie no locking door).

Fully agreed regarding the safety and liability issues.

From a use and design standpoint, its a pain to not be able to lock the bathroom as far as privacy goes, I was thinking about trying to find a deadbolt which can be operated from both sides of the door, the thinking being that if someone needed to get in they could, but they would not idly walk in on someone, as they would consciously need to unlock the door to do so.
DIYHero is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-15-2016, 10:46 PM   #10
Member
 
jlhaslip's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2009
Location: Edmonton, Alberta
Posts: 5,975
Rewards Points: 708
Default

Re: Means of Egress


Having the deadbolt operate from both sides of the door sort of defeats the purpose of a lock.
Also, what stops new tenants from changing the handset to a locking model or the building owner once inspection is complete?

If at all possible, rethink the layout and access to the fire escape, even if it takes more work and dollars. As mentioned above, there are liabilities involved and you need to do due diligence to avoid being named in the law suit.
__________________
Quote:
Short of cutting off a body part, the worst that can happen in woodworking is manufacturing really nice looking kindling. --- Quoted from lenaitch
jlhaslip is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-16-2016, 06:40 AM   #11
Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2014
Location: Connecticut
Posts: 1,364
Rewards Points: 125
Default


Personally I would make it non-locking. You say it's a small unit. How many bedrooms? I live with wife and I don't remember the last time I locked the bathroom door. Perhaps when we have company. A closed bathroom door means someone is in there. Door open, then it's free.
jimn01 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-16-2016, 07:44 AM   #12
Member
 
ZTMAN's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2015
Location: Mountain Pa
Posts: 1,854
Rewards Points: 410
Default

Re: Means of Egress


Or get a "Occupied" sign if privacy is a concern
ZTMAN is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-16-2016, 08:40 AM   #13
Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2013
Location: Washington, DC
Posts: 122
Rewards Points: 222
Default

Re: Means of Egress


Quote:
Originally Posted by jlhaslip View Post
Having the deadbolt operate from both sides of the door sort of defeats the purpose of a lock.
Also, what stops new tenants from changing the handset to a locking model or the building owner once inspection is complete?

If at all possible, rethink the layout and access to the fire escape, even if it takes more work and dollars. As mentioned above, there are liabilities involved and you need to do due diligence to avoid being named in the law suit.
Now that, friends, is a throwaway post.
DIYHero is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-16-2016, 08:42 AM   #14
Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2013
Location: Washington, DC
Posts: 122
Rewards Points: 222
Default

Re: Means of Egress


Quote:
Originally Posted by jimn01 View Post
Personally I would make it non-locking. You say it's a small unit. How many bedrooms? I live with wife and I don't remember the last time I locked the bathroom door. Perhaps when we have company. A closed bathroom door means someone is in there. Door open, then it's free.
exactly what my wife said. I guess i hate having to compromise, though im not seeing any other way really. cant find any locks that work double sided.
DIYHero is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-16-2016, 09:15 AM   #15
Licensed P.E./Home Insp
 
Aggie67's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2008
Location: New Jersey
Posts: 757
Rewards Points: 844
Default

Re: Means of Egress


Again, there are specific rules for egress in multi-family units for every jurisdiction. Trying to find the answer in a DIY chatroom is the wrong path to take. And your AHJ apparently answered this already: no locking door. That means no locking device.
Aggie67 is offline   Reply With Quote
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
Reply


Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Steps for an Egress Well from Wall Block corsulian Concrete, Stone & Masonry 4 02-25-2015 01:39 AM
Question about egress windows in the basement spaceman spif Remodeling 5 01-22-2014 09:57 PM
Egress question JCAHILL4 General DIY Discussions 3 03-26-2013 09:36 PM
Basement Egress Requirement nickb General DIY Discussions 8 02-13-2013 12:51 AM
Egress Window Recommendations jhakkim Building & Construction 4 03-08-2012 10:05 AM




Top of Page | View New Posts