Talking in Code: Emergency escape and rescue openings
Want to know more about roof truss failures? Have a question about fire-rated assemblies? Confused about safety glazing on windows and door? In our monthly column — Talking in Code — International Code Council code experts will address some of the typical questions asked of our technical services team regarding current code issues. This feature is not an ICC code opinion, nor is it a committee interpretation, but it is intended to provide clarification of code text for adopting jurisdictions, design professionals and members of the construction industry.
International Code: 2015 International Building Code
Sections: 1006.3.2 and 1030.1
Question: Are emergency escape and rescue openings required in a fully sprinklered Group R-2 apartment building with two approved exits?
Answer: Tables 1006.3.2(1) and 1006.3.2(2) refer to footnotes that require emergency escape and rescue openings in Group R-2 occupancies even though they are sprinklered in accordance with NFPA 13 or NFPA 13R. These tables are only intended to address potential building design parameters for Group R-2 occupancies which are provided with only one normal exit.
Therefore, a fully sprinklered Group R-2 occupancy with only a permissible single exit would still be required to have emergency escape and rescue openings as required by Section 1030. As such, a fully sprinklered Group R-2 occupancy with two separate independent exits would not have to comply with either Table 1006.3.2(1) or Table 1006.3.2(2) and would consequently not require emergency escape and rescue openings.
As always, code opinions issued by International Code Council staff are based on published Code Council codes and do not include local, state or federal codes; policies; or amendments. This opinion does not imply approval of an equivalency, specific product, specific design or specific installation and cannot be published in any form implying such approval by the International Code Council. As this opinion is only advisory, the final decision is the responsibility of the designated authority charged with the administration and enforcement of this code. All code citations reference the 2015 and 2018 International Codes unless otherwise specified.
What is a staff code opinion?
Technical opinions, also known as staff code opinions, on the International Codes are an exclusive benefit of Code Council membership. Issued by Code Council technical staff in either a verbal or written format, they are designed to provide technical support and clarification of code text for adopting jurisdictions, design professionals, and members of the construction industry.
Written staff code opinions are issued by Code Council staff after receipt of a written request, either by mail or online submission. Mailed staff code opinions must be submitted in writing to one of the International Code Council Regional Offices and must include the Code Council membership number and the member’s name. Online staff code opinions are available on the Code Council website to members who log in using their email address and password.
Verbal staff code opinions are available by calling 888-ICC-SAFE (888-422-7233), ext. 338077 between the hours of 7:30 a.m. and 5:30 p.m. Central Time, Monday through Friday. Written staff code opinions are not provided for verbal staff code opinions.
All code opinion requests, verbal and written (online or mailed), require the Code Council membership number and the member’s name (e.g., John Doe, #12345). Staff code opinions issued by Code Council technical staff do not represent the official position of the International Code Council. The final authority of code opinions is the responsibility of the code official. Staff opinion is not intended to influence the code official.
What is a formal committee interpretation?
Committee interpretations on the International Codes are also an exclusive benefit of Code Council membership. Any Code Council member may request a written committee interpretation in accordance with International Code Council Policy CP–11. Due to the extensive time required for processing committee interpretations, they are not intended to resolve code issues that are time-sensitive.
Committee interpretation requests are limited to the two most recent editions of the International Codes. Requests must be submitted in writing and must be written so that they can be answered either “yes” or “no”. Questions requiring an “essay” type answer will not be considered or will be returned to the petitioner to be rewritten. Each question must address a specific code section. Questions addressing multiple code sections will be processed as a separate interpretation for each code section.
A request for a committee interpretation can be made by members on the Code Council website using their email address and password to log in. All committee interpretation requests require the Code Council membership number and the member’s name (e.g., John Doe, #12345). Proposed committee interpretations are posted on the Code Council website for 30 days to permit Code Council members to review and comment. Completed committee interpretations are also posted on the Code Council website and are available to both members and non-members.
Committee interpretations approved by the Code Council Interpretation Committee represent the official position of the International Code Council; however, the final authority of code interpretations is the responsibility of the code official.
Interested in ICC membership?
Code Council membership opens the door to technical code experts for both technical opinions and committee interpretations as well as a range of other benefits, such as networking, savings on products, industry resources, top-tier education and training, and more. Membership benefits are available to only the individual on the membership and cannot be used by anybody else. Code Council membership status falls into one of three categories:
- Governmental Member – Government/municipality (includes agencies, departments and units) engaged in administration, formulation or enforcement of laws, regulations or ordinances relating to public health, safety and welfare.
- Corporate Member – An organization such as an association, society, testing laboratory, institute, company, manufacturer or corporation, interested in the purposes and objectives of the Code Council.
- Individual Member – An individual interested in the purposes and objectives of the Code Council.