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Thread: Egress doors

  1. #1
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    Default Egress doors

    I know we've discussed this prior but I'm wondering after reading IRC 311 what is a "required" egress door? I mean if there are 5 exterior doors which is required?
    And... How can the code cross-cancel like it does below?
    "Shall not be more than 1.5"....
    EXCEPTION: "Shall not be more than 7.75"...


    2012 R311.3.1 Floor elevations at the required egress doors.
    Landings or finished floors at the required egress door shall not be more than 11/2 inches lower than the top of the threshold.

    Exception: The landing or floor on the exterior side shall not be more than 73/4 inches below the top of the threshold provided the door does not swing over the landing or floor.

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    Default Re: Egress doors

    Quote Originally Posted by Marc M View Post
    I know we've discussed this prior but I'm wondering after reading IRC 311 what is a "required" egress door? I mean if there are 5 exterior doors which is required?
    And... How can the code cross-cancel like it does below?
    "Shall not be more than 1.5"....
    EXCEPTION: "Shall not be more than 7.75"...


    2012 R311.3.1 Floor elevations at the required egress doors.
    Landings or finished floors at the required egress door shall not be more than 11/2 inches lower than the top of the threshold.

    Exception: The landing or floor on the exterior side shall not be more than 73/4 inches below the top of the threshold provided the door does not swing over the landing or floor.
    Well in this case the code is saying if BETWEEN 1.5 and 7.75 is wrong. AT 7.75 it becomes an approved height stair riser.

    "The Code is not a peak to reach but a foundation to build from."

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    Default Re: Egress doors

    Quote Originally Posted by Bruce Ramsey View Post
    Well in this case the code is saying if BETWEEN 1.5 and 7.75 is wrong. AT 7.75 it becomes an approved height stair riser.
    Ya that's what I thunk

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    Default Re: Egress doors

    Interior
    Not more than 1.5" from top of threshold to floor.
    Exterior
    Not more than 7.75" from top of threshold to landing/ stair, floor, if door does not swing out (except screen/storm doors)
    If egress door swings out, then must not be over 1.5" from top of threshold to landing/ floor.

    ' correct a wise man and you gain a friend... correct a fool and he'll bloody your nose'.

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    Default Re: Egress doors

    Quote Originally Posted by Rick Cantrell View Post
    InteriorNot more than 1.5" from top of threshold to floor.ExteriorNot more than 7.75" from top of threshold to landing/ stair, floor, if door does not swing out (except screen/storm doors)If egress door swings out, then must not be over 1.5" from top of threshold to landing/ floor.
    Correct. The two do not 'cross-cancel', they are each different options which are available depending on which way the door swings. And for the other question - the required egress door is which ever door meets all of the requirements ... does not have to be the 'front' door ... although it usually is ... and sometimes the 'front' door is located on one side many duplexes are this way).

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    Default Re: Egress doors

    Quote Originally Posted by Jerry Peck View Post
    Correct. The two do not 'cross-cancel', they are each different options which are available depending on which way the door swings. And for the other question - the required egress door is which ever door meets all of the requirements ... does not have to be the 'front' door ... although it usually is ... and sometimes the 'front' door is located on one side many duplexes are this way).
    Clear as day now.

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    Default Re: Egress doors

    Marc, you listening to loud music, or is that wind shear loading you off plumb?

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    Default Re: Egress doors

    Quote Originally Posted by ROBERT YOUNG View Post
    Marc, you listening to loud music, or is that wind shear loading you off plumb?
    Me thinks he's blown away from all the great info on this site

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    Default Re: Egress doors

    Quote Originally Posted by Joe Klampfer View Post
    Me thinks he's blown away from all the great info on this site
    I concur;-)

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    Default Re: Egress doors

    Quote Originally Posted by Marc M View Post
    I know we've discussed this prior but I'm wondering after reading IRC 311 what is a "required" egress door? I mean if there are 5 exterior doors which is required?
    And... How can the code cross-cancel like it does below?
    "Shall not be more than 1.5"....
    EXCEPTION: "Shall not be more than 7.75"...


    2012 R311.3.1 Floor elevations at the required egress doors.
    Landings or finished floors at the required egress door shall not be more than 11/2 inches lower than the top of the threshold.

    Exception: The landing or floor on the exterior side shall not be more than 73/4 inches below the top of the threshold provided the door does not swing over the landing or floor.
    "2012 R311.3.1 refers to an outswing egress door. The exception is in reference to an egress door that swings into the room, not over the landing or floor to the outside of the room"


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    Default Re: Egress doors

    [QUOTE=Marc M;262464]I know we've discussed this prior but I'm wondering after reading IRC 311 what is a "required" egress door? I mean if there are 5 exterior doors which is required?
    QUOTE]

    Marc,

    I don't think your first 2 questions were answered. IRC R311.2 requires that at least one door of a dwelling be an egress door and the other doors don't need to meet all the requirements for the egress door. We usually assume the front door of the house is the "required egress door."

    Thom Huggett, PE, SE, CBO

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    Default Re: Egress doors

    [QUOTE=Thom Huggett;262576]
    Quote Originally Posted by Marc M View Post
    I know we've discussed this prior but I'm wondering after reading IRC 311 what is a "required" egress door? I mean if there are 5 exterior doors which is required?
    QUOTE]

    Marc,

    I don't think your first 2 questions were answered. IRC R311.2 requires that at least one door of a dwelling be an egress door and the other doors don't need to meet all the requirements for the egress door. We usually assume the front door of the house is the "required egress door."
    Thom,

    Marc asked "which is required" to be the "required" egress door, and the "front door" is not required to be the egress door.

    The code simply requires 'at least one' of the doors which leads directly to the exterior, etc, to meet the requirements of the "required" egress door, however, the code does not limit the number of doors which meets those requirements nor does the code state which door shall meet those requirements.

    Thus, if there is a "front door", a "side door", another 'side door" and a "back door", any of those door is permitted to meet the requirements of the egress door, and if only one of those doors meets those requirements, then that door, regardless of its location, is the "required" egress door.

    I use the word "presume" instead of "assume" as "presume" cannot be changed around in the same way that "assume" gets changed around. Well, except sometimes I will say that someone else may "assume" something.

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    Default Re: Egress doors

    [QUOTE=Jerry Peck;262583]
    Quote Originally Posted by Thom Huggett View Post

    Thom,

    Marc asked "which is required" to be the "required" egress door, and the "front door" is not required to be the egress door.

    The code simply requires 'at least one' of the doors which leads directly to the exterior, etc, to meet the requirements of the "required" egress door, however, the code does not limit the number of doors which meets those requirements nor does the code state which door shall meet those requirements.

    Thus, if there is a "front door", a "side door", another 'side door" and a "back door", any of those door is permitted to meet the requirements of the egress door, and if only one of those doors meets those requirements, then that door, regardless of its location, is the "required" egress door.

    I use the word "presume" instead of "assume" as "presume" cannot be changed around in the same way that "assume" gets changed around. Well, except sometimes I will say that someone else may "assume" something.
    Egress door
    Would it not follow suite that the means egress door be allocated per habitable level?
    The lower lever egress door can not constitute a safe means of egress/escape for the occupants on the second level. Thus a second egress door is applied to the second floor rear fire escape.

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    Default Re: Egress doors

    Quote Originally Posted by ROBERT YOUNG View Post
    Egress door
    Would it not follow suite that the means egress door be allocated per habitable level?
    The lower lever egress door can not constitute a safe means of egress/escape for the occupants on the second level. Thus a second egress door is applied to the second floor rear fire escape.
    That would be a secondary means of egress - EERO, which the ICC codes already require for sleeping rooms, habitable basements, habitable attics, etc.

    A door which meets the required egress door is, first and foremost, a door which goes to the exterior and leads to a public way and must be a side-hinged door (not a siding door), as well as meeting other requirements, such as width, height, no-keyed locks on interior, etc.

    A second story has its primary egress down the interior stair (usually an interior stair, could be an exterior stair), with secondary egress through the EERO windows/doors (a sliding door can serve as an EERO).

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    Default Re: Egress doors

    Comment, {"such as width, height, no-keyed locks on interior, etc.} Or other interior key locking devices.
    In other words the front or rear door is the primary egress.
    Many rear second level egress/escape doors in my neck of the woods.

    Why would not a siding door constitute a means of egress?








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    Default Re: Egress doors

    So I'm adding onto my house and I was speaking to my architect about this and he said it was the designer who will determine which is the required door.

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    Default Re: Egress doors

    Quote Originally Posted by Marc M View Post
    So I'm adding onto my house and I was speaking to my architect about this and he said it was the designer who will determine which is the required door.
    Marc,

    The architect determines which is the "required" door?

    That is unusual as the code typically states the "required" doors and the architect chooses which one they will use.

    All too frequently, the door they choose is the wrong door - i.e., a raised panel door which is only typically about 1/2" think at the recesses around the raised panels ... that is the thickness of those raised panel doors, as discussed in this newsletter: http://jerrypeck.com/IFCN/2015-02%20...-02%20IFCN.pdf

    (All ideas for things to address in the newsletter are welcome.)

    Last edited by Jerry Peck; 12-14-2015 at 09:13 AM. Reason: added last part about newsletter articles being welcome
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    Default Re: Egress doors

    Quote Originally Posted by ROBERT YOUNG View Post
    In other words the front or rear door is the primary egress.


    There is no 'requirement' that the front or rear door be the primary egress door ... it frequently (usually) is the front door, but it also is frequently all of the exterior side hinged doors which meet this requirement.

    An example: I was recently at a house which had sliding doors from the living room to the rear lanai, with the breakfast room right next to the kitchen, which was separated from from the living room by a 6 foot by 12 foot island (made from one slab of granite), and the door from the breakfast room was a side hinged door which opened to the lanai. Around the corner the other way was the family room, which also had a side hinged door to the lanai. There are also a side hinged door to the exterior at the end of the downstairs hallway which went through the laundry room. And, of course, the front side hinged double door with sidelights.

    Each of those side hinged doors meet the requirements of the egress door.

    Why would not a siding door constitute a means of egress?
    From the IRC: (underlining is mine)
    - R311.2 Egress door.
    - - At least one egress door shall be provided for each dwelling unit. The egress door shall be side-hinged, and shall provide a minimum clear width of 32 inches (813 mm) when measured between the face of the door and the stop, with the door open 90 degrees (1.57 rad). The minimum clear height of the door opening shall not be less than 78 inches (1981 mm) in height measured from the top of the threshold to the bottom of the stop. Other doors shall not be required to comply with these minimum dimensions. Egress doors shall be readily openable from inside the dwelling without the use of a key or special knowledge or effort.

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    Default Re: Egress doors

    [QUOTE=Jerry Peck;262583]
    Quote Originally Posted by Thom Huggett View Post

    Thom,

    Marc asked "which is required" to be the "required" egress door, and the "front door" is not required to be the egress door.

    The code simply requires 'at least one' of the doors which leads directly to the exterior, etc, to meet the requirements of the "required" egress door, however, the code does not limit the number of doors which meets those requirements nor does the code state which door shall meet those requirements.

    Thus, if there is a "front door", a "side door", another 'side door" and a "back door", any of those door is permitted to meet the requirements of the egress door, and if only one of those doors meets those requirements, then that door, regardless of its location, is the "required" egress door.

    I use the word "presume" instead of "assume" as "presume" cannot be changed around in the same way that "assume" gets changed around. Well, except sometimes I will say that someone else may "assume" something.
    Jerry,

    I am writing from the perspective of a building code official. When we review building plans for residences, no one ever labels a door as the required egress door, so in our plan reviews and inspections we automaticallly designate the front door as the required egress door. The front door is the logical choice as it is usually the most obvious, most used and the one that gives the best access to the public right of way. We do not search the plans for a door which might meet all the requirements and then designate it as the required egress door. Therefore we apply the specific requirements of Sections R311.2 and R311.3.1 for the required egress door to the front door, and not to other exterior doors.

    Thom Huggett, PE, SE, CBO

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    Default Re: Egress doors

    Quote Originally Posted by Thom Huggett View Post
    I am writing from the perspective of a building code official. When we review building plans for residences, no one ever labels a door as the required egress door, so in our plan reviews and inspections we automaticallly designate the front door as the required egress door.
    Thom,

    I understand that, and other building officials may, or may not, do the same.

    I am writing from the perspective of a code consultant and litigation consultant and, based on the code, if a client of mine wanted the back door to be the 'required' egress door ... the code allows that.

    In Florida, but not necessarily like this in all other states (but it should be) the AHJ (the Building Official) is only permitted, by code and by law, to 'require' what the code 'requires'.

    Anything more is the owner/architect/designer choices to make.

    Once those 'above and beyond code' choices have been made, those choices become 'the requirements'. This is because:
    - [A] 107.4 Amended construction documents.
    - - Work shall be installed in accordance with the approved construction documents, and any changes made during construction that are not in compliance with the approved construction documents shall be resubmitted for approval as an amended set of construction documents.

    If the work is not in accordance with the approved construction documents, the work is not in compliance and amended/revised documents need to be submitted which show the work as done, and those amended/revised documents need to be reviewed and approved.

    It's a Catch 22, the contractors need to submit documents showing what they are going to do ... then do it ... or submit revised documents for approval which show what they actually did - either way - the work and the documents need to match ... revise the work to match the documents or revise the documents to match the work.

    If documents are submitted to replicate the Taj Maha then the contractor constructs an outhouse, or submits documents for an outhouse then builds a replica of the Taj Maha ... something ain't right, that's for sure.

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    Default Re: Egress doors

    Jerry,
    As always thanks.
    I understand the egress code, it is the principle behind the hinged door that I am curious about. I thought you or others might know.

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    Cool Re: Egress doors

    Quote Originally Posted by Jerry Peck View Post
    Thom,

    I understand that, and other building officials may, or may not, do the same.

    I am writing from the perspective of a code consultant and litigation consultant and, based on the code, if a client of mine wanted the back door to be the 'required' egress door ... the code allows that.

    In Florida, but not necessarily like this in all other states (but it should be) the AHJ (the Building Official) is only permitted, by code and by law, to 'require' what the code 'requires'.

    Anything more is the owner/architect/designer choices to make.

    Once those 'above and beyond code' choices have been made, those choices become 'the requirements'. This is because:
    - [A] 107.4 Amended construction documents.
    - - Work shall be installed in accordance with the approved construction documents, and any changes made during construction that are not in compliance with the approved construction documents shall be resubmitted for approval as an amended set of construction documents.

    If the work is not in accordance with the approved construction documents, the work is not in compliance and amended/revised documents need to be submitted which show the work as done, and those amended/revised documents need to be reviewed and approved.

    It's a Catch 22, the contractors need to submit documents showing what they are going to do ... then do it ... or submit revised documents for approval which show what they actually did - either way - the work and the documents need to match ... revise the work to match the documents or revise the documents to match the work.

    If documents are submitted to replicate the Taj Maha then the contractor constructs an outhouse, or submits documents for an outhouse then builds a replica of the Taj Maha ... something ain't right, that's for sure.
    Certainly, if an architect or designer were to designate on the plans a specific door as the required egress door we would allow them to use that particular door, providing it met all the code requirements. However, as I mentioned, that never occurs, so we have a department policy that when another door is not so designated, the front door is the required egress door.

    Thom Huggett, PE, SE, CBO

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    Default Re: Egress doors

    Quote Originally Posted by ROBERT YOUNG View Post
    Jerry,
    As always thanks.
    I understand the egress code, it is the principle behind the hinged door that I am curious about. I thought you or others might know.
    Robert,

    When you go up to a locked door, you find out it is locked by doing what? Trying to open it by pulling or pushing on it, right? How often have you tried to slide before exhausting pushing and pulling options? By then ... it may be to late to get out.

    I don't know the actual reason behind the origination of the side hinged requirement, but it certainly does make a lot of sense, doesn't it?

    And, except for the residential code, egress doors are required to swing in the direction of travel (occupant load of more than 50), which also makes logical sense - turn the handle and push, if it is stuck push harder, it is a lot easier to push harder with your body (if totally stuck or locked) than to try to pull on that little handle.

    Besides (the real reason) if there are many people trying to escape a fire, and the door swings in, one person falling against that egress door effectively blocks it closed, and other people will be pushing forward trying to get out ... pushing forward against a door which swings inward ... and no one ... not from inside or from outside... will be able to open that door.

    However, if the door was an outswing door, the more pressure on the inside, the more likely the door is to break loose and open, and, someone on the outside could assist in opening the outswing door, allowing the people trapped inside to 'pile out' and 'make a break for it' to a clear and safe refuge.

    Look at the sliding doors to big box stores, you will see that they also pivot (hinge) outward when pushed on - there will be a label which tells you to push on it to open it in an emergency. That outward swing allows those sliding doors to be used as egress doors.

    I did a brief internet search to try to find the origin of the requirement for the doors being required to be hinged doors and swing in the direction of egress (occupant load greater than 50) but I didn't find anything about the history/origin of that requirement. That would make a good 'did you know' trivia to know.

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    Default Re: Egress doors

    A brief hypothesis today lead me to considered the same reasoning.
    1: Direction of swing. 2: Force to be applied.
    In all honesty, I just through hearing it from a knowledgeable source, yourself being one, it would make the subject clear, or perfectly clear in my case:-)


    (Look at the sliding doors to big box stores, you will see that they also pivot (hinge) outward when pushed on - there will be a label which tells you to push on it to open it in an emergency. That outward swing allows those sliding doors to be used as egress doors.)

    I will definitely add that to my repertoire.

    Regards.

    PS: I will do further research. IMO, trivia is a great social tool to limit emotions on the job.

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