Building Code Rules for Means of Egress

exit-egress-signHeaven forbid something should happen in a building where its occupants need to exit quickly. That is why the International Code Council has established its rules for Means of Egress (Chapter 10).

Egress is a term that means, “The action of leaving a place, or to go out of or leave a space,” according to Dictionary.com. Each building, no matter what size or for what use, has rules for providing adequate means of egress.

Items covered in the Code’s Means of Egress include:

  • Width of hallways and doorways
  • Doors and Swinging doors
  • Projection allowances of handrails or other protruding objects
  • Headroom allowances (Minimum of 7’ in one- and two-family dwellings)
  • Accessibility (ramps, surfaces, elevation changes
  • Travel distances
  • Elevators, escalators and moving walks
  • Exit arrangements
  • Minimum number of exits per occupancy
  • Dead end pockets or hallways
  • Emergency escape and rescue openings
  • Security barriers
  • Stairways and landings
  • Illumination
  • Locks

Building codes were created to ensure the safety of a building’s occupants, whether it is a residential or commercial building. And it is extremely important that all buildings conform to these codes, especially when it comes to means of egress. In case of a fire or other emergency, occupants need to have clear paths and multiple options to evacuate a room.

That’s why, if you spot what you think might be a code violation, you should call in an expert, like Först Consulting Group. As construction experts, we study building codes and pass requirements to receive the latest certifications so we can serve as a private building code inspector. In the past, we have found construction errors and building code violations including means of egress, electrical, plumbing, heating and air conditioning, sound, improper venting and framing errors among them.

Pre-Drywall Inspection Recommended

Many construction errors occur during a building or remodeling project and can be hidden behind finished walls. We recommend having a private pre-drywall inspection of any construction project. It is better to catch construction errors early before they become a problem later on. Once the walls go up, it is much more difficult to spot them.

Contact Först Consulting Group

Först Consulting Group works with homeowners throughout Northern Virginia and the Washington, D.C. metropolitan area. If you suspect a construction error, or simply need a construction advocate on your side, please contact us.

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