Exit Stairwell -Items In Stairwells

What are the restrictions on items being mounted or installed in exit enclosures such as stairwells?

Any examples are for illustrative purposes only.  

The Joint Commission uses the 2012 edition of NFPA 101 Life Safety Code. For consistency, no equipment is allowed in an exit enclosure (exit stairwell) that could interfere with its function as an area of refuge in accordance with section 7.1.3.2.3.  This would include evacuation chairs/sleds.  

Security cameras, card readers, Wi-Fi routers and repeaters can be in the exit enclosure, so long as it doesn’t interfere with the use of the exit and is used for surveillance of the exit enclosure. In accordance with 7.1.3.2.1, systems in an exit enclosure are limited to systems that support the functionality of the exit enclosure in new health care and ambulatory health care occupancies.  

Any penetrations into the rated exit enclosure must be sealed with a fire stop material that is appropriate to the rating of the enclosure.  Properly protected system penetrations into existing (prior to July 5, 2016) exit enclosures are acceptable as long as they were part of the original construction and no alterations have since been made; once an alteration has been made, the current code should be followed.  

Reference LS.02.01.20 EP 13, LS.03.01.20 EP 11  
Last updated on July 01, 2020
Manual: Critical Access Hospital
Chapter: Life Safety LS

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