One or more flights of stairs, either exterior or interior, with the necessary landings and platforms connecting them, to form a continuous and uninterrupted passage from one level to another (Section 202). In order to be considered part of an accessible means of egress, a stairway between stories shall have a clear width of 48 inches (1219 mm) minimum between handrails and shall either incorporate an area of refuge within an enlarged floor-level landing or shall be accessed from either an area of refuge complying with Section 1007.6 or a horizontal exit. Exit access stairways that connect levels in the same story are not permitted as part an accessible means of egress.
The clear width of 48 inches (1219 mm) between handrails is not required:
- In buildings equipped throughout with an automatic sprinkler system installed in accordance with Section 903.3.1.1 or 903.3.1.2; or
- For stairways accessed from a horizontal exit.
View other parts of the International Building Code (IBC) accessible means of egress:
- Accessible routes (referred to as continuous accessible paths of travel in some legislation)
- Stairways (including interior exit, interior exit access and exterior exit stairways)
- Elevators (also referred to as passenger lifts in some countries)
- Platform lifts
- Horizontal exits
- Areas of Refuge
- Exterior area for assisted rescue
- Two-way communication
- Accessible signage
- Directional signage
- Where an exit stairway forms part of the accessible means of egress is must include either an ‘area of refuge’or an exterior ‘area for assisted rescue’