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California Building Code Excerpt

Section 1003 General Means of Egress

Code excerpt regarding general requirements for means of egress.

Section 1003 General Means of Egress

1003.1 Applicability. The general requirements specified in Sections 1003 through 1015 shall apply to all three elements of the means of egress system, in addition to those specific requirements for the exit access, the exit and the exit discharge detailed elsewhere in this chapter.

[DSA-AC] In addition to the requirement of this chapter, means of egress, which provide access to, or egress from, buildings or facilities where accessibility is required for applications listed in Section 1.8.2.1.2 regulated by the Department of Housing and Community Development, or Section 1.9.1 regulated by the Division of the State Architect-Access Compliance, shall also comply with Chapter 11A or Chapter 11B, as applicable.

Exception: Existing requirements for Fixed Guideway Transit Systems shall be as per Section 443.

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1003.2 Ceiling height. The means of egress shall have a ceiling height of not less than 7 feet 6 inches (2286 mm).

Exceptions:

  1. Sloped ceilings in accordance with Section 1208.2.
  2. Ceilings of dwelling units and sleeping units within residential occupancies in accordance with Section 1208.2.
  3. Allowable projections in accordance with Section 1003.3.
  4. Stair headroom in accordance with Section 1011.3.
  5. Door height in accordance with Section 1010.1.1.
  6. Ramp headroom in accordance with Section 1012.5.2.
  7. The clear height of floor levels in vehicular and pedestrian traffic areas of public and private parking garages in accordance with Section 406.4.1.
  8. Areas above and below mezzanine floors in accordance with Section 505.2.
  9. In Group I-2, I-2.1 and I-3 occupancies, the means of egress shall have a ceiling height of not less than 8 feet (2439 mm).

1003.3 Protruding objects. Protruding objects on circulation paths shall comply with the requirements of Sections 1003.3.1 through 1003.3.4.

Exception: In Group I-2 and Group I-2.1 occupancies, protruding objects shall not extend more than 12 inches (305 mm) below the minimum ceiling height required by Section 1003.2.

1003.3.1 Headroom. Protruding objects are permitted to extend below the minimum ceiling height required by Section 1003.2 provided a minimum headroom of 80 inches (2032 mm) shall be provided for any walking surface, including walks, corridors, aisles and passageways. In other than Group I-2 and Group I-2.1 occupancies, 50 percent of the ceiling area of a means of egress shall be permitted to be reduced in height by protruding objects.

Exception: Door closers and stops shall not reduce headroom to less than 78 inches (1981 mm).

1003.3.2 Post-mounted objects. A free-standing object mounted on a post or pylon shall not overhang that post or pylon more than 4 inches (102 mm) where the lowest point of the leading edge is more than 27 inches (686 mm) and less than 80 inches (2032 mm) above the walking surface. Where a sign or other obstruction is mounted between posts or pylons and the clear distance between the posts or pylongs is greater than 12 inches (305 mm), the lowest edge of such sign or obstruction shall be 27 inches (686 mm) maximum or 80 inches (2032 mm) minimum above the finished floor or ground.

Exception: These requirements shall not apply to sloping portions of handrails between the top and bottom riser of stairs and above the ramp run.

1003.3.3 Horizontal projections. Objects with leading edges more than 27 inches (685 mm) and not more than 80 inches (2030 mm) above the floor shall not project horizontally more than 4 inches (102 mm) into the circulation path.

Exception: Handrails are permitted to protrude 4 1/2 inches (114 mm) from the wall.

1003.3.3.1 Horizontal projections for Group I-2 and I-2.1 occupancies. Structural elements, fixtures or furnishings shall not project horizontally from either side more than 1-1/2 inches (38 mm) into the required width of an exit access corridor serving an area caring for one or more nonambulatory or bedridden patients.

Exceptions:

  1. Handrails are permitted to protrude 3 1/2 inches (89 mm) from the wall.
  2. Alcohol-based hand-rub dispensers are permitted to protrude 4 inches.
  3. Manual fire alarm boxes with a protective cover installed are permitted to protrude 4 inches.

1003.3.4 Clear width. Protruding objects shall not reduce the minimum clear width of accessible routes as required in Chapter 11A or Chapter 11B.

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