Reply To: 9.5 building with washer/dryer in exit stairwell.

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#12996
John WilsonJohn Wilson
Participant
  • Department Name: Perth Fire Services

Hi Matt,

There are a couple things that come to mind for your situation.

First, don’t worry about the fact that the issue wasn’t brought up before you got there, we all miss things (including the Building Dept) from time to time and can have slightly different interpretations of the Code based on our own personal background. I’ve got a ton of 3 storey buildings here with fire escapes that my predecessor missed required protection of 9.5.3.7. If you can justify it as an issue, then carry on with resolution. If the building owner can demonstrate a different path thru the OFC and OBC that makes sense, you might consider it good enough and move on to another item/building.

Under OFC 9.5, I don’t find anything where we can force separation of your situation of laundry room (no fuel fired appliance) but 9.5.3.3. & 2.4.1.1.(2) definitely come into play as Marcus mentions. That’s fairly easy that they can’t be just sitting there on the landing of the exit.  I know we all have older buildings where they were built 100 yrs ago with service rooms off the stairs but we certainly shouldn’t be allowing new ones to be built like that.

This is where it gets messy. Without seeing the building (or at least floor plans) for me to be sure, you might want to check the OBC.  Is the building over or under 600 sq m building area (OBC Pt 3 or Pt 9)? If it’s Pt 3, look at 3.4.4.4.(7). If it’s Pt 9, look at 9.9.4.2.(4). Either way, a service room shouldn’t be opening into an exit stair.  Based on those two Sentences, the solution should not have been to leave the laundry equipment where it was and separate them from the exit. They should have been removed from the exit and installed elsewhere in the building.

That’s my take on it.