Number of Exits Required

Space with One Means of Egress

Two exits or exit access doorways from any space shall be provided where one of the following conditions exists:

(1) The OCCUPANT LOAD of the space exceeds the values in Table 1014.1. (see Table 1014.1 below)
(2) The COMMON PATH OF EGRESS TRAVEL exceeds the limitations of Section 1013.3. (see detailed explanation of this below)
(3) Where required by Sections 1014.31014.4 and 1014.5. (These sections refer to boiler, furnace, incinerator rooms, refrigeration machinery rooms and refrigerated rooms or spaces. Please check the BC for more details)

Only ONE of the above conditions needs to be met for two exits to be required. It is very likely that either (1 )or (2) will be met if your building is more than 2 stories high – requiring two exits or exit access doorways from any space in your building. See the end of this post for cases where more than two exits are required.

(1) OCCUPANT LOAD

TABLE 1014.1: Spaces with One Means of Egress

TABLE 1014.1: Spaces with One Means of Egress

(2) COMMON PATH OF EGRESS TRAVEL

According to BC Definitions, COMMON PATH OF EGRESS TRAVEL is that portion of exit access which the occupants are required to traverse before two separate and distinct paths of egress travel to two exits are available.

Since in this case we are trying to determine if one exit is permitted, then we need to measure the distance from the remotest occupied space (just like with travel distance) all the way to the EXIT DISCHARGE, or door to exterior of building (since there is no point where two distinct paths of egress become available).

Here is an example of when one exit could be acceptable:

Space with One Means of Egress

Space with One Means of Egress

 

Here are some more cases of buildings requiring only ONE EXIT:

Buildings with One Exit

TABLE 1018.2: Buildings with One Exit

Here is how to check if your building needs MORE THAN TWO EXITS:

TABLE 1018.1

 

Relevant Sections of BC

Section BC 1002 Definitions

Section BC 1013.3 Common Path of Egress Travel

Section BC 1014.1 Exit or Exit Access Doors Required

Section BC 1018.1 Minimum Number of Exits

Section BC 1018.2 Buildings with One Exit


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