9.5 building with washer/dryer in exit stairwell.

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    • #12990
      Matt TyoMatt Tyo
      Member

      Wondering how other people have dealt with this. I have a 3-storey mixed occupancy building with residential units on the 2nd and 3rd floor. The principal entrance to the residential occupancy has an electric washer and dryer in the foyer that is not separated from the stairwell. This building has been inspected in the past and the issue was never brought up.

      The first time I dealt with this was with an Order using Clause F asking the owner to remove the appliances as they could be a source of fire and would ultimately eliminate the principle entrance/exit. The owner decided to make the space a service room under building permit which was great…..problem solved.

      9.5 doesn’t really seem to touch this.

      Input appreciated.

      Matt Tyo, Brockville Fire

       

       

    • #12991
      Marcus KavalchukMarcus Kavalchuk
      Participant

      Hello Matt,

      If you want you can use 21. (1) (g), I would say this can generally be addressed either by 2.1.2.2. or 2.4.1.1. (2), otherwise using (f) can work.

      2.1.2.2. – This definitely is a hazardous activity which, more than likely, is not designed for (need to see the paper work showing the laundry facilities being in the exit) and by the sounds of it the Chief Fire Official has not approved of this.

      2.4.1.1. (2) – As the building is 3 storeys, it sounds like this is a required exit, but regardless I would say energized appliances (especially clothes in a dryer) is a combustible material which is not allow to be in a means of egress unless designed for.

      For a 9.5 building, I would use 9.5.3.3. (1) as the exit stairway is not separated from the remainder of the building (laundry facilities).

      Good luck,

      Marcus, Thunder Bay Fire Rescue

    • #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.

    • #13025
      Matt TyoMatt Tyo
      Member

      Thanks for your insight guys.

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