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A. Fire Safety: No hazard of fire or explosion shall be created or allowed to exist in any building, premises, equipment or apparatus.
B. Exit And Emergency Egress:
1. Every dwelling unit shall have a safe, continuous and unobstructed means of egress of a minimum height of six feet four inches (6'4") and a minimum width as per this code. The exitway shall be kept in a proper state of repair and maintained free of hazardous conditions and obstructions.
2. Every sleeping room located below the fourth story shall have at least one openable window or exterior door approved for emergency egress or rescue. The opening shall have a minimum of three and one-half (31/2) square feet of openable space and clear opening dimensions of at least twenty inches (20") in one dimension and twenty four inches (24") in the other dimension. The escape window must open directly into a yard or exit court, or into a public street or alley. When windows are provided as a means of emergency egress or rescue, they shall have a finished sill height of not more than forty eight inches (48"). If the distance from the floor to the windowsill is more than forty eight inches (48"), a permanent ladder or platform attached to the wall or floor may be installed to meet the maximum height requirement. The ladder or platform must be approved by the city.
a. Exception 1. Where two (2) approved emergency exit doors leading from the sleeping room to separate exitways exist and minimum light and ventilation requirements are met, this subsection does not apply. Emergency exit doors shall open directly to a yard or court, or may exit through no more than one adjoining room which has a door that leads directly to a yard or court.
b. Exception 2. Where minimum light and ventilation and emergency egress requirements are met, there is no minimum sill height requirement in sleeping rooms of dwelling units constructed before 1968, which has not been altered from the original construction.
c. Exception 3. Sleeping rooms that fail to meet the sill height, window size or net openable area for the emergency egress provisions of this code may have their emergency egress deficiencies remedied, provided the rooms meet the required natural light and ventilation requirements of the housing code, by the installation of a smoke detector in each of the deficient sleeping rooms and in the hall or space immediately adjacent to and leading into the sleeping room or area. The smoke detectors shall be wired directly to the house electrical system and be provided with a battery backup.
3. For windows that are below grade, a window well shall run parallel to the width of the window and extend at least eighteen inches (18") out from the exterior face of the building. When the distance from the top of the window well to its bottom exceeds forty eight inches (48"), it shall be equipped with an approved permanently affixed ladder or stairs that are accessible with the window in the fully open position. Grates are permitted over window wells when hinged away from the structure and not weighing over fifteen (15) pounds per section of the grate.
4. Bars, grills, grates or similar devices may be installed on emergency escapes or rescue windows or doors, provided such devices are equipped with approved release mechanisms which are operable from the inside of the grate without the use of a key or special knowledge or effort.
C. Stairs And Handrails: Stairs and rails shall meet the requirements of the means of egress section of the UBC or its successor with the following modifications:
1. If there are four (4) or more risers, a handrail shall be required. Two (2) handrails shall be required when the width of the stairs is forty eight inches (48") or more. Stairways less than forty eight inches (48") in width or stairways serving one individual dwelling unit in group R, division 1 or 3 occupancy, or a group R, division 3 congregate residence may have one handrail. Handrails are not required for monumental stairs.
2. Handrails shall be placed not less than thirty inches (30") nor more than thirty eight inches (38") above the outermost edge of the tread. Handrails for existing stairs are not required to extend beyond the top or bottom stair tread.
3. Stairs shall have a maximum riser height of eight inches (8") and a minimum step run of nine inches (9"). Existing stair flights may have a maximum variation in rise and run of two inches (2") at the top and bottom of the flight. A maximum of one inch (1") variation of rise and run shall be allowed for all intermediate risers and treads. Stairs shall be level and shall comply with life safety standards as defined herein.
4. Winder, circular and spiral stairs shall comply with the UBC.
5. There shall be no minimum rise or run requirement nor maximum variation in the rise and run for stairs leading only to mechanical, storage, utility, and nonhabitable rooms in any residential structure and laundry rooms in individual dwelling units provided the stairs are structurally sound.
6. Steps shall be maintained in a safe manner. Missing steps, steps which are deteriorated to the point that a foothold is difficult to maintain, staircases which have missing boards, and/or staircases which contain boards that have lost their structural integrity shall be repaired to a safe condition.
7. Interior and exterior stairs shall have a minimum headroom height of six feet four inches (6'4"), except for stairs to mechanical or storage rooms, utility and nonhabitable rooms in any residential structure and laundry rooms in individual dwelling units, which have no minimum headroom height.
8. Stairs in the interior or exterior of an existing building where stair jacks are replaced or fifty percent (50%) of the tread or risers are replaced shall meet the requirements of the UBC, except that the minimum stair width shall be thirty inches (30") and the minimum headroom height shall be six feet four inches (6'4").
9. If because of the configuration of the horizontal and vertical distances an alternate stair configuration is more practical than the UBC requirement, or if HAAB finds that the stair rhythm is safe, HAAB may allow other configurations which are less uniform but achieve comparable safety, regardless of subsections C3 and C4 of this section.
10. A stair tread, stair support, stair riser, landing or railing which is either missing or so severely in disrepair or damaged that it cannot support its intended live and dead loads shall be repaired.
11. Interior stair landings shall have a minimum width of thirty inches (30") and a minimum length in the direction of travel of thirty inches (30").
1. Guardrails shall be required for all balconies, porches, patios and open stairs more than thirty inches (30") above or below grade. Guardrails shall also be required for any grade change more than thirty inches (30") next to a walking surface. Guardrails shall not be less than forty two inches (42") in height, except for guardrails serving private dwelling units, which shall have a minimum height of thirty six inches (36"). Guardrails may have a minimum height of thirty six inches (36") if the building was built before 1970. Guardrails having a height less than thirty six inches (36") shall be allowed if they were installed as part of the building's original construction and are not a replacement. For structures which are on the historic register or are contributory structures located within one of the city's historic districts, height of existing and replacement guardrails may be determined based upon standards adopted by the city's historic landmark committee.
2. Guardrails shall have intermediate rails or an ornamental pattern such that there is no open area in excess of four inches (4") in diameter. The diameter of such open space may be nine inches (9") for buildings built before 1985, and six inches (6") for those built between 1985 and 1991.
E. Smoke Detector Requirements:
1. When smoke detectors are required in dwelling units by the UBC, the detectors shall be mounted on the ceiling or wall at a point centrally located in the hallway or area giving access to rooms used for sleeping. In efficiency dwelling units, the detector shall be centrally located on the ceiling or wall of the main room or sleeping room.
2. Where sleeping rooms are on an upper level, the detector shall be placed at the ceiling or wall directly above the stairway immediately outside the bedrooms. Wall mounted detectors shall be a minimum of four inches (4") and maximum of twelve inches (12") from the ceiling, but no detector shall be mounted within twelve inches (12") of any corner formed by the meeting of walls, ceilings or beams unless manufacturer's listing specifies otherwise. When activated, the detector shall provide an alarm in the dwelling unit.
3. When one or more sleeping rooms are added to or created within a structure, smoke detectors shall be installed in compliance with the manufacturer's listing and shall receive their primary power from the building wiring in compliance with the UBC.
4. All habitable rooms having a ceiling height of less than seven feet six inches (7'6") shall have installed a one hundred twenty (120) volt electrical powered smoke detector.
F. Fire Resistive Separations: Walls or ceilings separating dwelling units from each other and from hazardous uses shall be maintained in their original condition with all penetrations sealed or covered with an approved material. These separations include walls and ceilings separating a garage from a dwelling unit or common area and walls and ceilings separating furnace rooms in structures containing three (3) or more dwelling units. When fifty percent (50%) or more of a wall or ceiling is removed for any reason, the entire wall or ceiling shall be reconstructed to meet the requirements of the UBC for one hour occupancy separation. (Ord. 74-98 §§ 15-22, 1998: Ord. 68-96 § 1, 1996: Ord. 55-95 § 4 (Exh. A), 1995)