San Diego County code for residential stairs - are open risers allowed?

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Posted by: from San Diego
12/29/2011 at 3:22:47 PM


I've been slogging through the code and county "newsletters", but I'm still not certain if open risers (between which nothing larger than 4" sphere can pass) are allowed in stairs of San Diego county residential construction. Anybody done these here? Or know for sure that they're prohibited?


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Kathleen in Rosman
Date/Time2/17/2012 at 9:04:14 AM

My background is as a fire inspector although not on the West Coast. I can assure you. based on fire code (national) there is no way a fire inspector would pass an open riser on a stairwell. Consider the problems with safe egress in case of a fire and you can see why this method of building is not approved.

Some questions to consider ... are you building the stairwell in a rated enclosure? Is the rating a 2hr? Are the stairs metal or frame construction? How is the rest of the building protected? Fire sprinklers? Alarms? Then we have to look at what type of structure it is ... hospital, commercial, residential, number of stories? Where are landings placed?

More goes into this question than just can I do it .... much more intormation is needed to adequately answer your question. However, with the little bit of info provided ... the answer is NO.


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