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  1. #1
    A.D. Miller's Avatar
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    Default Maids Quarters Egress

    Maids quarters located above attached garage. The only egress is an exterior staircase and the windows. Is a fire separation or a fire-rated assembly required on the exterior wall which supports the stairs?

    Sorry, I am having a bit of a spat with the City of Dallas goon squad.

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  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
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    Default Re: Maids Quarters Egress

    Are the stairs inside or outside the garage structure?
    Got a photo or diagram?

    I re-read your post and think I have little better vision of the issue. If the wall supports any part of the living area above the garage, would it not be required to be covered with gypsum?

    Jim Luttrall
    www.MrInspector.net
    Plano, Texas

  3. #3
    A.D. Miller's Avatar
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    Default Re: Maids Quarters Egress

    Quote Originally Posted by Jim Luttrall View Post
    Are the stairs inside or outside the garage structure?
    Got a photo or diagram?

    I re-read your post and think I have little better vision of the issue. If the wall supports any part of the living area above the garage, would it not be required to be covered with gypsum?
    JL: No photo. The stairs are exterior stairs that mount against other than the garage wall. Bid D says a fire wall is required where these stairs are mounted. They won't give me a code citation and I can't find any such thing.


  4. #4
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    Default Re: Maids Quarters Egress

    Could they be using this?
    IRC 2003 ... Exterior Exit Balconies...
    R311.2.2 Understair protection. Enclosed accessible space unter stairs shall have walls, understair surface and any soffits protected on the enlclosed side with 1/2 inch bypsum board.

    Jim Luttrall
    www.MrInspector.net
    Plano, Texas

  5. #5
    A.D. Miller's Avatar
    A.D. Miller Guest

    Default Re: Maids Quarters Egress

    Looks sort of like this:

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  6. #6
    A.D. Miller's Avatar
    A.D. Miller Guest

    Default Re: Maids Quarters Egress

    Crappy picture. Maybe you get the drift.


  7. #7
    A.D. Miller's Avatar
    A.D. Miller Guest

    Default Re: Maids Quarters Egress

    Quote Originally Posted by Jim Luttrall View Post
    Could they be using this?
    IRC 2003 ... Exterior Exit Balconies...
    R311.2.2 Understair protection. Enclosed accessible space unter stairs shall have walls, understair surface and any soffits protected on the enlclosed side with 1/2 inch bypsum board.
    JL: They could be using anything they just pulled out of their . . ., but, these are exterior stairs with open treads. Drywall might last until the first rain.


  8. #8
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    Default Re: Maids Quarters Egress

    Quote Originally Posted by A.D. Miller View Post
    Bid D says a fire wall is required where these stairs are mounted. They won't give me a code citation and I can't find any such thing.
    Tell them you need a code reference so you will know what is required to comply with their "firewall". By the way, just stating "firewall" is about as meaningful as saying "vehicle" - what kind, how is it to be constructed, from what, is it a truck, an SUV, or a solar powered car - the term "firewall" is meaningless in the IRC, and in the IBC it needs to be specified as "what it is constructed or and how it is constructed".

    Yes, the wall between the structure and the exterior egress stairs should be able to resist a fire, just like the rest of the exterior wall can, to allow the upstairs occupants time to get out and down the stairs.

    However, if that is blocked (i.e., where the fire is), then EERO are also required up in the maid's quarter's. Always, always, has to be two ways on in different directions.

    Jerry Peck, Construction / Litigation Consultant
    Construction Litigation Consultants, LLC ( www.ConstructionLitigationConsultants.com )
    www.AskCodeMan.com

  9. #9
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    Default Re: Maids Quarters Egress

    The IBC covers this as follows:

    1023.6 Exterior ramps and stairway protection.
    Exterior exit ramps and stairways shall be separated from the interior of the building as required in Section 1020.1. Openings shall be limited to those necessary for egress from normally occupied spaces.

    Exceptions:
    1. Separation from the interior of the building is not required for occupancies, other than those in Group R-1 or R-2, in buildings that are no more than two stories above grade plane where the level of exit discharge is the first story above grade plane.
    2. Separation from the interior of the building is not required where the exterior ramp or stairway is served by an exterior ramp and/or balcony that connects two remote exterior stairways or other approved exits with a perimeter that is not less than 50 percent open. To be considered open, the opening shall be a minimum of 50 percent of the height of the enclosing wall, with the top of the openings no less than 7 feet (2134 mm) above the top of the balcony.
    3. Separation from the interior of the building is not required for an exterior ramp or stairway located in a building or structure that is permitted to have unenclosed interior stairways in accordance with Section 1020.1.
    4. Separation from the interior of the building is not required for exterior ramps or stairways connected to open-ended corridors, provided that Items 4.1 through 4.4 are met:
    4.1. The building, including corridors and ramps and/or stairs, shall be equipped throughout with an automatic sprinkler system in accordance with Section 903.3.1.1 or 903.3.1.2.
    4.2. The open-ended corridors comply with Section 1017.
    4.3. The open-ended corridors are connected on each end to an exterior exit ramp or stairway complying with Section 1023.

    I don't think there's a similar provision in IRC



  10. #10
    A.D. Miller's Avatar
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    Default Re: Maids Quarters Egress

    Thanks to everyone for their comments. I will go there this morning well-armed.


  11. #11
    Ted Menelly's Avatar
    Ted Menelly Guest

    Default Re: Maids Quarters Egress

    I just cannot see it being any different than a garage seperation wall to a home. Fire resistant, yes. A fire seperation wall as in fire rated material on both sides, I doubt it. If there is a fire under or near the stairs they have no way out anyway other than jumping out a window. If the fire starts in the garage below then they step out the door and head down the stairs. If something blows up in the garage then, oh well, all hope is gone anyway and they do not have to worry about stairs at all.

    When any home has a stairway in it the only way out if a fire is at the bottom of the stairs is out a window. I think they are blowing smoke or smoking something, one or the other.

    I have insepcted multiple homes in multiple cities throughout DFW with guest/maid/media room etc over a detached garage and there has never been a call for a fire seperation wall between the stairs and the structure.


  12. #12
    A.D. Miller's Avatar
    A.D. Miller Guest

    Default Re: Maids Quarters Egress

    I have insepcted multiple homes in multiple cities throughout DFW with guest/maid/media room etc over a detached garage and there has never been a call for a fire seperation wall between the stairs and the structure.
    TM: Me too, and I am several thousand ahead of you in this particular respect. But the Dallas crew is a fickle lot. They are apt to say nearly anything at any given time. If you call down there more than once with the same question you will always come away with a different answer - residentially speaking.


  13. #13
    A.D. Miller's Avatar
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    Default Re: Maids Quarters Egress

    TM: And before you go there, FW does not even have its own crew. They sub theirs out to some real losers.


  14. #14
    Ted Menelly's Avatar
    Ted Menelly Guest

    Default Re: Maids Quarters Egress

    Quote Originally Posted by A.D. Miller View Post
    TM: Me too, and I am several thousand ahead of you in this particular respect. But the Dallas crew is a fickle lot. They are apt to say nearly anything at any given time. If you call down there more than once with the same question you will always come away with a different answer - residentially speaking.
    Oh well, that is Dallas for you

    And to the next thread of yours

    Oh well, that is Fort Worth for you


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