BCAB #1310 - Fire Protection of Exits from Dwelling Units, Subsection 9.9.4

June 17, 1993

BCAB #1310

Re: Fire Protection of Exits from Dwelling Units, Subsection 9.9.4

Project Description

The project in question is a two storey apartment building with four suites on each floor. Access to and egress from the suites is provided by two roofed over entryways recessed into the building. These entryways serve two suites on each floor with the upper two suites each being served by their own stair leading down from a landing common to the two suites. The suite doors face each other at either end of this common landing. The two suite entry doors on the first storey also face each other and are directly below the common landing for the second storey suites. These doors are accessed by a short grade level walkway between the stairs serving the upper two suites. (See Figure 1 on page 2)

Reason for Appeal

Sentence 9.9.4.2.(1) of the 1992 B.C. Building Code requires every exit to be fire separated from each adjacent floor area or other exit except where it is an exterior passageway with an exit stair at each end.

Appellant's Position

The appellant contends that the second floor suites are served by an exterior passageway with an exit stair at each end and are exempt from the fire separation requirements of Sentence 9.9.4.2.(1).

Building Official's Position

The building official maintains that the exits from each second floor suite must be fire separated from each other and from the first floor exits in conformance with Sentence 9.9.4.2.(1).

Appeal Board Decision #1310

It is the determination of the Board that the design of the egress system in question does not comply with the requirements for egress from dwelling units. The Board does not consider the landing serving the two second storey dwellings to be an exterior passageway as intended by Article 9.9.9.2. nor is the landing served by two separate exits. The two stairs are not fire separated from the remainder of the building or from each other as required by Sentence 9.9.4.2.(1).

The Board considers Sentence 9.9.9.3.(1) to be applicable to the building in question and the design of the means of egress does not conform to the requirements of this Sentence.

George R. Humphrey, Chair