S.D. Admin. R. 61:15:01:12 - Existing fire escapes

Existing fire escapes which, in the opinion of the fire official, comply with the intent of this chapter, may be used as one of the required exits. Fire escapes shall comply with the following:

(1) All openings in the exterior wall below and within 10 feet of a fire escape stair serving a building over two stories high shall be protected by a self-closing fire assembly having a 3/4-hour fire protection rating;
(2) Egress from the building shall be by a clear opening of not less than 20 inches wide, 24 inches high, and 5.7 square feet in area. The bottom of the opening shall be not more than 44 inches above the floor of the building or balcony;
(3) Fire escape stairways and balconies shall support the dead load plus a live load of not less than 100 pounds per square foot and shall be provided with a top and intermediate handrail on each side. The pitch of the stairway may not exceed 60 degrees with a minimum width of 18 inches. Treads may not be less than 4 inches wide and the rise between treads may not exceed 10 inches. All stair and balcony railings shall support a horizontal force of not less than 50 pounds per lineal foot of railing;
(4) Balconies shall be not less than 44 inches wide with no floor openings other than the stairway opening greater than 5/8 inch wide. Stairway openings in such balconies shall be at least 22 inches by 44 inches. The balustrade of each balcony shall be not less than 36 inches high with not more than 9 inches between balusters;
(5) Fire escapes shall extend to the roof or provide an approved gooseneck ladder between the top floor landing and the roof when serving buildings four or more stories high having roofs with less than 4:12 slope. Fire escape ladders shall be designed and connected to the building to withstand a horizontal force of 100 pounds per lineal foot; each rung shall support a concentrated load of 500 pounds placed anywhere on the rung. All ladders shall be at least 15 inches wide, located within 12 inches of the building, and shall be placed flat to the face of the building. Ladder rungs shall be 3/4 inch in diameter and shall be located 12 inches on center. Openings for roof access ladders through cornices and similar projections shall have minimum dimensions of 30 inches by 33 inches;
(6) The lowest balcony shall be not more than 18 feet from the ground. Fire escapes shall extend to the ground or be provided with counterbalanced stairs reaching to the ground;
(7) Fire escapes may not take the place of stairways required by the codes under which the building was constructed;
(8) Fire escapes shall be kept clear and unobstructed at all times and maintained in good working order.


S.D. Admin. R. 61:15:01:12
18 SDR 107, effective January 1, 1992; 23 SDR 32, effective September 11, 1996.

General Authority: SDCL 34-29B-2.

Law Implemented: SDCL 34-29B-2, 34-29B-10.

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