NFPA 101: Life Safety Code

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2015 NFPA 101 Code
2015 NFPA 101 Handbook
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The updated NFPA 101®: Life Safety Code® raises occupant safety to a new level.

Protect people where they live, work, and play with NFPA®'s Life Safety Code -- the most widely used source for strategies for occupant safety throughout the life cycle of a building. As the built environment and risks evolve, so do the challenges to protect people from fire and related hazards. The 2015 Life Safety Code provides a flexible approach that adapts to nontraditional use of buildings; innovative designs; and new technologies, materials, and construction practices. It is the only document that addresses life safety in both new and existing structures.

There's no substitute for the latest NFPA 101 in any occupancy -- from assembly to health care, industrial, and residential.

Essential for architects, engineers, building owners and building managers, hospital administrators, and AHJs, NFPA 101 covers it all: Egress, sprinklers, alarms, emergency lighting, smoke barriers, and special hazard protection.

Changes advance safety and improve options for building design:

  • Atrium walls are now permitted to serve as part of the separation for creating separated occupancies, offering greater flexibility in building design.
  • New requirements enhance public safety, such as calculating occupant load for business uses that better represents how the space is used.
  • Requirements permitting the use of alcohol-based hand-rub (ABHR) dispensers are included in more occupancy chapters, reflecting their widespread use.
  • New mandates for carbon monoxide detection and alarm are included for new educational and new day care facilities for greater safety to life where CO might be generated.
  • Expanded provisions concerning the responsibilities, training, and duties of crowd managers help ensure emergency readiness in places such as sports arenas, nightclubs, and concert halls.
  • Revised rules permit door locking in new and existing residential board and care facilities, based on clinical needs to secure residents for their own safety.

Other changes help provide for safer, more homelike health care facilities:

  • Health care occupancy provisions allow nursing home minimum corridor width to be reduced within small smoke compartments.
  • Provisions added to permit doors to be disguised with murals for settings like dementia units.
  • New self-contained ambulatory health care chapters improve code usability with one-stop access.

Make sure your knowledge is up-to-date and your facilities meet code. Base your decisions on the 2015 NFPA 101 and tackle safety challenges effectively. (Softbound, 520 pp., 2015)

Authors: Ron Coté, P.E. and Gregory E. Harrington, P.E.

Based on the 2015 NFPA 101®, NFPA®'s acclaimed Life Safety Code® Handbook incorporates full Code text, commentary, and visuals in a must-have resource.

Any decisions you make in the built environment have the potential to affect lives. That's why you need the best source of applications advice: the 2015 NFPA 101: Life Safety Code Handbook. This resource combines Code text and expert commentary to help you comply correctly the first time and avoid costly mistakes, violations, and job delays.

In full-color, the 2015 Life Safety Code Handbook is the only reference in the industry that provides:

  • Side-by-side presentation of occupancy requirements for new and existing buildings for easy comparison -- this feature alone makes the Handbook a must!
  • The full 2015 Life Safety Code text including changes, such as an occupant load factor for concentrated business use areas, and utilizing an atrium as part of an occupancy separation
  • Expert commentary explaining the reasoning and intent behind the rules, with hands-on examples of how to apply the added mandates for CO detection and alarm in new educational and day care facilities, training requirements for crowd managers in assembly occupancies, and other changes
  • Added guidance for hospital administrators and contractors on how to apply the latest health care occupancy provisions
  • More than 750 images including photos and charts, tables, illustrations, and diagrams not found in the Code -- all in full color for better visual clarification of NFPA 101 provisions
  • Matrix comparing the 2012 and 2015 NFPA 101 that gives you an overview of technical/substantive changes at a glance

If public safety depends on you, look to the 2015 NFPA 101 Handbook for essential support.

Whether you're a building owner, architect, designer, contractor, engineer, AHJ, or inspector, NFPA's unique 2015 Life Safety Code Handbook helps you apply requirements properly to protect building occupants throughout the life cycle of the building. (Hardbound, 1,327 pp., 2015)

NFPA 101® Life Safety Code, 2015 Edition

Chapter 1 Administration
1.1 Scope
1.2 Purpose
1.3 Application
1.4 Equivalency
1.5 Units and Formulas
1.6 Enforcement
Chapter 2 Referenced Publications
2.1 General
2.2 NFPA Publications
2.3 Other Publications
2.4 References for Extracts in Mandatory Sections
Chapter 3 Definitions
3.1 General
3.2 NFPA Official Definitions
3.3 General Definitions
Chapter 4 General
4.1 Goals
4.2 Objectives
4.3 Assumptions
4.4 Life Safety Compliance Options
4.5 Fundamental Requirements
4.6 General Requirements
4.7 Fire Drills
4.8 Emergency Action Plan
Chapter 5 Performance-Based Option
5.1 General Requirements
5.2 Performance Criteria
5.3 Retained Prescriptive Requirements
5.4 Design Specifications and Other Conditions
5.5 Design Fire Scenarios
5.6 Evaluation of Proposed Designs
5.7 Safety Factors
5.8 Documentation Requirements
Chapter 6 Classification of Occupancy and Hazard of Contents
6.1 Classification of Occupancy
6.2 Hazard of Contents
Chapter 7 Means of Egress
7.1 General
7.2 Means of Egress Components
7.3 Capacity of Means of Egress
7.4 Number of Means of Egress
7.5 Arrangement of Means of Egress
7.6 Measurement of Travel Distance to Exits
7.7 Discharge from Exits
7.8 Illumination of Means of Egress
7.9 Emergency Lighting
7.10 Marking of Means of Egress
7.11 Special Provisions for Occupancies with High Hazard Contents
7.12 Mechanical Equipment Rooms, Boiler Rooms, and Furnace Rooms
7.13 Normally Unoccupied Building Service Equipment Support Areas
7.14 Occupant Evacuation Elevators
Chapter 8 Features of Fire Protection
8.1 General
8.2 Construction and Compartmentation
8.3 Fire Barriers
8.4 Smoke Partitions
8.5 Smoke Barriers
8.6 Vertical Openings
8.7 Special Hazard Protection
8.8 Inspection and Testing of Door Assemblies
Chapter 9 Building Service and Fire Protection Equipment
9.1 Utilities
9.2 Heating, Ventilating, and Air-Conditioning
9.3 Smoke Control
9.4 Elevators, Escalators, and Conveyors
9.5 Waste Chutes, Incinerators, and Laundry Chutes
9.6 Fire Detection, Alarm, and Communications Systems
9.7 Automatic Sprinklers
9.8 Other Automatic Extinguishing Equipment
9.9 Portable Fire Extinguishers
9.10 Standpipe Systems
9.11 Fire Protection System Operating Features
9.12 Carbon Monoxide (CO) Detection and Warning Equipment
9.13 Special Inspections and Tests
Chapter 10 Interior Finish, Contents, and Furnishings
10.1 General
10.2 Interior Finish
10.3 Contents and Furnishings
Chapter 11 Special Structures and High-Rise Buildings
11.1 General Requirements
11.2 Open Structures
11.3 Towers
11.4 Water-Surrounded Structures
11.5 Piers
11.6 Vehicles and Vessels
11.7 Underground and Limited Access Structures
11.8 High-Rise Buildings
11.9 Permanent Membrane Structures
11.10 Temporary Membrane Structures
11.11 Tents
Chapter 12 New Assembly Occupancies
12.1 General Requirements
12.2 Means of Egress Requirements
12.3 Protection
12.4 Special Provisions
12.5 Building Services
12.6 Reserved
12.7 Operating Features
Chapter 13 Existing Assembly Occupancies
13.1 General Requirements
13.2 Means of Egress Requirements
13.3 Protection
13.4 Special Provisions
13.5 Building Services
13.6 Reserved
13.7 Operating Features
Chapter 14 New Educational Occupancies
14.1 General Requirements
14.2 Means of Egress Requirements
14.3 Protection
14.4 Special Provisions
14.5 Building Services
14.6 Reserved
14.7 Operating Features
Chapter 15 Existing Educational Occupancies
15.1 General Requirements
15.2 Means of Egress Requirements
15.3 Protection
15.4 Special Provisions
15.5 Building Services
15.6 Reserved
15.7 Operating Features
Chapter 16 New Day-Care Occupancies
16.1 General Requirements
16.2 Means of Egress Requirements
16.3 Protection
16.4 Special Provisions
16.5 Building Services
16.6 Day-Care Homes
16.7 Operating Features
Chapter 17 Existing Day-Care Occupancies
17.1 General Requirements
17.2 Means of Egress Requirements
17.3 Protection
17.4 Special Provisions
17.5 Building Services
17.6 Day-Care Homes
17.7 Operating Features
Chapter 18 New Health Care Occupancies
18.1 General Requirements
18.2 Means of Egress Requirements
18.3 Protection
18.4 Special Provisions
18.5 Building Services
18.6 Reserved
18.7 Operating Features
Chapter 19 Existing Health Care Occupancies
19.1 General Requirements
19.2 Means of Egress Requirements
19.3 Protection
19.4 Special Provisions
19.5 Building Services
19.6 Reserved
19.7 Operating Features
Chapter 20 New Ambulatory Health Care Occupancies
20.1 General Requirements
20.2 Means of Egress Requirements
20.3 Protection
20.4 Special Provisions
20.5 Building Services
20.6 Reserved
20.7 Operating Features
Chapter 21 Existing Ambulatory Health Care Occupancies
21.1 General Requirements
21.2 Means of Egress Requirements
21.3 Protection
21.4 Special Provisions
21.5 Building Services
21.6 Reserved
21.7 Operating Features
Chapter 22 New Detention and Correctional Occupancies
22.1 General Requirements
22.2 Means of Egress Requirements
22.3 Protection
22.4 Special Provisions
22.5 Building Services
22.6 Reserved
22.7 Operating Features
Chapter 23 Existing Detention and Correctional Occupancies
23.1 General Requirements
23.2 Means of Egress Requirements
23.3 Protection
23.4 Special Provisions
23.5 Building Services
23.6 Reserved
23.7 Operating Features
Chapter 24 One- and Two-Family Dwellings
24.1 General Requirements
24.2 Means of Escape Requirements
24.3 Protection
24.4 Reserved
24.5 Building Services
Chapter 25 Reserved
Chapter 26 Lodging or Rooming Houses
26.1 General Requirements
26.2 Means of Escape Requirements
26.3 Protection
26.4 Reserved
26.5 Building Services
26.6 Reserved
26.7 Operating Features
Chapter 27 Reserved
Chapter 28 New Hotels and Dormitories
28.1 General Requirements
28.2 Means of Egress Requirements
28.3 Protection
28.4 Special Provisions
28.5 Building Services
28.6 Reserved
28.7 Operating Features
Chapter 29 Existing Hotels and Dormitories
29.1 General Requirements
29.2 Means of Egress Requirements
29.3 Protection
29.4 Special Provisions
29.5 Building Services
29.6 Reserved
29.7 Operating Features
Chapter 30 New Apartment Buildings
30.1 General Requirements
30.2 Means of Egress Requirements
30.3 Protection
30.4 Special Provisions
30.5 Building Services
30.6 Reserved
30.7 Operating Features
Chapter 31 Existing Apartment Buildings
31.1 General Requirements
31.2 Means of Egress Requirements
31.3 Protection
31.4 Special Provisions
31.5 Building Services
31.6 Reserved
31.7 Operating Features
Chapter 32 New Residential Board and Care Occupancies
32.1 General Requirements
32.2 Small Facilities
32.3 Large Facilities
32.4 Suitability of an Apartment Building to House a Board and Care Occupancy
32.5 Reserved
32.6 Reserved
32.7 Operating Features
Chapter 33 Existing Residential Board and Care Occupancies
33.1 General Requirements
33.2 Small Facilities
33.3 Large Facilities
33.4 Suitability of an Apartment Building to House a Board and Care Occupancy
33.5 Reserved
33.6 Reserved
33.7 Operating Features
Chapter 34 Reserved
Chapter 35 Reserved
Chapter 36 New Mercantile Occupancies
36.1 General Requirements
36.2 Means of Egress Requirements
36.3 Protection
36.4 Special Provisions
36.5 Building Services
36.6 Reserved
36.7 Operating Features
Chapter 37 Existing Mercantile Occupancies
37.1 General Requirements
37.2 Means of Egress Requirements
37.3 Protection
37.4 Special Provisions
37.5 Building Services
37.6 Reserved
37.7 Operating Features
Chapter 38 New Business Occupancies
38.1 General Requirements
38.2 Means of Egress Requirements
38.3 Protection
38.4 Special Provisions
38.5 Building Services
38.6 Reserved
38.7 Operating Features
Chapter 39 Existing Business Occupancies
39.1 General Requirements
39.2 Means of Egress Requirements
39.3 Protection
39.4 Special Provisions
39.5 Building Services
39.6 Reserved
39.7 Operating Features
Chapter 40 Industrial Occupancies
40.1 General Requirements
40.2 Means of Egress Requirements
40.3 Protection
40.4 Special Provisions
40.5 Building Services
40.6 Special Provisions for Aircraft Servicing Hangars
40.7 Operating Features
Chapter 41 Reserved
Chapter 42 Storage Occupancies
42.1 General Requirements
42.2 Means of Egress Requirements
42.3 Protection
42.4 Special Provisions
42.5 Building Services
42.6 Special Provisions for Aircraft Storage Hangars
42.7 Special Provisions for Grain Handling, Processing, Milling, or Other Bulk Storage Facilities
42.8 Special Provisions for Parking Structures
42.9 Operating Features
Chapter 43 Building Rehabilitation
43.1 General
43.2 Special Definitions
43.3 Repairs
43.4 Renovations
43.5 Modifications
43.6 Reconstruction
43.7 Change of Use or Occupancy Classification
43.8 Additions
43.9 Reserved
43.10 Historic Buildings
Annex A Explanatory Material
Annex B Supplemental Evacuation Equipment
Annex C Informational References
Index

NFPA 101®: Life Safety Code® Handbook, 2015 Edition

Contents

Preface

About the Editors

PART 1

Life Safety Code® and Commentary

 

1 Administration

1.1 Scope

1.2 Purpose

1.3 Application

1.4 Equivalency

1.5 Units and Formulas

1.6 Enforcement

 

2 Referenced Publications

2.1 General

2.2 NFPA Publications

2.3 Other Publications

2.4 References for Extracts in Mandatory Sections

 

3 Definitions

3.1 General

3.2 NFPA Official Definitions

3.3 General Definitions

 

4 General

4.1 Goals

4.2 Objectives

4.3 Assumptions

4.4 Life Safety Compliance Options

4.5 Fundamental Requirements

4.6 General Requirements

4.7 Fire Drills

4.8 Emergency Action Plan

 

5 Performance-Based Option

5.1 General Requirements

5.2 Performance Criteria

5.3 Retained Prescriptive Requirements

5.4 Design Specifications and Other Conditions

5.5 Design Fire Scenarios

5.6 Evaluation of Proposed Designs

5.7 Safety Factors

5.8 Documentation Requirements

 

6 Classification of Occupancy and Hazard of Contents

6.1 Classification of Occupancy

6.2 Hazard of Contents

 

7 Means of Egress

7.1 General

7.2 Means of Egress Components

7.3 Capacity of Means of Egress

7.4 Number of Means of Egress

7.5 Arrangement of Means of Egress

7.6 Measurement of Travel Distance to Exits

7.7 Discharge from Exits

7.8 Illumination of Means of Egress

7.9 Emergency Lighting

7.10 Marking of Means of Egress

7.11 Special Provisions for Occupancies with High Hazard Contents

7.12 Mechanical Equipment Rooms, Boiler Rooms, and Furnace Rooms

7.13 Normally Unoccupied Building Service Equipment Support Areas

7.14 Occupant Evacuation Elevators

 

8 Features of Fire Protection

8.1 General

8.2 Construction and Compartmentation

8.3 Fire Barriers

8.4 Smoke Partitions

8.5 Smoke Barriers

8.6 Vertical Openings

8.7 Special Hazard Protection

8.8 Inspection and Testing of Door Assemblies

 

9 Building Service and Fire Protection Equipment

9.1 Utilities

9.2 Heating, Ventilating, and Air-Conditioning

9.3 Smoke Control

9.4 Elevators, Escalators, and Conveyors

9.5 Waste Chutes, Incinerators, and Laundry Chutes

9.6 Fire Detection, Alarm, and Communications Systems

9.7 Automatic Sprinklers

9.8 Other Automatic Extinguishing Equipment

9.9 Portable Fire Extinguishers

9.10 Standpipe Systems

9.11 Fire Protection System Operating Features

9.12 Carbon Monoxide (CO) Detection and Warning Equipment

9.13 Special Inspections and Tests

 

10 Interior Finish, Contents, and Furnishings

10.1 General

10.2 Interior Finish

10.3 Contents and Furnishings

 

11 Special Structures and High-Rise Buildings

11.1 General Requirements

11.2 Open Structures

11.3 Towers

11.4 Water-Surrounded Structures

11.5 Piers

11.6 Vehicles and Vessels

11.7 Underground and Limited Access Structures

11.8 High-Rise Buildings

11.9 Permanent Membrane Structures

11.10 Temporary Membrane Structures

11.11 Tents

 

12/13 New and Existing Assembly Occupancies

12.1/13.1 General Requirements

12.2/13.2 Means of Egress Requirements

12.3/13.3 Protection

12.4/13.4 Special Provisions

12.5/13.5 Building Services

12.6/13.6 Reserved

12.7/13.7 Operating Features

 

14/15 New and Existing Educational Occupancies

14.1/15.1 General Requirements

14.2/15.2 Means of Egress Requirements

14.3/15.3 Protection

14.4/15.4 Special Provisions

14.5/15.5 Building Services

14.6/15.6 Reserved

14.7/15.7 Operating Features

 

16/17 New and Existing Day-Care Occupancies

16.1/17.1 General Requirements

16.2/17.2 Means of Egress Requirements

16.3/17.3 Protection

16.4/17.4 Special Provisions

16.5/17.5 Building Services

16.6/17.6 Day-Care Homes

16.7/17.7 Operating Features

 

18/19 New and Existing Health Care Occupancies

18.1/19.1 General Requirements

18.2/19.2 Means of Egress Requirements

18.3/19.3 Protection

18.4/19.4 Special Provisions

18.5/19.5 Building Services

18.6/19.6 Reserved

18.7/19.7 Operating Features

 

20/21 New and Existing Ambulatory Health Care Occupancies

20.1/21.1 General Requirements

20.2/21.2 Means of Egress Requirements

20.3/21.3 Protection

20.4/21.4 Special Provisions

20.5/21.5 Building Services

20.6/21.6 Reserved

20.7/21.7 Operating Features

 

22/23 New and Existing Detention and Correctional Occupancies

22.1/23.1 General Requirements

22.2/23.2 Means of Egress Requirements

22.3/23.3 Protection

22.4/23.4 Special Provisions

22.5/23.5 Building Services

22.6/23.6 Reserved

22.7/23.7 Operating Features

 

24 One- and Two-Family Dwellings

24.1 General Requirements

24.2 Means of Escape Requirements

24.3 Protection

24.4 Reserved

24.5 Building Services

 

25 Reserved

 

26 Lodging or Rooming Houses

26.1 General Requirements

26.2 Means of Escape Requirements

26.3 Protection

26.4 Reserved

26.5 Building Services

26.6 Reserved

26.7 Operating Features

 

27 Reserved

 

28/29 New and Existing Hotels and Dormitories

 

28.1/29.1 General Requirements

28.2/29.2 Means of Egress Requirements

28.3/29.3 Protection

28.4/29.4 Special Provisions

28.5/29.5 Building Services

28.6/29.6 Reserved

28.7/29.7 Operating Features

 

30/31 New and Existing Apartment Buildings

 

30.1/31.1 General Requirements

30.2/31.2 Means of Egress Requirements

30.3/31.3 Protection

30.4/31.4 Special Provisions

30.5/31.5 Building Services

30.6/31.6 Reserved

30.7/31.7 Operating Features

 

32/33 New and Existing Residential Board and Care Occupancies

 

32.1/33.1 General Requirements

32.2/33.2 Small Facilities

32.3/33.3 Large Facilities

32.4/33.4 Suitability of an Apartment Building to House a Board and Care Occupancy

32.5/33.5 Reserved

32.6/33.6 Reserved

32.7/33.7 Operating Features

 

34 Reserved

 

35 Reserved

 

36/37 New and Existing Mercantile Occupancies

36.1/37.1 General Requirements

36.2/37.2 Means of Egress Requirements

36.3/37.3 Protection

36.4/37.4 Special Provisions

36.5/37.5 Building Services

36.6/37.6 Reserved

36.7/37.7 Operating Features

 

38/39 New and Existing Business Occupancies

38.1/39.1 General Requirements

38.2/39.2 Means of Egress Requirements

38.3/39.3 Protection

38.4/39.4 Special Provisions

38.5/39.5 Building Services

38.6/39.6 Reserved

38.7/39.7 Operating Features

 

40 Industrial Occupancies

40.1 General Requirements

40.2 Means of Egress Requirements

40.3 Protection

40.4 Special Provisions

40.5 Building Services

40.6 Special Provisions for Aircraft Servicing Hangars

40.7 Operating Features

 

41 Reserved

 

42 Storage Occupancies

42.1 General Requirements

42.2 Means of Egress Requirements

42.3 Protection

42.4 Special Provisions

42.5 Building Services

42.6 Special Provisions for Aircraft Storage Hangars

42.7 Special Provisions for Grain Handling, Processing, Milling, or Other Bulk Storage Facilities

42.8 Special Provisions for Parking Structures

42.9 Operating Features

 

43 Building Rehabilitation

43.1 General

43.2 Special Definitions

43.3 Repairs

43.4 Renovations

43.5 Modifications

43.6 Reconstruction

43.7 Change of Use or Occupancy Classification

43.8 Additions

43.9 Reserved

43.10 Historic Buildings

 

Annexes

A Explanatory Material

B Supplemental Evacuation Equipment

C Informational References

PART 2

Supplement

Technical/Substantive Changes 2012 -- 2015 Editions

Index

Important Notices and Legal Disclaimers

Important information about NFPA codes and standards available


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