In a residential building
NFPA 101- 184.108.40.206.3.1 Open space within an exit enclosures shall not be used for any purpose that has potential to interfere with egress.
Trash cans obviously cannot impede the means of egress, but also have the distinct potential as a source of smoke and fire. We strive to ensure stairwells are as free of any stored items as possible to ensure safe passage to the exterior for civilians and clear unfettered access to firefighters entering under low to no visibility smoke conditions.
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