by Brad Keyes, CHSP, on Jun 3, 2020 1:00:45 AM
Q: Are new cross-corridor doors that are strictly privacy doors (not part of any smoke or fire barrier) required to be double egress? I can't seem to find it in code referencing anything other than in a smoke barrier, but an answer to another question leads me to believe it is required for any new cross corridor doors. If it is required, does it matter which leaf swings in which direction, or just that they are opposite swing?
A: It depends. According to section 126.96.36.199.2 of the 2012 Life Safety Code, which applies to all doors, side-hinged door leaves are required to swing in the direction of egress travel if one or more of the following conditions apply:
- Where serving a room or an area with an occupied load of 50 or more, except when the door leaves are located in an existing horizontal exit then they are not required to swing in the direction of egress.
- Where serving a room or an area with an occupied load of 50 or more, except when the door leaves are located in an existing smoke barrier then they are not required to swing in the direction of egress.
- Where the door assembly is used in an exit enclosure.
- Where the door opening serves a high-hazard contents area (not likely in a healthcare occupancy).
So, if you have privacy cross-corridor doors that are not located in a fire-rated barrier, or a smoke barrier, or a horizontal exit, or an exit enclosure (i.e. Stairwell), and do not serve an occupant load of more than 50 persons, then they do not have to swing in the direction of egress travel. To answer your other question, when you are required to have double-egress cross-corridor doors (two doors that swing in opposite directions), there is no requirement for the doors to have a right-hand swing in the direction of egress. The doors may have left-hand swings as long as they are opposite swinging.