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Fire stair specification requirements

Fire stair compliance is governed by two main code sections: B) Stability, and D) Access. Fire stairs need to provide safe egress from the building in the event of a fire or other emergency, and they must meet a number of criteria to be compliant. These can vary depending on the use of the building and density of occupancy.

Here are some quick pointers to get you started on fire stair compliance. It might be worth noting that there is potential for these to change over time, as average body size is increasing and specifications will eventually change to reflect this. Calculations still work around buildings being exited within 2.5 minutes. Larger body sizes limit pedestrian flow and will have slower evacuation rates.

Surfaces need to be slip-resistant under all conditions.
Stair treads must have uniform rise within each flight and across consecutive flights (a 5mm difference can make stairs unsafe).
Tread depth must provide adequate footing and be a minimum of 280mm.
Tread width must be a minimum of 1200mm.
Rises must be a maximum of 190mm.
Nosings shall be rounded and should be between 15mm and 25mm.
Maximum pitch is 37 degrees.
Closed risers are required for indoors only.

Landings, including mid-flight landings, must be a minimum length of 900mm.
Clearance must be a minimum of 900mm allowing for handrails.
Landings must be at appropriate intervals along a stair or ramp to prevent undue fatigue, not exceeding 2500mm between landings.
Doors must not block access or themselves be blocked.

Handrails shall be provided on both sides of accessible stairs and steps, including landings.
Minimum width between handrails on stairs shall be 900mm.
Handrails shall be continuous, with no obstructions to the movement of the hand along their length.
Handrails shall not have projecting ends that will create a hazard.
The height of a handrail above the nosings of the tread shall be between 900mm and 1000mm.
Handrails shall not project into any other path of travel except when a centre handrail projects into a landing by the distance of the stair going.
Handrails shall be securely fixed and rigid. A handrail shall be able to support a weight of 110kg at any point.
The clear space between a handrail and the adjacent wall surface shall be 50–60mm at the sides and 100mm above.

There are many factors to consider. If you need help, contact us at Monkeytoe: we can help you from planning and design to manufacture and installation.

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