I'm designing a new Single Family Residence in Newport Beach California.

The Garages are below grade.

Basemant Plan

One person at the Building Dept. says a Garage Door is not code compliant with CRC R310 Emergency Escape & Rescue Opening.

I say the garage door has a push button opener and an emergency release pull. Emergency Release

I spoke with the Newport Beach Fire Dept and they said if they need to rescue through a garage door they simply saw cut it apart.

How is an Emergency Escape and Rescue through a Garage Door any more difficult than access through a window well?

Window well

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Original Post

I lost this discussion in my department, but I believe it is a valid concern. This would be my only issue with it:

 

A child finds his way into the garage in the heat of summer while the parent isn't paying attention (when does that ever happen?) and gets locked out of the house by the self-closing, self-latching door, which may also be locked. Often these are key-locked on the garage side with a pass knob on the inside that allows passage without unlocking.

 

The child would have to know how that mechanism works and would have to find a way for the cartoonish stacking of objects to reach it.

 

It's a bad idea in my book, but on the flip side of that, the child that finds himself locked out of the house and has access to a man-door out the side of the garage could become a chew toy for the dog or could gain access to the swimming pool, or to a busy street if that door is outside the fence.

 

What can you do? That child is doomed!

There is no code language that supports the use of an EERO in this situation.  Anybody can throw out 'what if' scenarios till the sun goes down:

 

'What if' an uncontrolled vehicle hits the room of a sleeping child?  We must design all sleeping rooms for hard body impact.

 

By the way, the doors to the stairways from the basement would not be allowed to be locked.  They should allow, at a minimum, access to the level of exit discharge which leads to the exterior.  If the doors are locked, then they cannot be considered and marked as exits and another exit (not an EERO) is required from the basement garage.

Daniel D:

 

I stand corrected; however, the basement must have one exit.  The EERO cannot be the only means out of the basement.  If an EERO is provided, then one of the two stairs out of the basement cannot be locked to prevent egress.  If they are locked, then another 'exit,' and an EERO, must be provided.

Originally Posted by Stuart:

"The child would have to know how that (garage door) mechanism works and would have to find a way for the cartoonish stacking of objects to reach it."

 

This is no more difficult than reaching up and unlatching / unlocking a double hung escape window.  So a 3'x5' double hung window with a sill at 44" above floor would have a midpoint latch at 6' above the floor.

My proposed Garage door release hangs at 5' above the floor.   

That complies with operational from the inside without keys, tools or special knowledge.

All portions of buildings are required to have exiting provided.  A garage vehicle door does not meet the requirements of an exit door.  If a garage has a man door that enters the dwelling the building official may allow that to be the exiting path of travel.  In general exit doors are required to be side hinged with a minimum size of 30x68 (32" minimum clear width) and a maximum leaf width of 4'.

 

2013 CRC R311.2 Egress door. At least one egress door shall be provided for each dwelling unit. The egress door shall be sidehinged, and shall provide a minimum clear width of 32 inches (813 mm) when measured between the face of the door and the stop, with the door open 90 degrees (1.57 rad). The minimum clear height of the door opening shall not be less than 78 inches (1981 mm) in height measured from the top of the threshold to the bottom of the stop.

 

Originally Posted by BCDG Administrator:

All portions of buildings are required to have exiting provided.  A garage vehicle door does not meet the requirements of an exit door.

 

2013 CRC R311.2 Egress door. At least one egress door shall be provided for each dwelling unit

One Egress door is provided. Its the front door of the house. Walk through an Egress route to get to the front door. That is not an issue here. 

 

I don't need this to be an Egress or Exit door.

 

Because this is a Basement (floor above is less than 6' to grade) this must have an Emergency Escape & Rescue Opening.

 

Has anyone made an official ruling if a Garage Door would comply with CRC R310 Emergency Escape & Rescue Opening ??? 

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