Thanks to Ruben Garcia, The Life Safety Guy, for creating this FAQ! Connect with Ruben HERE
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Per NFPA 101: Life Safety Code, 2012 Edition – Chapter 7 Means of Egress– door assemblies in a stair enclosure serving more than 4 stories shall meet one of the following conditions:
A. Re-entry from the stair enclosure to the interior of the building shall be provided.
B. An automatic release that is actuated with the initiation of the building fire alarm system shall be provided to unlock all stair enclosure door assemblies to allow re-entry.
C. Selected re-entry shall be provided in accordance with the requirements listed below.
Doors assemblies shall be permitted to be equipped with hardware that prevents re-entry into the interior of the building provided all of the following criteria are met:
(1) At least two stories must be capable of re-entry and accessing another exit
(2) No more than four stories intervening between stories capable of re-entry and accessing another exit
(3) The top story or next-to-top story shall be capable of re-entry and provide access to another exit
(4) Door assemblies allowing re-entry shall be identified as such on the stair side of the door leaf.
(5) Door assemblies not allowing re-entry shall be provided with a sign on the stair side indicating the location of the nearest door opening, in each direction of travel, that allows re-entry or exit.
Bonus Tip: The following stair door assembly applications serving more than 4 stories are exempted from re-entry requirements (1) through (3) mentioned above:
· Existing stair installations in a non-high-rise building permitted by the applicable occupancy chapter.
· Existing stair installations in a fully spinklered high-rise building permitted by the applicable occupancy chapter
· Existing stairwell re-entry installations approved by the AHJ
· Stair enclosures serving a building permitted to have a single exit
· Stair enclosures in health care occupancies
· Stair enclosures in detention and correctional occupancies