we have been asked to change our discharge exits from grass to a "hard surface" but I see no change in the code to mandate concrete or asphalt.
Do you also have to comply with local building code, that is not 101??
I know the appendix is not law, but you might read it for that section.
Who is asking you to do it?? And is it a please or a shall???
Yes we do. But we just had an inspection where the inspector said not only do your emergency exits have to lead to a common path but instead of grass you now have to put in a concrete or asphalt walkway that would lead to either a parking lot or an existing walkway
They said that our emergency discharge exits which open to lawn space now have to have a concrete or asphalt walkway leading to a parking lot or an existing walkway. I see no change in the wording of 7.7 pertaining to discharge exits.
There is this, and especially if some doors are needed to get people in wheel chairs, walkers, or other similar problems out of the building.
188.8.131.52* Maintenance. Means of egress shall be continuously maintained free of all obstructions or impediments to full instant use in the case of fire or other emergency.
Since you are talking money, might as well ask the inspector why now??
And if you do not like the answer, ask their boss the same question.
Plus if there are other similar facilities in your town/ area, ask them if they have been required the same thing.
One of the best ways I have found to address this is to emphasize to the inspector your desire to comply and to get the deficiency corrected as quickly as possible. Make sure the inspector knows you think you will likely need to hire an engineer or architect to design the work and will need to hire a contractor to perform the actual work.
Then state (and this is the important part) you want to make sure the work is done right the first time and your lawyer insists details about the code, code edition, and referenced paragraph are included in all of the contracts for legal protection in case any questions of suitability pertaining to the design or installation arise during final inspection.
Once you have identified the code, edition, and paragraph a further evaluation can be made in terms of whether or not the inspector has made a correct evaluation of the existing arrangement and, if truly deficient, if any alternatives methods of demonstrating compliance (such as: waiver, variance, exception, equivalency, etc.) might be acceptable to this AHJ.
One aspect to always keep in mind is that many (but not all) codes and standards are written as "installation standards" that detail what is required when newly constructed. Once installed the features must be continued to be maintained to the level of safety detailed in the edition adopted at the time installed. Newer, more restrictive requirements found in newer editions of the same code or standard are not commonly applied retroactively to existing arrangements.
Thanks for the reply. The code has not changed but the inspector is adding 'his' interpretation of how it should be implemented. I have sent a question about it to the NYS Fire protection board who has the say in NY about how fire codes are implemented. IN fact, in the inspectors handbook it says he should send all fire code questions to the NYS Fire board in Albany for a clarification before siting a building. I have sent Fire an email to get a clarification as the NFPA language is the same for the last 15 years of updates.
My opinion it is a building code question
Now did a fire inspector write the requirement???
As noted it's in the Life Safety Code and in places where the FD inspector inspects for NFPA 101, you need to comply with their citations. That said, we've not required a hard surface but we do require a safe year-round pathway back to the public way, which means shoveled and free of ice in the winter and free of impediments 24/7/365. The only issue we've found is how long after a storm the property has to clear the pathways.
But... as noted above we don't require above and beyond 101, but if you fail to maintain a safe pathway to the public way year-round we would require something to be done. In one case, the only I've been involved with, we required a marked water draining surface due to an issue that rendered the previous way impassable in the spring time.
No it was a state inspector (healthcare). In his handbook it says any fire code violations you see you should clarify with the state fire protection board. I have emailed them but no answer yet.
Still say it would be a building code item under the IBC
And out of 101 would be part of the exit system.
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