I have a question about the 2012 Life Safety Code. In an existing building (built in 1950s), what is the required height of a guard on an exterior balcony that is part of the means of egress? Section 7.1.8 says that guards at the open sides of a means of egress must exceed 30 inches. Section 188.8.131.52.5 says see Section 7.1.8 for guard requirements. Section 184.108.40.206.5.2 says guards must be not less than 42 inches (more than 30 inches), but at clause (1) excepts "existing guards within dwelling units" (allowing for not less than 36 inches) and clause (3) excepts "existing guards on existing stairs" (allowing for not less than 30 inches). Even Section 220.127.116.11.4.2 allows handrails in existing buildings if they are at least 30 inches. No more than 10 people would use this balcony (services 7 efficiency or 1 bedroom apartments).
Any thoughts or guidance? Thank you.