ICC Code Hearing Updates: Means of Egress Committee Hearings

Members of the International Code Council (ICC) Means of Egress Code Committee heard code change proposals to the International Building Code yesterday as part of the ICC's code change hearings currently taking place in Orlando. The following are some highlights that may be of interest to the glass, glazing and fenestration industries.

E87-06/07, 1012.3 (IFC [b] 1012.3): Disapproved. The proposal, in regards to handrail graspability, sought to allow for additional handrail designs in order to provide equivalent graspability. The committee did not approve the proposal saying the data used by the proponents was old.

E88-06/07, 1012.3 (IFC [B] 1012.3): Also was not approved. Based on the same research as E87, the proposal sought an exception for handrails used in various residences.

E89-06/07, 1012.4 (IFC [B] 1012.4): A motion to modify the code passed. The code now reads "Handrails within dwelling units are permitted to be by a newel post at a turn" and "Within a dwelling unit, the use of a volute, turnout, starting easing or starting newel is allowed over the lowest tread."

E90-06/07, 1012.4 (IFC [B] 1012.4): Passed. The code change proposal sought to add language regarding handrail gripping surfaces. Language was added that reads "Where handrails are provided along a walking surfaces with slopes not steeper than 1:20, the bottoms of the handrail gripping surfaces shall be permitted to be obstructed along their entire length where they are integral to crash rails or bumper guards."

E92-06/07, 1012.5 (IFC [B] 1012.5): Not approved. The proponent sought to revise the code to allow that handrail extensions at stairways and ramps be allowed to extend in the same direction of the stair flight and ramp run. Exceptions were proposed for certain dwelling units.

E96-06/07: Not approved. The proposal concerned guards located along open-sided walking surfaces, such as mezzanines, industrial equipment platforms, stairs, ramps, landings that are located more than 30 inches above the floor or grade below. Among other changes to the text, the proposal sought to strike text that read: "Where glass is used to provide a guard or as a portion of the guard system, the guard shall also comply with Section 2407. Guards shall also be located along glazed sides of stairways, ramps and landings that are located more than 30 inches above the floor or grade below where the glazing provided does not meet the strength and attachments in Section 1607.7." The proposal sought to revise the code to read: "Where glass is used to provide a guard or as a portion of the guard system, the guard shall also comply with Section 2407. Where the glazing provided does not meet the strength and attachment requirements in Section 1607.7, complying guards shall also be located along glazed sides of open-sided walking surfaces."

E97.1 06/07, 1013.1 (IFC [B] 1013.1); R312.1. Not approved. The proposal sought to add text requiring that guards be "measured vertically from the edge height of the open-side to the deepest point no more than 24 inches horizontal off the open-side edge." The committee disapproved as it found the proposal "confusing."

The motion for E52-06/07, 1008.1.8.7 [IFC [B] 1008.1.8/7 (New)] carried with modifications. The code change proposal requested the following revisions concerning electromagnetically locked egress doors, requiring that the means of egress in buildings with an occupancy in Group A, B, E, M, R-1 or R-2 and doors to tenant spaces in A, B, E, M, R-1 or R-2 shall be permitted to be electromagnetically locked if equipped with listed hardware that incorporates a built-in switch that meets the following requirements:

1. The listed hardware affixed to the door leaf has an obvious method of operation that is readily operated under all lighting conditions.

2. The listed hardware is capable of being operated with one hand.

3. Operation of the listed hardware interrupts power supply to the electromagnetic lock and unlocks the door.

4. Loss of power to the listed hardware automatically unlocks the door.

E162-06/07. Not approved. Mike Fischer, representing the Window and Door Manufacturers Association represented by Mick Fisher, was one of the supporters of this proposal that recommended a change in text regarding emergency escape ladders. The proposal sought for emergency escape and rescue openings located above the first story in Group R-3 occupancies to be provided with an approved permanently mounted emergency escape ladder.


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