BCAB #1492 - Emergency Lighting in Portable Classrooms, Sentence 188.8.131.52.(1)
August 17, 1999
Re: Emergency Lighting in Portable Classrooms, Sentence 184.108.40.206.(1)
The buildings in question are typical 900 to 1000 square foot portable classrooms. These buildings have few, if any partitions and are served by two exit doors.
Reason for Appeal
Sentence 220.127.116.11.(1) requires emergency lighting in "… principle routes providing access to exit in an open floor area, … corridors serving classrooms, … floor areas or parts thereof where the public congregate in … Group A Division 2 and 3 occupancies having an occupant load of 60 or more."
The appellant contends that classrooms in a regular school building do not have emergency lighting, it is located in the adjacent corridors. Although a portable classroom building could be considered to have an open floor area, it does not seem equitable that a portable classroom needs emergency lighting because it is an open floor area. With direct access to the exterior a portable classroom could be considered safer than a regular classroom with egress via corridors.
Building Official's Position
The building official maintains that emergency lighting is required in accordance with Sentence 18.104.22.168.(1). Classrooms are occupied after dark and/or when outside light is minimal and may be occupied by people unfamiliar with the room who would need illumination to safely reach the exit doors.
Appeal Board Decision #1492
It is the determination of the Board that none of the conditions in Clauses (a) to (h) of Sentence 22.214.171.124.(1) apply to the portable classroom buildings in question. Clause (a) refers to exit enclosures such as stair shafts which the portable classrooms do not have, the buildings are too small to have "principle routes providing access to exit …" as intended in Clause (b) and the occupant load is less than 60 as indicated in Subclause (h)(ii). None of the other Clauses have any application to the buildings in question. Therefore, emergency lighting is not required.
George R. Humphrey, Chair