Occupants of a residential building are typically familiar with their surroundings and can easily identify the locations of both stair enclosures. However, because they could be asleep, they are not always alert and able to quickly respond to an emergency situation. This creates an inherently unique risk to life safety that are not common to other types of facilities. Additionally, many residencies (Apartments and Condominiums) are often provided with gas stoves, ovens and other cooking equipment, creating a potential ignition source and further increasing the life safety risk. Furthermore, occupants of transient residential facilities (Hotels, Motels, and Timeshares) are not always familiar with their surroundings enough to be aware of the quickest way out of buildings.
NFPA 72 requires audible notification appliances (speakers or horns) to provide a minimum sound pressure of 75 decibels throughout all sleeping areas. Where visible notification appliances are provided For ADA compliant residential units, visible notification appliances (strobes) are also required to be provided. These appliances are generally required to have a minimum 110 candela light intensity to awake sleeping occupants.
Common additional building code requirements unique to residential facilities include the following: 1-hour rated corridor construction, smoke barrier construction for demising walls, and 1-hour rated horizontal floor-ceiling assemblies. Transient residential facilities are often required to be equipped with corridor smoke detection devices to allow early occupant notification.
Zari Consulting Group provides full-scale code analyses for residential buildings, including building and fire code consulting, and timed egress analyses. Our "big picture" goal for these buildings is to notify occupants as early as possible of a fire event and prevent smoke from entering additional residencies. We can always also provide fire protection system design for residential buildings.