When Is A Single Means of Egress Accepted?

By Bruno Caligara

There are circumstances when the DOB will allow for a building to have a single means of egress, and these generally depend on the occupancy and building height. Most buildings that fit the profile of such requests were built under the 1968 Code.

Most occupancies at the first floor will allow for a single egress door based on the number of occupants.  When it comes all other floors such as the cellar or floors 2 and up, typically two separate means of egress are required.

The 1968 Building Code section 27-366 talks about this requirement and also gives an explanation of what special circumstances that would allow for a single egress exit.

Occupancies such as J-1/R-1, J-2/R-2, or E/B may allow for a single egress stair, depending of building height, # of stories, footplate size, travel distance, construction classification and life safety systems. In some cases, commissioner approval for other occupies could be granted provided that the proposed does not decrease the existing life safety of the buildings occupants.

Metropolis Group can provide advice on when this can be applied with a full review of the plans on how to achieve this exception.