Pull Station Location and Doors in Series

luckylerado

Senior Member
NFPA 72 tells me a manual pull station is required within 5' of exit doors.
17.14.8.4 Manual fire alarm boxes shall be located within 5'
(1.5 m) of each exit doorway on each floor.

During design review I pointed out several stairwell exits that had pull stations outside of the doors entering the stairwell on both floors but without a pull station at the exit door to the outside from the stair tower.

Designer response was:
"Where exit doors are provided in series (e.g., vestibules, doors to the exterior from exit stair enclosures, etc.), pull stations are only required at the first door in that series. For instance, at exit stairs on Level 1, there is an exit door into the stair and then the door within the stair to the exterior. The pull station is installed at the first door into the stair; a second pull station within the stair at the door to the exterior is not required."

I dot see anything like this in NFPA 72. Does anyone know where this comes from or if it is legit? I have never heard of this exception and do not see it in NFPA 72.
 

gadfly56

Senior Member
Location
New Jersey
Occupation
Professional Engineer, Fire & Life Safety
NFPA 72 tells me a manual pull station is required within 5' of exit doors.
17.14.8.4 Manual fire alarm boxes shall be located within 5'
(1.5 m) of each exit doorway on each floor.

During design review I pointed out several stairwell exits that had pull stations outside of the doors entering the stairwell on both floors but without a pull station at the exit door to the outside from the stair tower.

Designer response was:
"Where exit doors are provided in series (e.g., vestibules, doors to the exterior from exit stair enclosures, etc.), pull stations are only required at the first door in that series. For instance, at exit stairs on Level 1, there is an exit door into the stair and then the door within the stair to the exterior. The pull station is installed at the first door into the stair; a second pull station within the stair at the door to the exterior is not required."

I dot see anything like this in NFPA 72. Does anyone know where this comes from or if it is legit? I have never heard of this exception and do not see it in NFPA 72.

You have to go to the building code and carefully study the definitions of "exit", "exit discharge", "exit access", etc. The portion of the system you describe is the "exit discharge". The "exit" is what is between the "exit access" and "exit discharge". The exit access is, eg, the corridor on the floor. The door to the stairwell is the exit and includes the interior exit stairwell. So, as I read it, you need a pull station on each floor where you enter the stairwell but not at the bottom of the stairwell.
 

GrayHair

Senior Member
Location
Nashville, TN
You have to go to the building code and carefully study the definitions of "exit", "exit discharge", "exit access", etc. The portion of the system you describe is the "exit discharge". The "exit" is what is between the "exit access" and "exit discharge". The exit access is, eg, the corridor on the floor. The door to the stairwell is the exit and includes the interior exit stairwell. So, as I read it, you need a pull station on each floor where you enter the stairwell but not at the bottom of the stairwell.

Been there repeatedly and gadfly56 explained it pretty much perfectly.
 

luckylerado

Senior Member
So if I understand correctly, the "exit" to which NFPA 72 refers in this situation is the door from the occupied space to the stair tower. I took a look at IBC definitions and what you say makes sense. Thanks for pointing me in the right direction.
 

gadfly56

Senior Member
Location
New Jersey
Occupation
Professional Engineer, Fire & Life Safety
So if I understand correctly, the "exit" to which NFPA 72 refers in this situation is the door from the occupied space to the stair tower. I took a look at IBC definitions and what you say makes sense. Thanks for pointing me in the right direction.

Glad to help!
 

aran814

New User
Location
CT/NY/NJ
Occupation
Electrical Designer
@gadfly56 I was a junior in college when you wrote this answer and three years later you've saved me from sending out incorrect drawings, so thank you!
 
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