Highlights of the NFPA Life Safety Code That
Apply Specifically to Rescue Missions
Means of Egress
- Means of egress shall be arranged and
maintained to provide free and unobstructed egress.
- No lock or fastening shall prevent free
escape from the inside of any building (LSCH, Para. 2-4).
- Each floor must have two means of egress
(LSCH, Para. 2-8).
- At least 1 hour fire resistance where exit
connects 3 stories or less. (LSCH, Para. 5-1.3.1)
- At least 2 hour fire resistance rating where
exit connects four stories or more. (LSCH, Para. 5-1.3.1)
- No furnishings, decorations, or any other
objects shall obstruct exits or visibility of exits. (LSCH, Para.31-22.214.171.124)
- Draperies shall not be placed over exits.
(LSCH, Para. 31-126.96.36.199)
- Mirrors shall not be placed on door, in or
adjacent to any exit in such a manner as to confuse the direction of the
exit. (LSCH, Para. 31-188.8.131.52)
- The minimum number of means of egress from
any balcony, mezzanine, story, or portion thereof shall be two (2).
- Occupant load of more than 500 but not more
than 1000 - (3) exits required.
- Occupant load more than 1000 - (4) exits
Capacity of Egress. (LSCH, Para. 8-2.3.3)
- Other Exits - 50% capacity.
Travel distance to nearest exit (LSCH,
- 150 feet maximum unsprinklered.
- 200 feet approved sprinkler.
Interior Finish in Exits (LSCH, Para.
- ONLY "Class A" interior finish materials
shall be used for all exits, IAW military guidance: (MIL-HDBK 1008B, Para.
Headroom (LSCH, Para. 5-1.5)
- In no case shall ceiling height be less than
7 feet 6 inches.
- Nor projections from the ceiling be less
than 6 feet 8 inches above the floor.
Impediments to Egres. (LSCH, Para.
- Clear width shall be net, unobstructed width
of door opening without projections into such width. (LSCH, Para. 5-2.1.2)
- No door openings shall be less than 32
inches clear width opening. (LSCH, Para. 5-184.108.40.206 – see exceptions)
- No single door in a doorway shall exceed 48
inches in width. (LSCH, Para. 5-220.127.116.11)
- Floor on both sides of a door shall not vary
by more than 1/2 inch Elevation shall be maintained on both sides of the
doorway for a distance of at least equal to the width of the widest leaf.
(LSCH, Para. 5-18.104.22.168)
- Any door in a means of egress shall be side
hinged or pivoted swing type. Capable of swinging from any position to the
full use of the opening. Shall swing in the direction of exit travel where
serving room or area with an occupant load of 50 or more. (LSCH, Para.
- Door swing shall not reduce to less than
half of the required width of aisle,corridor or landing. (LSCH, Para.
- Forces required to fully open any door
manually shall not exceed 15 lbf to release latch, 30 lbf to set door in
motion and 15 lbf to open door to a minimum required width. (LSCH, Para.
- Screen and storm doors used in an exit must
open in the direction of travel. (LSCH, Para. 5-22.214.171.124)
Stairs (LSCH, Para. 5-2.2)
- New stairs - minimum width 44" (36" where
total occupant load of all floors served by stairs is less than 50) (LSCH,
Ramps (LSCH, Para. 5-2.5)
- "Class A" minimum width 44" with a maximum
slope of 1' in 10'. (LSCH, Para. 5-2.5.2)
- A ramp shall have a slip resistant surface
(LSCH, Para. 5-126.96.36.199)
Locks, Latches, and Alarm Devices. (LSCH, Para. 5-2.1.5)
- Locks shall not require the use of a key,
tool, special knowledge or effort to open from inside. (LSCH, Para.
- Doors shall be capable being opened with no
more than one operation. (LSCH, Para. 5-188.8.131.52)
- Preventing the free use of panic hardware,
no locks shall be used in combination with panic hardware. (LSCH, Para.
Panic Hardware and Fire Exit Hardware.
(LSCH, Para. 5-2.1.7)
- Device that releases the latch upon
application of force applied in the direction of travel. (LSCH, Para.
- Shall extend not less than 1/2 of the width
of the door leaf, and not less than 30 inches nor more than 44 inches above
the floor. (LSCH, Para. 5-184.108.40.206)
- Devices that hold the latch in the retracted
position are prohibited unless listed and approved for such use. (LSCH,
Equipment Maintenance and Testing. (LSCH, Para. 31-1.3)
- Existing life safety features such as,
automatic sprinklers, fire alarm systems, standpipes, and horizontal exits,
if not required, shall be maintained or removed. (LSCH, Para. 31-1.3.2)
- Every required automatic sprinkler system,
fire detection and alarm system, smoke control system, exit lighting, fire
door and other required equipment item shall be continuously maintained in
operating condition. (LSCH, Para. 31-1.3.3)
- Conduct functional test of emergency
lighting at 30-day intervals for a minimum of 30 seconds. Annual test shall
be conducted for 1 1/2 hours. (LSCH, Para. 31-1.3.7)
- Written records of visual inspections and
tests shall be kept by the owner for inspection. (LSCH, Para. 31-1.3.7)
Fire Exit Drills. (LSCH, Para.
- Used to insure the efficient and safe use of
the egress facilities available. (LSCH, Para. A-31.1.5)
- Proper drills ensure orderly egress under
control and prevents panic.
- Speed in emptying buildings should be made
secondary to proper order and discipline.
- Shall be held with sufficient frequency to
familiarize all occupants with the drill procedure and to have conduct
during the drill become a matter of routine. (LSCH, Para. 31-1.5.2)
- Shall be held at unexpected times and under
varying conditions to simulate unusual conditions that occur in a fire.
(LSCH, Para. 31-1.5.6)
- Responsibility for planning and conducting
drills shall be assigned only to competent persons qualified to exercise
leadership. (LSCH, Para. 31-1.5.3)
- Employees or attendants shall be schooled
and drilled in the duties they are to perform in case of fire, panic, or
other emergency in order to effect orderly exiting. (LSCH, Para. 31-2.2.1)
- Employees or attendants shall be instructed
in the proper use of portable fire extinguishers and other manual fire
suppression equipment if provided. (LSCH, Para. 31-2.2.2)
- Every room consisting of an assembly
occupancy and not having fixed seats shall have the occupant load of the
room posted in a conspicuous place near the main exit from the room. Signs
shall be durable and shall indicate the number of occupants permitted for
each room use. (LSCH, Para. 31-2.4.3)
- Employees shall be instructed and drilled in
the duties they perform in the event of fire, panic, or other emergency.
(LSCH, Para. 31-6.1.1)
- Drills of the emergency organization shall
be held quarterly, covering operation and maintenance of first aid fire
appliances, testing of devices to alert guests, and a study of instructions
for emergency duties. (LSCH, Para. 31-6.1.2)
- Diagram reflecting actual floor arrangement,
exit locations, and room identification shall be posted in a location
acceptable to the authority having jurisdiction on or immediately adjacent
to every guest room door in hotels and in every resident room in
dormitories. (LSCH, Para. 31-6.4.1)
- Fire safety information shall be provided to
allow overnight guests to decide either to evacuate to the outside, evacuate
to an area of refuge, remain in place, or any combination of the three.
(LSCH, Para. 31-6.4.2)