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Exit discharge, section 1028.5
January 5, 2020
10:03 pm

Forum Posts: 22
Member Since:
April 19, 2015
sp_UserOfflineSmall Offline

Don’t have code book in front of me as I write this...


If I remember correctly the definition of “Means of Egress” in the ICC Codes has consistently stated (My Paraphrase):

‘”Means of Egress” is the path of travel from any occupied portion of a building to the Public Way.’

The “Means of Egress” consists of the ‘Exit Access’, the ‘Exit’, and ‘Exit Discharge’.

That said, unless occupants of a building can get to the “Public Way” as defined by the Code, they must be able to get to a space near to, or, around the building as defined by one (or more) of the exceptions.

This means, in most cases, occupants must be able to escape to an area at LEAST 50 feet from the building so that building occupants are not trapped in a discharge area only to be burned by radiant heat in a fire.

I think my comments speak for themselves.

December 19, 2019
2:45 pm
New Member

Forum Posts: 1
Member Since:
July 15, 2015
sp_UserOfflineSmall Offline

Could use a little interpretation on this one...

Section 1028.5 says exit discharges must go to the public way, and the exception allows for it not to.

The exception says the exit discharge can go to a safe dispersal area, with 4 conditions.  Condition #2 says the safe dispersal area must be at least 50 feet away from the building.

What's a safe dispersal area?  It's not defined in chapter 2 (though it seems kind of obvious).

We have a building being proposed; R-2 apartments adjoining a parking garage, effectively being a big building.  Construction types 1-A and 3-A.  The building only has direct access to a public way for a very small percentage of it's property line.  The building is surrounded by a 24' fire lane, and distances to the surrounding property lines vary from 26' to 40', and the property is surrounded by a security fence.  The exit discharge doors allow occupants to get 50' from the door, but due to the security fence occupants cannot get at least 50' from the edge of the building.

We're on the 2018 codes.

Anyone have any guidance on this?